Kanye West has a chance to expand his already-huge collection of 14 Grammys and that he's the top nominee for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Kanye picked up a leading seven nominations, while Adele, Bruno Mars and Foo Fighters are tied with six each.
Strangely, Kanye is only nominated in one of Grammys' four main categories: Song of the Year, for "All of the Lights." Conversely, Adele, Bruno and Foo Fighters appear in three of the Grammy's biggest categories: Album, Record and Song of the Year. Adele has landed nominations for Record and Song of the Year for "Rolling in the Deep" and Album of the Year for 21. Bruno Mars got nods for Record and Song of the Year for "Grenade," and Album of the Year for Doo-Wops and Hooligans, while Foo Fighters got an Album of the Year nod for Wasting Light.
Meanwhile, Lil Wayne and electronic musician Skrillex each are up for five awards -- Skrillex, whose birth name is Sonny Moore, got a surprise nomination for Best New Artist. Also up for Best New Artist: The Band Perry, Nicki Minaj, singer/songwriter Justin Vernon, who records under the name Bon Iver [bonn ee-VAIR], and R&B star J. Cole. In addition, Rihanna, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Drake and Mumford & Sons each received four nods.
Among the most surprising nods were for Bon Iver's song "Holocene," a little-known track that somehow ended up in the Record and Song of the Year categories alongside hits like "Firework" and "Grenade." Another unexpected nominee in the Record and Song of the Year categories was Mumford & Sons' "The Cave."
The nominees for Album, Record and Song of the Year and Best New Artist were announced during a one-hour CBS special that featured performances by, among others, Lady Gaga, The Band Perry, Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Usher, Sugarland and, via satellite, Rihanna. One of the highlights came when Lady Gaga teamed up with Sugarland to perform the hit "You and I" -- Gaga and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles had a ball trading verses and giving shout-outs to one another in the lyrics.
Gaga also opened the show by performing "Marry the Night" while wearing skeleton makeup and a blazer, black bra, panties and boots, while dancing on top of a heap of industrial garbage. Jason Aldean and Ludacris teamed up for Jason's hit "Dirt Road Anthem," and the Band Perry threw a bit of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" into their song "Independence." Usher paid tribute to late songwriters Jerry Lieber and Nickolas Ashford by singing their songs "Stand By Me" and "You're All I Need to Get By" respectively.
Notable Grammy snubs include Paul Simon, whose critically-acclaimed So Beautiful or So What album, which many predicted would score several nods, was ignored by Grammy voters. Former Album of the Year winner Taylor Swift received several nods, but not in any of the main categories. Except for her Best New Artist nod, Nicki Minaj was also ignored. Lady Antebellum, who swept the Grammys back in February, was relegated to the country categories.
Some interesting nominations: Eddie Vedder is up for Best Folk Album for his solo disc Ukulele Songs, and Allman Brothers Band members Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes are both nominated in the Best Blues Album category for their respective solo discs. Former Destiny's Child band mates Beyonce and Kelly Rowland are competing against each other in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category for, respectively, "Party" and "Motivation." Betty White and Tina Fey are both up for Best Spoken Word Album, for the audio book versions of their recent books.
Most surprising overall, perhaps, was the number of rock and alternative acts in the major categories -- most pundits had predicted that this year's top nominees would be largely made up of female pop performers. And, while most pundits felt that Kanye West would do well, few foresaw him receiving the lion's share of the nods.
Here are the nominees in the main fields:
Record of the Year "Rolling in the Deep," Adele "Holocene," Bon Iver "Grenade," Bruno Mars "The Cave," Mumford & Sons "Firework," Katy Perry
Song of the Year [award to songwriter(s)] "All of the Lights," Kanye West "Rolling in the Deep," Adele "Holocene," Bon Iver "Grenade," Bruno Mars "The Cave," Mumford & Sons
Album of the Year Doo-Wops and Hooligans, Bruno Mars Wasting Light, Foo Fighers Born this Way, Lady Gaga Loud, Rihanna 21, Adele
Best New Artist The Band Perry Bon Iver J. Cole Nicki Minaj Skrillex
Best Pop Solo Performance "Someone Like You," Adele "You and I," Lady Gaga "Grenade," Bruno Mars "Firework," Katy Perry "F***in' Perfect, Pink
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance "Body and Soul," Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse "Dearest," The Black Keys "Paradise," Coldplay "Pumped Up Kicks," "Foster the People "Moves Like Jagger," Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera
Best Pop Vocal Album 21, Adele The Lady Killer, Cee Lo Green Born This Way, Lady Gaga Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Bruno Mars Loud, Rihanna
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Duets II, Tony Bennett & Various Artists The Gift, Susan Boyle In Concert on Broadway, Harry Connick Jr Music Is Better Than Words, Seth McFarlane What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman, Barbra Streisand
Best Rock Performance "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall," Coldplay "Down By The Water," The Decembrists "Walk," Foo Fighters "The Cave," Mumford & Sons "Lotus Flower," Radiohead
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance "On The Backs Of Angels," Dream Theater "White Limo," Foo Fighters "Curl Of The Burl," Mastodon "Public Enemy No. 1," Megadeth "Blood In My Eyes," Sum 41
Best Rock Song "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall," Coldplay "Down By The Water," The Decembrists "Walk," Foo Fighters "The Cave," Mumford & Sons "Lotus Flower," Radiohead
Best Rock Album Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul, Jeff Beck Wasting Light, Foo Fighters Come Around Sundown, Kings Of Leon I'm With You, Red Hot Chili Peppers The Whole Love, Wilco
Best Alternative Music Album Bon Iver, Bon Iver Codes And Keys, Death Cab For Cutie Torches, Foster The People Circuital, My Morning Jacket The King Of Limbs, Radiohead
Best R&B Performance "Far Away," Marsha Ambrosius "Pieces Of Me," Ledisi "Not My Daddy," Kelly Price & Stokley "Is This Love," Corinne Bailey Rae "You Are," Charlie Wilson
Best Traditional R&B Performance "Sometimes I Cry," Eric Benét "Fool For You," Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona "Radio Message," R. Kelly "Good Man," Raphael Saadiq "Surrender," Betty Wright & The Roots
Best R&B Song "Far Away," Marsha Ambrosius "Fool For You," Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona "Not My Daddy," Kelly Price & Stokley "You Are," Charlie Wilson "Pieces Of Me," Ledisi
Best R&B Album F.A.M.E., Chris Brown Second Chance, El DeBarge Love Letter, R. Kelly Pieces Of Me, Ledisi Kelly, Kelly Price
Best Rap Performance "Look At Me Now," Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes "Otis," Jay-Z & Kanye West "The Show Goes On," Lupe Fiasco "Moment 4 Life," Nicki Minaj & Drake "Black And Yellow," Wiz Khalifa
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration "Party," Beyoncé & André 3000 "I'm On One," DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne "I Need A Doctor," Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey "What's My Name?," Rihanna & Drake "Motivation," Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne "All Of The Lights," Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie
Best Rap Song "All of the Lights," Kanye West "I Need a Doctor," Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skyler Grey "Look at Me Now," Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes "The Show Goes On, Lupe Fiasco "Otis," Jay-Z and Kanye West
Best Rap Album Watch the Throne, Jay-Z and Kanye West Tha Carter IV, Lil Waye My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj Lasers, Lupe Fiasco Best Country Song "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," Thompson Square "God Gave Me You," Blake Shelton "Just Fishin'," Trace Adkins "Mean," Taylor Swift "Threaten Me with Heaven," Vince Gill "You and Tequila," Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter
Best Country Solo Performance "Dirt Road Anthem," Jason Aldean "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," Martina McBride "Honey Bee," Blake Shelton "Mean," Taylor Swift "Mama's Song," Carrie Underwood Best Country Duo/Group Performance "Don't You Wanna Stay," Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson "You and Tequila," Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter "Barton Hollow," The Civil Wars "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," Thompson Square
Best Country Album My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean Chief, Eric Church Own the Night, Lady Antebellum Red River Blue, Blake Shelton Here for a Good Time, George Strait Speak Now, Taylor Swift