NASHVILLE, TN—Let the awards season begin.  “The Grammy Nominations Live Concert” took place on Wednesday, December 5 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashvillewhere nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced.  Hosting the ceremony was “NCIS” star and musician LL Cool J alongside country darling Taylor Swift.  It was a funny moment to see Taylor Swift beat box while LL Cool J attempted to sing his favorite country song.  It was absolutely terrible, but endearing to watch.

Leading the pack of all nominees was Fun.,FrankOcean, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Mumford and Sons with a total of six nominations apiece. The Black Keys and Miguel both earned five nominations. While pop starlet Kelly Clarkson picked up four nominations.

For Album of the Year the contenders are The Black Keys “El Camino,” Fun. “Some Nights,” Mumford and Sons “Babel,” Frank Ocean “Channel Orange” and Jack White “Blunderbuss.”

For Record of the Year fierce competition will occur between The Black Keys “Lonely Boy,” Kelly Clarkson “Stronger,” Fun. feat. Janelle Monae “We Are Young,” Goyte “Somebody I Used To Know,”FrankOcean“Thinkin Bout You” and Taylor Swift “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”  Normally this is a category reserved for five contenders, but with so many sensational hits this year, it’ll be hard to pick a front-runner.

Song of the Year nominees includes Ed Sheeran “The A Team,” Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe,” Miguel “Adorn,” Fun. feat. Janelle Monae “We Are Young” and Kelly Clarkson “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”  This is indeed another tough category.  Just by looking at the nominees I would say it’s a tight three-way race between Jepsen’s summer anthem, Clarkson’s undeniable uplifting hit and Fun’s infectious tune.

Best New Artist sees one of the most competitive races in a long time between Alabama Shakes, Fun., Hunter Hayes, The Lumineers and Frank Ocean. Did not expect to hear Alabama Shakes or Hunter Hayes in that category, as I was certain that the boy band One Direction or even The Wanted might appear in the mix, but expect Ocean to be a front-runner in this race.

Frank Ocean. Image courtesy of the NY Times.

Best Pop Vocal Album nominees include Kelly Clarkson “Stronger,”Florenceand The Machine “Ceremonials,” Fun. “Some Nights,” Maroon 5 “Overexposed” and P!nk “The Truth About Love.”

For Best Rock Album the contenders are The Black Keys “El Camino,” Coldplay “Mylo Xyloto,” Bruce Springsteen “Wrecking Ball,” Jack White “Blunderbuss” and Muse “The 2nd Law.”  For Best Rap Album nominees are Drake “Take Care,” Nas “Life Is Good,” 2 Chainz “Based on a T.R.U. Story,” Rick Ross “God Forgives, I Don’t,” The Roots “Undun” and Lupe Fiasco “Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1.”

Nominees for Best Country Solo Peformance are “Home” Dierks Bentley, “Springsteen” Eric Church, “Cost of Livin’” Bonnie Dunn, “Wanted” Hunter Hayes, “Over” Blake Shelton and “Blown Away” Carrie Underwood.

Performers at the live concert included the Band Perry and Dierks Bentley with a tribute to Johnny Cash, Ne-Yo, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5, Hunter Hayes, Fun. and the Who.  The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at theStaplesCenter inLos Angeles.  The awards will be televised live on CBS at 8 p.m.  So who do you think will see Grammy love next year?

By LaDale Anderson