It might be only a featured role, but Janelle Monae is poised to participate in a big Grammy night in February thanks to her contribution to fun.’s “We Are Young.”
The Atlanta soul singer factors into five of the band’s six nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards.
Also up for six nods are Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean and Kanye West (with some help from Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz on a couple of them).
A handful of the 81 nominations were announced last night during “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” (complete with extra-excited double exclamation points) held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the first time outside of Los Angeles.
Taylor Swift was brought on to co-host with perennial presence LL Cool J, which turned out to be an unnecessary addition aside from her obvious star power and Nashville ties. Now instead of the show moving along smoothly, they had to make chit-chat and engage in awkward skits, such as having Swift provide some amateur beat-boxing skills while LL rapped one of her songs.
An oddly timed tribute to Johnny Cash started the show with The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley rolling out “Jackson,” which led into fledgling country star (and Best New Artist nominee) Hunter Hayes singing – wildly off-key throughout – the nominees for Pop Vocal Album (to confuse matters, he sang songs from each nominated album, making you wonder if the category was for the album or the song): The players in that category are Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger”; Florence + the Machine “Ceremonials”; fun., “Some Nights”; Maroon 5, “Overexposed”; and Pink, “The Truth About Love.”
This year’s crop for Album of the Year is an interesting, mostly non-commercial assortment: The Black Keys, “El Camino”; fun., “Some Nights”; Mumford and Sons, “Babel”; Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange”; and Jack White, “Blunderbuss.”
Though there weren’t many Georgians in the marquee notices, plenty of them notched appearances in other categories.
“Once again, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the Georgia talent represented,” said Michele Caplinger, senior executive director for the Grammys’ Atlanta chapter. “Every year is so exciting and I don’t think people are aware of how deep and wide our Georgia talent is and it’s from all genres – that’s what’s so exciting for me.”
Among the Georgia nominees are:
Sam Joseph Dew (songwriter) for “Lotus Flower Bomb” for Best Rap Song.
The Grammys will air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Eligible recordings were released between October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
Here is a complete list of nominees.