Alabama Shakes, the Lumineers, Hunter Hayes React to Grammy Nominations
Backstage at the Grammy Nominations "Concert Live!!" on Wednesday, several of the night's biggest nominees -- Hunter Hayes, Fun., the Lumineers -- dropped by to give thanks and offer some reactions on being chosen for music's biggest night. While most major nominees were not on hand in Nashville -- even Music City-based Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach (tied for most noms with six) was absent -- a few made the trek and witnessed a Taylor Swift-hosted spectacle to remember.
Ne-Yo Changing Name to Yee-Haw: Ne-Yo found himself among the nominees for Best Dance Recording with Calvin Harris for "Let's Go," but he also had Nashville on the mind. When asked about collaborations with Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood, he admitted "I would definitely make a country record in the future. I love it here. I might even look at some property."
• PHOTOS: Highlights From the Concert
• NOMINEES: List of Major Nominations
• SNUB: Justin Bieber's Manager Reacts
Not Fun. Vocal Problems: It was a great night for fun., who tallied six nominations. Lead singer Nate Ruess stated their performance with Janelle Monae on "We Are Young" almost didn't happen. "Last week, we had some vocal problems, and really wanted to give it our all tonight. Fortunately, my voice worked."
Hey! Lumineers Continue Quick Rise: With their song "Ho Hey" at No. 5 on the Hot 100, not many folks are surprised the Lumineers roped a pair of nominations Wednesday night -- for Best New Artist and Americana Album. Well, except for the band itself. Backstage, singer-guitarist Wesley Schultz said, "It's so surreal. We're just happy to be nominated in one category." He also expressed thanks to their Nashville-based label, Dualtone, for "putting us in this position."
Wanted: Performer Who Can Pull That Off: Hunter Hayes scored a trio of nominations, including Best New Artist. The "Wanted" phenom told reporters that he was proud to "wave the country flag" in the category. He said that his performance of songs from the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album was "one of the most nerve-wracking" of his career, but it was one that provided him with a lot of creative freedom.
It's Brittany, Humble-Rock-Singer: Double nominee Alabama Shakes expressed their thanks to their family backstage, with Brittany Howard saying "We're just happy to make our families proud." She also said there was no vanity whatsoever about their success, saying "I think it's important to stay humble."
Band Perry Came Up With Show Opener: Country's Dierks Bentley said he was proud of his nomination for "Home," but he would reflect on that in the days to come. The Capitol Nashville recording artist was still reveling in the glory of kicking off the show with The Band Perry on a cover of "Jackson." He said that "singing that song was great. It was a real career highlight. Kimberly is such a great singer, and her brothers came up with the arrangement."
Walking on Sunshine: Rhett Walker found himself nominated in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Song category for "When Mercy Found Me." He said afterward that he was "walking on cloud nine. I hope tonight never ends." He also was amazed at his fellow competition, including Casting Crowns, a group he had looked up to for a while. "The people in this category have worn their heart on their sleeves for years. This is just amazing. I'm trying to find the words."
Boss Gives Nashville the Thumbs Up: President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Neil Portnow said he was very impressed with Nashville's job at hosting the event, saying the city got an "A +. I've spent a lot of time here over the years, and there is no city like it." Though he didn't commit to the idea, he said that Nashville hosting a future Grammy Awards was a possibility.