Everything You Need to Know About the 55th Grammy Awards Nominations
Everybody's a winner this year, but some are winner-er than others
Who got the most nods?
It’s a free-for-all! Six different acts earned six nominations apiece. They are: fun., Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Not counting Auerbach’s producer nomination, the Black Keys, Miguel, and jazz musician Chick Corea all totaled five nods apiece. Nas, fun. producer Jeff Bhasker, and recording engineer Bob Ludwig each scored four, and 16 different artists nabbed three.
So who was nominated for Album of the Year?
The Black Keys’s El Camino, fun.’s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE, and Jack White’s Blunderbuss. You’ll note that West, who failed to receive a nomination in this category last year for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, missed out this year once again for his Watch the Throne album with Jay-Z, despite their many other nods.
Sounds like a sausage party.
True! Albums by female artists were summarily shut out of this year’s top category. If it’s any consolation, women swept Best Pop Solo Performance. Named there: Adele for “Set Fire To The Rain (Live),” Kelly Clarkson for “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Carly Rae Jepsen for “Call Me Maybe,” Katy Perry for “Wide Awake,” and Rihanna for “Where Have You Been.”
And Record and Song of the Year?
Record (artist award): The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” fun.’s (feat. Janelle Monáe) “We Are Young,” Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
Song (songwriter award): Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” Miguel’s “Adorn,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” and fun.’s (feat. Janelle Monáe) “We Are Young.”
Hang on, what about newer albums like Taylor Swift’s Red or Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city? Did they get snubbed?
Nope. They’ll probably just have to wait until next year. In order to be eligible for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, songs and albums had to be released between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012.
Who the hell Is Al Walser and how did he get an EDM Grammy nomination?
Our question exactly. Luckily, SPIN’s Philip Sherburne has the bizarre and compelling answer.
Who performed during the nominations show?
Dierks Bentley and the Band Perry paid tribute to Johnny Cash, in honor of the show taking place in Nashville, and country’s Luke Bryan also shimmied around the stage. Otherwise, we saw fun. and Janelle Monáe with a string section, sharp dance moves from Ne-Yo, and not one but two performances by Maroon 5, even though frontman Adam Levine’s TV show is totally on a different network. Oh, and the Who sang a snippet of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” No joke.
And how many of those folks are competing for Best New Artist?
Just fun.! However, singing also extended through some of the nominee presentations. Hunter Hayes, another Best New Artist nominee, presented the Best Pop Vocal Album nominations by playing and singing each of their hits. Also vying in this category are Alabama Shakes, Hunter Hayes, and the Lumineers. And Frank Ocean.
M.I.A. gave the world the finger at the Super Bowl. She wasn’t nominated for anything, was she?
She most definitely was. Her Romain Gavras-directed “Bad Girls” video is up for Best Short Form Video. It’s competing against another Gavrais clip, for Jay-Z and West’s “No Church in the Wild,” featuring, yes, Frank Ocean again, plus The-Dream. Foster the People, Rihanna with Calvin Harris, and Woodkid also each have videos in the running.
Was anybody I like nominated for Best Packaging?
Maybe! Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth, for example? He got the nod for Swing Lo Magellan, which in a limited vinyl deluxe edition came with an 8-inch, square-shaped record with ancient cuneiform script. Babylon, mon.
I’m not sure what category best fits “Trapped in the Closet,” but please tell me R. Kelly got nominated for something.
We have a lot in common, friend. The Pied Piper did earn a nod, Best R&B Album for Write Me Back, his excellent follow-up to 2010’s also-excellent Love Letter, which due to the complicated eligilibity reasons we described, was actually nominated in the same category this year.
Where can I go to see proof that nomination show co-hosts Taylor Swift and LL Cool J beatboxed?
When does the big show happen?
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Sunday, February 10 at 8 p.m. EST.