NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Grammy Awards celebrated the diversity of music as six different artists tied for top nominee – Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun.
Auerbach received five nominations as a member of the Keys and also is up for producer of the year, earning a spot with the others at the top of the list as the Grammy’s prime-time television special came to his hometown Wednesday night.
Indie pop band fun., a featured performer during the show, aired live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on CBS, rode the success of its anthemic hit We Are Young, featuring Janelle Monae, to sweep of the major categories, earning nods for best new artist, song and record for We Are Young and album of the year for Some Nights. The band’s producer Jeff Bhasker is up for four nominations.
When you call your band fun. with a period at the end of the sentence, you set a very high standard for yourself and for fun itself, Taylor Swift, the concert’s co-host, said in introducing them. Fortunately this band from New York has lived up to the name in the best possible way.
R&B singer Ocean made a bold social statement earlier this year when he noted he had a same-sex relationship in the liner notes of his new album channel ORANGE, and The Recording Academy rewarded him with the major nominations best new artist, record for Thinkin Bout You and album of the year.
And British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, which made an auspicious debut in front of an international audience during the 2011 Grammys, is up for album of the year for Babel, one of 2012’s best-selling releases.
Miguel, who helped Ocean shake up the R&B world this year, and jazz great Chick Correa join the Keys with five nominations apiece. Nas and recording engineer Bob Ludwig join Bhasker at four apiece.
There were no major snubs among the top nominees. Most of 2012’s inescapable hits are represented in some way – Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know is up for record of the year and Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe garnered a song of the year nod. Drake, Rihanna and Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Jack White and best new artist nominee Hunter Hayes were among 16 nominees with three nods.
In many ways the nominations reflect a singles-driven year when no album rose to the level of acclaim as Adele’s 21 or West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which dominated last year.
The 55th annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. Trophies will be handed out in 81 categories.