Ann Powers

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Bruno Mars, 'Grenade'

This Sunday the annual Grammy Award winners will be announced. One of the biggest categories is Song of the Year, which goes to a songwriter. Every day this week, we'll give you a little intel on one of the nominees. Today, Bruno Mars' "Grenade."

The Grammys love down-the-middle pop stars who appeal across genres and generations. They also reward industry insiders, and Bruno Mars is no stranger to the business.

Last year he had a bunch of nominations, but he won only Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The Recording Academy drastically cut back on categories this year (its stated end being the "continued competition and prestige" of the awards), and one of the changes did away with the separation of male and female performers in the pop, R&B, rock and country categories. In the past, this might have forced female artists to compete in a boys' club. But pop is now so female-dominated that this year Mars is the only guy up for Best Pop Solo Performance.

Mars wrote "Grenade" with his very successful songwriting team, the Smeezingtons, plus three more songwriters. Pop songwriting is a group effort these days.

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