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Georgia artists factor big in Grammy nominations

Janelle Monae is part of fun.'s smash, "Some Nights." Photo: Getty Images

Janelle Monae is part of fun.'s smash, "We Are Young." Photo: Getty Images

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:

  • Ne-Yo (who bought a second home here this summer and performed on last night’s show) for Best Dance Recording (“Let’s Go”) with Calvin Harris.
  • Usher’s “Climax” for Best R&B Song.
  • SWV, “If Only You Knew” for Traditional R&B Song.
  • 2 Chainz, “Mercy” with Kanye West, for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song; and 2 Chainz, “Based on a T.R.U. Story” for Best Rap Album.
  • Young Jeezy and Andre 3000, “I Do” for Best Rap Performance.
  • Ludacris with John Legend for “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon,” for Best Country Duo/Group.
  • Alan Jackson (performer) for “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” for Best Country Song.
  • Zac Brown Band, “Uncaged,” for Best Country Album.
  • Casting Crowns for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Performance; for “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” for Best CCM Song; and for “Come to the Well” for Best CCM Album.
  • Lecrae, “Gravity,” for Best Gospel Album.
  • Chris Tomlin for “White Flag”for Best CCM Song.
  • Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) for producing the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” for Record of the Year, songwriter for Best Rock song (”Lonely Boy”) and producer for Album of the Year (”El Camino,” the Black Keys).
  • The Dream (aka Terius Nash)  with Jay-Z, Kanye West and Frank Ocean for “No Church In The Wild” for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
  • Micah Massey, songwriter for “Your Presence is Heaven” for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. 
  • Steven Lance Ledbetter (producer) and Michael Graves (mastering engineer) for “Opika Pende: Africa At 78 RPM” for Best Historical Album.
  • 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.

Check out these photos of the nominees.

Here is a complete list of nominees.

3 comments Add your comment

Dylan Chumleigh

December 6th, 2012
12:51 am

I am not sure about ‘Janelle Monae’ that she will win this award or not, but i am pretty sure about ‘Jay-z’ and he will be definitely a winner of 55th annual Grammy Awards.

FM Fats

December 6th, 2012
8:41 am

Another local nominee is Lance and April Ledbetter’s Dust to Digital label for “Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM” as Best Historical album.What the Ledbetters have been doing is crucial. More power to them.

Melissa Ruggieri

December 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

Thanks, FM Fats – they’ve been added, as have a couple of other production folks.