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fun. Dominates Grammy Nominations

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photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2012

photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2012

Cliches be damned, it was a fun. night at the GRAMMY Nominations Concert on CBS Wednesday night (December 5), with the band performing and getting nominations in all four major categories: Album, Song and Record of the Year, as well as Best New Artist (see the nominees in those categories here). Kelly Clarkson, The Black Keys and Frank Ocean all grabbed multiple nominations on the program also. (Jay-Z, Kanye West and Mumford & Sons were other multiple nominees in categories mostly not mentioned on the broadcast.)

In the past, the GRAMMY Nominations Concert has been hosted by LL Cool J, but this year, the show moved from L.A. to Nashville, so Taylor Swift was recruited to share the mic with the legendary MC. At the start of the show, Taylor asked LL to hang out at a honky tonk, and LL suggested a club instead.  Taylor then asked him to sing; he agreed as long as she would beatbox.  And so was born a brief acapella version of Swift’s “Mean.”   “T-Swizzle” noted that their collaboration was unlikely to ever get any GRAMMY nominations.

A brief video of Johnny Cash at the 1973 GRAMMYS pointed out that the show has always had a good amount of humor; in the clip, Cash sang a rockabilly parody about the GRAMMY Awards’ origins.  After that, Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry paid tribute to The Man In Black with a performance of “Jackson.”

Keeping it country, Hunter Hayes sang (instead of simply announcing) songs from the nominated albums for Best Pop Vocal Album, giving his take on recent hits by Kelly Clarkson, Florence & The Machine, fun., Maroon 5 and P!nk.  The cameras panned to the members of fun., who looked happy with their first nod of the night.

Then Maroon 5 played a medley of their recent singles, including “Moves Like Jagger” from their last album, Hands All Over. When they finished, nine-time GRAMMY award winner Sheryl Crow and country singer Chris Young got on the mic, and he sang a bit of her 1994 Record Of The Year winner “All I Wanna Do.” She then requested last year’s winner, Adele’s “Rollin’ In The Deep” before deciding against it: “I won’t throw you under the bus.” They then announced the nominees for Record Of The Year: The Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” fun. featuring Janelle Monae’s “We Are Young,” Goyte featuring Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ ‘Bout You” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Luke Bryan performed “I Don’t Want The Night To End” as the night got closer to doing just that, and next up were the Best New Artist nominees: fun., Alabama Shakes, Hunter Hayes, Lumineers and Frank Ocean.

After a Ne-Yo performance, the Best Country Solo Performance nominees were announced: Dierks Bentley’s “Home,” Eric Church’s “Springsteen,” Ronnie Dunn’s “Cost Of Living,” Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” Blake Shelton’s “Over” and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away.”

Taylor Swift and LL Cool J then signed off (noting the passing earlier in the day of jazz giant Dave Brubeck) and Maroon 5 took the stage again for “Payphone.”

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards air on CBS on February 10, 2013 at 8 pm ET.

Brian Ives, CBS Local

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