Six artists lead the way in Grammy nominations
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Grammy Awards celebrated the diversity of music Wednesday night as six different artists tied for top nominee -- Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun.
Mr. 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 primetime television special came to his hometown.
The rockers little resemble any of the other acts at the top of the list. The top nominations for Jay-Z and West, two of hip-hop's most important figures, is a familiar refrain; each has routinely been at or near the top of the nominations list for the last several years.
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 a 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.
Pittsburgh rap star Wiz Khalifa once again scored two nominations: Best Rap Song for "Young, Wild & Free," his track with Snoop Dogg on the "Mac and Devin Go to High School" soundtrack, and Pop/Duo/Group Performance for his work on the Maroon 5 song "Payphone."
Also, Pittsburgh native Ahmad Jamal received a nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for "Blue Moon."
"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 Mr. Ocean made a bold social statement earlier this year when he noted in the liner notes of his new album, "channel ORANGE," that he had a same-sex relationship, 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Bhasker at four apiece.
There were no major snubs among the top nominees. Most of 2012's big 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 Nashville residents Ms. Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Jack White and best new artist nominee Hunter Hayes were among 16 nominees with three nods.
First Published December 6, 2012 12:00 am