Black Keys, Fun., Frank Ocean Lead Grammy Nominations 2013
Also With Six Nods: Mumford & Sons, Jay-Z and Kanye West ... Lumineers, Hunter Hayes Among Best New Artist Hopefuls
There's a rock pileup at the top of the 2013 Grammy Award nominations.
The 55th annual ceremony announced its nominees in Nashville on Wednesday night during a primetime concert special, with fun., Mumford & Sons and Dan Auerbach -- nominated with the Black Keys and solo in the Producer of the Year category -- making a strong showing for the genre with six nominations each. Jay-Z, Kanye West and R&B breakthrough Frank Ocean also earned six nominations, with Fun.'s and Ocean's including the double coup of Album of the Year and Best New Artist.
GRAMMY NOMINATIONS: Get a List of Major Nominees
The Album of the Year category, dominated in recent years by divas and hip-hop acts, will be full of guitars (and a banjo): Mumford & Sons' "Babel" will face Fun.'s "Some Nights," Jack White's "Blunderbuss" and the Black Keys' "El Camino," with only Ocean's "channel ORANGE" breaking from the trend.
Alongside Ocean and Fun., Hunter Hayes, Alabama Shakes and the Lumineers round out the Best New Artist category, while another newcomer, Miguel, picked up five nominations, including a Song of the Year nod for his R&B/Hip-Hop Songs No. 1 hit "Adorn." After his debut album "All I Want Is You" debuted at No. 109 on the Billboard 200 in 2010, the 26-year-old earned critical acclaim for his sophomore effort, "Kaleidoscope Dream," which debuted at No. 3 in October. He's tied with Grammy veteran Chick Corea -- the past winner of 18 Grammys, including two in 2012.
Mumford & Sons' "Babel" is also nominated for Best Americana Album but won't compete in the rock category -- though "I Will Wait" is up for Best Rock Performance. In September, "Babel" scored 2012's second-biggest bow on the Billboard 200 with a 600,000-unit debut. Its only competition, Taylor Swift's 1.21 million-selling "Red" was released too late for album eligibility, though the past Album of the Year winner's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is up for Record of the Year.
A number of the year's biggest songs guided their acts to multiple nominations: Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" is up for Record of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Group Performance, with album "Making Mirrors" nominated in the Best Alternative Album category. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" picked up two nominations, including Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Both tracks led Billboard's Hot 100 this year, "Somebody" topping the chart for 8 weeks, with "Call Me Maybe" besting it with 9 -- the year's longest runs.
This year's concert special, held in Nashville for the first time, was hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, who snagged three nominations on the night, including Record of the Year for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
While announcing from the stage in the center of the arena, Swift tended to shake hands with fans as she exited the platform.
The first performance of the night doubled as a tribute to country great Johnny Cash with The Band Perry pulling together a lively take on the classic track "Jackson."
Country newcomer Hunter Hayes didn't just deliver the first nominees for the night, he sang them. The Best New Artist nom sang the Best Pop Vocal Album nominees, including Kelly Clarkson, Florence + the Machine, fun., Maroon 5 and P!nk. The 21-year-old phenom was also nominated for Best Country Album, for "Wanted," and Best Country Solo Performance, for that album's title track.
Announcers during the festivities included Sheryl Crow, Best New Artist nominees The Lumineers and Swift herself.
Double nominee Maroon 5 squeezed in a performance medley that included their former Hot 100 No. 1s ("One More Night") and ("Moves Like Jagger") -- come Feb. 10 they'll be up for Best Pop Vocal Album ("Overexposed") and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Payphone"). To close the night, Adam Levine and friends returned to perform "Payphone."
Other performances came courtesy of Luke Bryan, who implored "I Don't Want This Night to End," and fun. who turned their usually bombastic No. 1 hit "We Are Young" into a scaled back, string ensemble experiment. Ne-Yo, with immovable fedora, gave a typically emotional reading of "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" which transitioned into a frantic backing dancer-backed party.
The 55th Grammys will be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles on CBS. Click HERE for a list of major nominees.