Lorde @ The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live

The Grammys again announced their nominations with some extra flash and fanfare this year, flipping the old morning podium announcement into another primetime concert special live from the Staples Center in L.A. LL Cool J, who hosted last year’s Grammy broadcast, was back to MC this show as he will for the ceremony next month. Performers included inescapable 2013 stars Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift, all of whom received nominations in major categories. Keith Urban and Miguel teamed for a typically suave cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” too, which was truly pleasant. In the end, Jay Z was nominated for nine Grammys; Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell were each nominated for seven; and Daft Punk and Drake were nominated for five. Here’s how the major categories stand…

Album Of The Year
Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Taylor Swift – Red

Record Of The Year
Daft Punk – “Get Lucky” feat. Pharrell
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive”
Lorde – “Royals”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines” feat. T.I. & Pharrell

Song Of The Year
P!nk – “Just Give Me A Reason” feat. Nate Ruess
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out Of Heaven”
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Lorde – “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love” feat. Mary Lambert

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Also of note…

  • Daft Punk & Pharrell got a Best Pop Duo/Group Performance nomination for “Get Lucky” and for Best Dance/Electronica Album, where they’ll go up against Disclosure.
  • Lana Del Rey was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album (for Paradise) and Best Song Written For Visual Media (for The Great Gatsby’s “Young And Beautiful”).
  • Queens Of The Stone Age got a Best Rock Performance nom for “My God Is The Sun” along with Best Rock Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical nods for …Like Clockwork. Sirvana (Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear) got a Best Rock Song nomination.
  • Alternative Music Album nominees are Neko Case, the National, Nine Inch Nails, Tame Impala, and Vampire Weekend.
  • Kanye West’s “New Slaves” is up for Best Rap Song against “Fuckin’ Problems,” “Holy Grail,” “Started From The Bottom,” and “Thrift Shop” and Yeezus is up for Best Rap Album against the latest LPs from Drake, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Yes, that “Holy Grail” nod means co-writers Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic are nominated for Best Rap Song this year.
  • Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominees are Rob Cavallo, Dr. Luke, Ariel Rechtshaid, Jeff Tweedy, Pharrell Williams.

Who are the big winners and losers here? You have to see through the cold, hard numbers a bit for perspective.

Technically, Jay Z leads the field with nine nominations, but he was shut out of all the major categories. His collaborator and tourmate Justin Timberlake suffered the same fate; JT earned seven nods but none for Album, Record, or Song Of The Year. That has to register as a disappointment for those two titans of (the entertainment) industry. Drake’s five nominations look a lot less impressive for the same reason: They’re all in rap-specific categories except for his tangential involvement with Kendrick Lamar’s Album Of The Year-nominated good kid, m.A.A.d. city.

Lorde’s failure to garner a Best New Artist nod scans as a snub, especially when NARAS is returning to that confusing Grammy practice doling out nods to well-established acts (James Blake) and artists who’ve already won Grammys (Ed Sheeran). Only two nods for commercial giants Imagine Dragons has to sting a little bit, and you have to think Taylor Swift was hoping for nod in the Song or Record Of The Year categories to go along with her Album Of The Year nod for Red. And Kanye West, who earlier this year noted to The New York Times “I haven’t won [a Grammy] against a white person,” can’t be happy with only to be relegated to the rap categories with his two nominations.

Relative newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar fared far better in the big picture; both rap acts garnered seven nominations each, including Album Of The Year and Best New Artist nods. Macklemore & Lewis also nabbed a Song Of The Year nomination for “Same Love” feat. Mary Lambert, making the Seattle hip-hop duo the most prominently featured artist in the top-tier categories. Even with arguably the three biggest names in rap (Jay Z, Kanye, and Drake) missing out on the major categories, it’s looking like an up year for the genre. This seems like the most likely chance for a rapper to win Album Of The Year since OutKast won in 2004 for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. (Before OutKast, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill in 1999 was the only hip-hop album to take home top honors.) Hip-hop seems especially well represented compared to all-but-invisible showings from EDM and Mumford & Sons-style folk-rock.

Daft Punk’s five nominations are nothing to shrug at either, especially considering the robots made it into the two top categories, Album and Record Of The Year. Their “Get Lucky” cohort Pharrell Williams wrapped up his dominant year with seven nominations too — including one for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical — although thanks to his involvement with Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” he’s competing against himself in the Record Of The Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance categories. James Blake continues his shocking award tour with that Best New Artist nod. And if you’re Sara Bareilles, you have to be stoked to be in the Album Of The Year conversation at all.

Check out all the nominations here. The Grammys air Sunday, 1/26 on CBS.

Comments (94)
  1. Ah. The new artist category. Always a joy.

  2. Who is this “James Blake” guy?

  3. Sara Bareilles, really??? Grammy’s never disappoint in the WTF selections

  4. people still care, write, and think about the grammys?

  5. Definitely Jay Z’s day. First Cano and now the most (9) nominations. Don’t know which one is worse.

    • Cano signing is a joke. Jay-Z isn’t respected in the sports world. He may be laughing all the way to the bank (along with Kanye) but he’s thought of as a turd agent-wise. Cano will crap out ala PooHoles.

      • $240 mil is $240 mil. I’m not saying he’s a good agent and I’m sure he had little to do with the negotiations but you gotta believe more athletes are gonna sign with him after this.

        • True enough. I guess I just think it’s bad for baseball, my favorite sport, but it’s been heading this way for many, many years now.

      • Turd agent-wise? Dude, this statement is egregiously false. You do realize that the Cano deal is probably the most legendary move from an agent in modern baseball history? He walked out mid-negotiation to get them to come back.

        You seem to be thinking that because the deal was terrible for the Seattle Mariners (which it was) that he’s not a good agent? In sports management it means the complete opposite.

        All sports owners hate Jay-Z and Roc Nation sports, but nobody denies the power the new group has. Roc Nation Sports is partnered with CAA and together they manage Kevin Durant, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, David Beckham, Sidney Crosby, Adrian Peterson, etc. They agency is massive and people ALWAYS get hooked up when they sign.

        You sir, know nothing about the sports management landscape.

    • Jay-Z is really only the face on the package with Cano and being a sports agent. CAA was doing all the work in those negotiations. Mixed bag as far as success. Guy made 240 mil, but he had to move to the corner of the country to do it, won’t haul in nearly as much in endorsements, and will struggle to be relevant the latter half of that 10 year deal.

      • NY endorsements were still being dominated by other players. Cano was the best player last year for the Yankees but he was still in the shadow of Jeter and even Matt Harvey eclipsed Cano in endorsements.

        Regarding his relevance, the dudes 30, hes going to suck in 5 years regardless of what team he goes to. $240 mil is 65 more than what the Yankees were going to pay him, do you really think he would’ve made $65 million in NY? Fuck no, not even over 10 years.

        Given the trend in baseball, once 28+ year olds get a 10 year contract they stop performing well relatively quickly, he wanted a lot of money and he got it. This was not a “mixed bag,” a 30 year old 2nd baseman is now the 4th highest paid player in MLB, and hes gonna rake that money in until 2024. The deal royally fucked Seattle over but I don’t think there are many guys luckier in the world now more than Cano.

  6. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • This isn’t her best work but she’s actually really talented and writes smarter songs than a lot of other people who get more love. shes quite a singer too:

      • I mean she’s totally fine… just kind of boring.

        But she is not especially popular, “Brave” got off to a slow start, though its become a moderate hit now. Usually the pop artists who get nominated for Grammys blend some measure of mass popularity and critical respect (or at least non-hostility, Katy Perry and Rihanna notwithstanding). Her nominations are surprising because of where she stands in the music industry, not because her work is objectively less deserving of recognition than, say, Bruno Mars or Taylor Swift.

      • Community has made it so I will never be able to take the song seriously.

      • Community has made it so I will never be able to take that song seriously.

  7. Glad Queens of the Stone Age are getting some recognition. “…Like Clockwork” is a fantastic album. One of my favorites of the year.

  8. What is the difference between record and song of the year? I never got that.

  9. What did Jeff Tweedy produce this year that I missed?

  10. How is James Blake considered for New Artist when he had an LP two years ago? Gratitude and befuddlement do battle in my tiny brain. It hurts and I want to cry.

    • The Grammys always do that. Bon Iver won best new artist after he’d already put out two critically acclaimed albums and a Kanye-sampled EP. They might as well rename that award “best new-ish artist who us old, chronically out of touch Grammy voters finally got around to listening to this year.” Although I suppose that’s a bit long.

      • Thanks, great point I feel you…I still feel like we’re treating the symptoms and not the disease here, though..What could possibly be their criteria for New Artist? What’s stopping them from nominating Les Paul for Best Collaborator on a Pop Record?…Which is to say, they’ve paved the slippery slope for an apocalyptic degeneration into retrospection. Which wouldn’t irk me if the Grammy’s weren’t such a potent and visible indicator of popular taste i’ll shut up

        • Basically as long as an artist hasn’t been nominated before, they are eligible. Lady Gaga had been nominated before her big breakout so she wasn’t nominated for Best New Artist.

  11. I’ll be surprised if a rap album wins. Two rap albums will likely split the vote, and the two singer-songwritter cute girls have huge disadvantages (Taylor has already won AOTY quite recently and Sara is not really popular enough for them). I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Daft Punk will win the Album Of The Year Grammy.

    But Macklemore would be the one most likely to if Daft Punk doesn’t. I love Kendrick, but he’ll most likely get all his wins on the rap field and go empty-handed from the main categories.

    • Yeah, in this particular case I don’t know how the votes will split. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a “rap” act, but in terms of their fanbase & demographic, they probably share more listeners with Taylor Swift than with Kendrick Lamar. I have heard “Thrift Shop” a few times on my local rap/R&B station, whereas all of their singles are inescapable on the Top 40 stations.

      The best case for Kendrick is that the four “pop” acts split the voters, but even if that happened I doubt the NARAS rap contingent could carry the day. Best case scenario is a Daft Punk upset, but I suspect (fear?) a sweep from the safe-and-earnest-white-guy-rap.

  12. Just a few things to remember:

    -Only one hip hop album has ever won Album of the Year, and that album had “Hey Ya”, a smash hit that very importantly contained no actual rapping on it, thus making it safe for the diverse crowd of old white people who vote for such things.
    -My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was left out in the cold in 2012 so that Bruno Mars and a mediocre Foo Fighters album could be nominated instead.
    -In 2008, by choosing an awful late period Herbie Hancock album, the Grammys were able to screw over Kanye’s Graduation without feeling too racist.
    -2006: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb over Late Registration. Need I say more?

    What I’m really trying to say is that Taylor Swift should probably start writing her acceptance speech now.

    • The Grammy actually are not very fond of repeat winners there. The last repeat winner was U2, and it took nearly 20 years for them to allow that to happen. The last artist to win AOTY so close to a pat win was Stevie Fucking Wonder in the 70′s. I know Taylor is popular and all, but she is not Stevie Wonder, even in terms of fame. Plus, she only has 4 noms, which hardly means lots of support.

      This is a Daft Punk vs. Macklemore battle. Remember Macklemore has the LGBT rights ballad with a nice lady voice hook, and that they are all “LOOK AT US BEING SO POLITE UNLIKE EVERYTHING ELSE IN HIP-HOP! WE’RE SO LIKE TOTALLY GENUINE AND EARNEST!”. And Daft Punk has just gone through a major crossover year, so expect one of the two to take this.

      • I think Macklemore has this locked up. As you say, he plays into the racist/ignorant storyline that he’s a nice white rapper who raps about nice things, whereas all every black rapper has ever rapped about are cars, money, and bitches, based on the massive sample size of the three rap songs I’ve heard while flipping between radio stations or watching MTV with my grandkids.

    • You’re right, Kanye is a very under-appreciated artist

      • Ha that wasn’t the point I was trying to make Dale. I’m as big a fan of Headhunters as anyone, but you’re really telling me that a Hancock album of Joni Mitchell covers was more deserving than Graduation? Dude’s been snubbed three times already. And its not really about Kanye anyway, its about hip hop not getting its due unless its safe enough. Kanye just happens to have been the most recent example. And K Dot will probably be the next, which is a relief because I’d rather stump for Kendrick than Kanye anyway.

  13. Vampire Weekend has destroyed Arcade Fire as Band of the Year, according to SPIN. But their last best chance to equal AF with a Grammy of the Year for Best Album of the Year has come to nothing but a Best Alternative Album nod, which category, even a supposed alt website such as stereogum.com, merits only a bullet-pointed mention at the end of an article focusing on the more important categories oriented toward mainstream acceptance.

    Truly alt is dead.

  14. I think it’s worth noting that Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin were all nominated for an award…in 2013. When, if ever, have these guys been nominated in the same year like this? I think this is pretty cool.

  15. Tame Impala are nominated? I missed any news of that release this year. :/ And James Blake as a ‘new’ artist. Honestly I don’t think it matters because who takes these seriously anyway?

    • Lonerism’s release just missed the Grammy deadline – for their purposes, a year is September-September. So albums released in late fall or winter of one year can’t get nominated until almost a full year after their release.

      For example, Eminem just has one nomination for “Berzerk,” but he’ll surely pick up at least some rap category nominations next year when the album and the later singles are eligible.

  16. Honestly, I think it was brave to nominate Sara Bareilles.

  17. Kanye keeps getting shafted in the major categories. It was an absolute crime that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy wasn’t nominated for album of the year back then, but it’s no surprise I guess. That said,
    35 years from when Kanye is well past his prime, they will probably give him AOTY and screw some more deserving young artist.

  18. I really think Bruno Mars was shafted for Album of the Year.

    Not that it’s actually good, but it seems like the type of thing those Grammy folk love.

  19. Probably good for Lorde to get snubbed. She’s only 17, I wouldn’t want her head to get screwed too much. Getting snubbed may be good for her in the long haul.

  20. Jesus, I hate Imagine Dragons. And that’s before you even factor in that my ex-girlfriend loves them.

  21. After all the chatter around the VMAs this year about whitewashing or co-opting of urban genres, JUST WAIT until Macklemore gets showered with grammys while Kendrick is shut out or marginalized (© Yeezy) to rap categories.

    • Also, Yeezus is 1000x more “Alternative Music” that Trouble Will Find Me.
      Alternative now seems to mean “Rock that is neither Hard nor Classic.”

  22. Stop telling me that 40 year old actress playing Lorde is actually 17 years old. There’s no way.

  23. So NIN is up for a Grammy? I wonder if Trent Reznor is pleasantly surprised or just still hating the whole idea.

  24. they should either get rid of the alternative category or rename it. Alternative died in the 90′s. When was the last time you heard someone say “Hey, I found this cool alternative band you need to check out”?

    It should be renamed indie. Should have been renamed that about a decade ago

  25. I think The Simpsons over the years has said all that needs to be said about the Grammys.

  26. say ‘nod’ one more time. I dare you.

  27. Pardon the ignorance, but what’s the difference between ”Record of the year” and ”Song of the year”?

  28. Cool, Tame Impala got nominated in the “alternative” ghetto.

  29. All of you can say what you want, but The Heist is a great album.

  30. I hope NIN wins and Trent isn’t there to accept the award.

  31. Grammy prediction: Kanye’s rant after losing every category to Macklemore will be named Best New Track.

  32. If there’s any justice in the world, Kendrick will win Album of the Year.

    Spoiler: T-Swift is going to win Album of the Year.

  33. Lorde sucks. I don’t get the buzz. she has horrible stage presence to boot. yuck.

  34. In basketball (or really any sport) a ref will sometimes miss a call and then realize it after the fact. To maintain fairness, he makes a call going against the other team to make the game “fair.” It’s not openly acknowledged, but everyone just kind of accepts that this is the way things shake out and continue playing. This is how I feel about the New Artist Category of the grammys.

  35. I rage every year over this shit but I really need to get a lot of shit out of my system here.

    I guess James Blake is this years Justin Vernon. As for the dominating artists here, I would just like to say Fuck you: Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, and Katy Perry. All of you are the reasons why people criticize radio garbage and none of you ever have or ever will make even a tiny contribution to music as an artform.

    The Grammy’s are the day where we celebrate shitty music and decrepit members of the baby-boomer generation and 14 year old girls “Ooh” and “Aah” over performances and ceremonies catered to them and their apparently esteemed music tastes.

    Ten years from now we will look back and use Grammy’s as a gauge for measuring A. income, and B. shitty music trends. This will save the researchers for VH1′s future overrated music lists some time.

    • yeah but you aren’t even considering that Arcade Fire’s win was a total fluke, and Bon Iver’s win was actually warranted b/c he had RADIO HITS.

      • I don’t understand, are you trying to tell me James Blake shouldn’t win because he doesn’t have radio hits?

        I was trying to point out how Bon Iver was nominated years after #64 Billboard Charting For Emma Forever Ago. It was #1 one Billboard Heatseekers. James Blake has been popular for a long time now.

        • radio hits make for more audience. And that’s why radio hits rate so highly in the minds of men that matter etc.! Dude, you don’t even know! Did you ever fill out a grammy nom sheet?

          • The commercial system, he says, is “utterly fascinating and infuriating at the same time,” particularly the unwritten rules governing what is and is not deemed playable on the radio, and his sense that radio is still about the only way to reach people who don’t spend time actively seeking out new music. “I’ve always thought we write pop music,” he says. “I think songs of ours could be on the radio. They’re not.” The question of which bands get traction in the smaller indie world strikes him as a bit arbitrary and mysterious, too, but that’s a hurdle the band’s already cleared. Now it’s poised somewhere between rock-critical acclaim and genuine crossover. “There’s a ceiling that independent artists hit,” he recently told NPR, “and the only way past it is radio.” And radio “still feels very much controlled by major labels’ ability to use leverage—you still have to have the muscle. Very few indie acts actually have breakthrough radio hits.”

    • dog, you don’t even know. The grammy’s are for rewards, to untoward slights and slutshaming. You have confused the Grammy’s with the Internet. You must atone, k?

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