Grammy Nominations Go To Pop's Heavy Hitters : The Record Eminem scores 10 nominations, including nods for Record, Song and Album of the Year.
NPR logo Grammy Nominations Go To Pop's Heavy Hitters

Grammy Nominations Go To Pop's Heavy Hitters

John Mayer already has seven of these. This year he's up for three more. Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images hide caption

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Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

When the nominations for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards were announced tonight, the musician with the best-selling album of the year also picked up more nominations than anyone else. Eminem scored 10 nominations, including Record, Song and Album of the Year.

Back when Eminem's Recovery was in the middle of its seven week run at number one on the Billboard chart this summer, we wondered what it was about the album that made it sell so consistently. The Grammy voters got to make their argument tonight, and they gave half the credit to Rihanna. Five of the rapper's 10 nominations came for the song "Love the Way You Lie," which features the Barbadian singer.

The other nominations for album of the year went to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.

Only recordings released between September 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 made the cut for this year's awards, which means the recently released albums by Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle weren't eligible.

Vying with "Love the Way You Lie" for Song of the Year (nominees in this category are songwriters, so Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman and Marshall Mathers get nods for "Love the Way You Lie") are "Beg Steal or Borrow" written by Ray LaMontagne and performed by LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs, "F—- You" written by Cee Lo Green, Philip Lawrence and Bruno Mars and performed by Cee Lo Green, "The House That Built Me" written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin and performed by Miranda Lambert, and "Need You Now" written by Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott and performed by Lady Antebellum.

The other nominees for Record of the Year (which, seriously, the Grammys should just start calling Recording of the Year to end the annual confusion) are "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, "F—- You" by Cee Lo Green, "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, and "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum.

The nominees for Best New Artist, to these eyes, look to have a strong favorite: Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber. The haircut leads a pack that includes smooth rapper Drake, the offbeat British group Florence & The Machine, the quartet of acoustic guitar-lovers known as Mumford & Sons, and jazz bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding.

A few other notes:

- Eligibility issues count for why the live version of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" (possibly recorded at VH1 Unplugged, though the Grammy website doesn't say) was nominated while the inescapable studio version went unrecognized. Even though the band's Save Me, San Francisco was released within the eligibility period, the song was released as a digital download last August.

- The singer/songwriter/producer Bruno Mars scored the second-highest number of nominations, with seven nods spread out over a solo track ("Just The Way You Are"), a collaboration with rapper B.o.B ("Nothin' On You"), a songwriting credit (Cee Lo Green's "F—- You"), and a nomination for his work as a producer with the group The Smeezingtons.

- Overall, the nominations are remarkable for not including countless nods to aging stars being celebrated for past glories. Say what you want about the nominees in the three main categories, but none can reasonably be called make-up votes.

- The same can't be said for the nominees in the Best Hard Rock Performance category. Four of the nominees — Alice In Chains, Ozzy Osbourne, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots — have been out of the game since the mid-'90s. The other nominated act, Them Crooked Vultures, is a new group made of old parts: drummer Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, singer Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, and bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin.

- The Grammys must have bought a bunch of John Mayer stock back when he was running through the halls of his high school or something. Dude picked up three nominations, only one of which can be explained away by the presence of Taylor Swift.

- It probably wasn't why they were nominated, but the wailing guitar solo on Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" (my pick to clean up when they finally get around to holding the awards on February 13) reminds me a heck of a lot of the slide guitar parts David Lindley played on old Jackson Browne songs. Part of me can't believe I just wrote that sentence. Let's take a look at some nominees, shall we?



Album Of The Year:
The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
Recovery — Eminem
Need You Now — Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster — Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream — Katy Perry

Record Of The Year:
"Nothin' On You" — B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
"Love The Way You Lie" — Eminem Featuring Rihanna
"F—- You" — Cee Lo Green
"Empire State Of Mind" — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
"Need You Now" — Lady Antebellum

Best New Artist:
Justin Bieber
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

Song Of The Year:
"Beg Steal Or Borrow" — Ray LaMontagne, songwriter (Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs)
"F—- You" — Cee Lo Green, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Cee Lo Green)
"The House That Built Me" —Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
"Love The Way You Lie" — Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters (Eminem Featuring Rihanna)
"Need You Now" — Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)


Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
"Don't Stop Believin' (Regionals Version)" — "Glee" Cast
"Misery" — Maroon 5
"The Only Exception" — Paramore
"Babyfather" — Sade
"Hey, Soul Sister (Live)" — Train

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals:
"Airplanes II" — B.o.B, Eminem & Hayley Williams
"Imagine" — Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare
"If It Wasn't For Bad" — Elton John & Leon Russell
"Telephone" — Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
"California Gurls" — Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg


Best Dance Recording:
"Rocket" — Goldfrapp
"In For The Kill" — La Roux
"Dance In The Dark" — Lady Gaga
"Only Girl (In The World)" — Rihanna
"Dancing On My Own" — Robyn


Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
"Ready To Start" — Arcade Fire
"I Put A Spell On You" — Jeff Beck & Joss Stone
"Tighten Up" — The Black Keys
"Radioactive" — Kings Of Leon
"Resistance" — Muse

Best Hard Rock Performance:
"A Looking In View" — Alice In Chains
"Let Me Hear You Scream" — Ozzy Osbourne
"Black Rain" — Soundgarden
"Between The Lines" — Stone Temple Pilots
"New Fang" — Them Crooked Vultures

Best Rock Song:
"Angry World" — Neil Young, songwriter (Neil Young)
"Little Lion Man" — Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
"Radioactive" — Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
"Resistance" — Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
"Tighten Up" — Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney, songwriter (The Black Keys)


Best Alternative Music Album
The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
Infinite Arms — Band Of Horses
Brothers — The Black Keys
Broken Bells — Broken Bells
Contra — Vampire Weekend


Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
"Take My Time" — Chris Brown & Tank
"Love" — Chuck Brown, Jill Scott & Marcus Miller
"You've Got A Friend" — Ronald Isley & Aretha Franklin
"Shine" — John Legend & The Roots
"Soldier Of Love" — Sade

Best Contemporary R&B Album:

Graffiti — Chris Brown
Untitled — R. Kelly
Transition — Ryan Leslie
The ArchAndroid — Janelle Monáe
Raymond V Raymond — Usher


Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
"Nothin' On You" — B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars
"Deuces" — Chris Brown, Tyga & Kevin McCall
"Love The Way You Lie" — Eminem & Rihanna
"Empire State Of Mind" — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
"Wake Up! Everybody" — John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common

Best Rap Song:
"Empire State Of Mind" — Shawn Carter, Angela Hunte, Burt Keyes, Alicia Keys, Jane't "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic & Alexander Shuckburgh, songwriters (Sylvia Robinson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys)
"Love The Way You Lie" — Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters (Eminem & Rihanna)
"Not Afraid" — M. Burnett, J. Evans, Marshall Mathers, L. Resto & M. Samuels, songwriters (Eminem)
"Nothin' On You" — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Bobby Simmons Jr., songwriters (B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars)
"On To The Next One" — Shawn Carter, J. Chaton & K. Dean, songwriters (G. Auge & X. De Rosnay, songwriters) (Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz)

Best Rap Album:
The Adventures Of Bobby Ray — B.o.B
Thank Me Later — Drake
Recovery — Eminem
The Blueprint 3 — Jay-Z
How I Got Over — The Roots


Best Country Collaboration With Vocals:
"Bad Angel" — Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert & Jamey Johnson
"Pride (In The Name Of Love)" — Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury & The Punch Brothers
"As She's Walking Away" — Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson
"Hillbilly Bone" — Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins
"I Run To You" — Marty Stuart & Connie Smith

Best Country Song:
"The Breath You Take" — Casey Beathard, Dean Dillon & Jessie Jo Dillon, songwriters (George Strait)
"Free" — Zac Brown, songwriter (Zac Brown Band)
"The House That Built Me" — Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
"I'd Love To Be Your Last" — Rivers Rutherford, Annie Tate & Sam Tate, songwriters (Gretchen Wilson)
"If I Die Young" — Kimberly Perry, songwriter (The Band Perry)
"Need You Now" — Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)

Best Country Album:
Up On The Ridge — Dierks Bentley
You Get What You Give — Zac Brown Band
The Guitar Song — Jamey Johnson
Need You Now — Lady Antebellum
Revolution — Miranda Lambert


Best Americana Album:
The List — Rosanne Cash
Tin Can Trust — Los Lobos
Country Music — Willie Nelson
Band Of Joy — Robert Plant
You Are Not Alone — Mavis Staples

Best Traditional Blues Album:
Giant — James Cotton
Memphis Blues — Cyndi Lauper
The Well — Charlie Musselwhite
Joined At The Hip — Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites — Jimmie Vaughan

This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to: Rob Cavallo, Danger Mouse, Dr. Luke, RedOne, and The Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine).