×

53rd Annual Grammy nominees

Eminem and Jay-Z weigh in big

Rappers Eminem and Jay-Z weigh in big in the 2011 Grammy Awards competition, but the dark horse contender is a tune too filthy for airplay.

Nods for the 53rd annual Grammys, to be presented Feb. 11 at Staples Center in L.A., were announced Wednesday following a one-hour CBS special during which nominees in the top slots were unveiled.

Eminem leads nominees with 10 nods. Singer-songwriter-producer Bruno Mars had seven, while Jay-Z, country trio Lady Antebellum and outre vocalist Lady Gaga each copped six.

Tagged in the album of the year category were Eminem’s “Recovery,” Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” Gaga’s “The Fame Monster,” Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

Up for record of the year (an award given to the artist, producers, engineers and mixers) are the B.o.B/Mars collaboration “Nothin’ on You,” the Eminem/Rihanna duet “Love the Way You Lie,” Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You,” Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”

Competing for song of the year (a writer’s award) are Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs’ “Beg Steal or Borrow” (penned by LaMontagne), “Fuck You” (Cee Lo Green, Philip Lawrence and Bruno Mars), Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” (Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin), “Love the Way You Lie” (Alexander Grant, Holly Hafferman and Marshall Mathers) and “Need You Now” (Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott).

Going one-on-one for new artist are teen pop star Justin Bieber, Canadian rapper Drake, femme-fronted U.K. unit Florence and the Machine, British folk-pop act Mumford and Sons and genre-hopping vocalist-bassist Esperanza Spalding.

Though the Recording Academy didn’t see fit to nominate two rap sets for album of the year, thereby bypassing Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 3,” Eminem and Jay-Z — who were co-billed on the recent four-date “Home and Home” mini-tour in Detroit and Gotham — will slug it out for record of the year.

Eminem is still looking to break out of the rap categories in which he’s won almost all of his 11 Grammys; he has been stymied in the album of the year and record of the year slots before (Daily Variety, Nov. 17). He claims the bestselling album of 2010: “Recovery” topped the 3 million unit mark last week. The maturely-penned set spawned “Love the Way You Lie,” which was cemented at No. 1 on the singles chart for seven consecutive weeks.

Jay-Z has also scored all seven of his Grammys in the rap realm. The musician and label exec topped sales of 1.8 million with “The Blueprint 3,” which contains the mash note to New York “Empire State of Mind.” Chances for an “Empire State” win are enhanced by the presence of Keys, a Grammy favorite with a dozen trophies to her credit.

As anticipated, Eminem and Jay-Z will face off in all three of the rap categories.

Biggest surprise may be Green’s nods for record and song of the year, for a tune no radio station can play in its uncensored form. “Fuck You” set fire to the Internet as a low-tech video release this fall; it’s since become so well-known that a bowdlerized version, “Forget You,” was issued for radio airing, and Gwyneth Paltrow essayed the censored number on a recent episode of “Glee.”

Until Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” arrived with a million-plus sales week in late October, Lady Antebellum was the year’s big noise out of Nashville. Trio of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley has sold more than 2.8 million copies of its album “Need You Now” since its January release. Titular single scored at both the CMA and ACM Awards.

To date, the threesome has won just one Grammy: “I Run to You” was honored as best country performance by a duo or group last year.

Indie rock is seldom a commodity in the major Grammy categories. But Arcade Fire’s third album “The Suburbs,” issued by the small North Carolina label Merge Records, undoubtedly attracted Recording Academy members’ attention when the big Montreal band’s set entered the American album chart at No. 1 in August, dethroning Eminem’s “Recovery.” Collection has sold 390,000 to date.

Strangely, though songbird Perry’s “California Gurls,” omnipresent on the airwaves this summer, failed to be nominated for record or song of the year, her fast-fading album “Teenage Dream,” almost universally viewed as a commercial disappointment with 676,000 copies sold, made album of the year.

Six nods for Gaga, including one for album of the year, can be considered a Grammy make-good, after a fashion. The singer, a potent commercial force and media ubiquity for much of the last two years, lost out in the major categories this January, and was aced out of new artist consideration owing to a technicality.

Gaga’s eight-song “The Fame Monster,” an addendum to her breakthrough “The Fame,” has sold more than 1.3 million to date, and contains the smash “Bad Romance.”

Rock — a genre currently in commercial eclipse — makes a surprisingly strong showing in the best new artist category, where titian-haired Florence Welch’s Brit Award-winning unit and Marcus Mumford’s slow-rolling, venue-filling folk quartet will compete against pop, rap and jazz-skewed talents.

Biggest Grammy diss of the year may have gone to Susan Boyle, who was ignored in the top categories. The 49-year-old Scottish vocalist, whose performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” became an international viral sensation late last year, has enjoyed success that’s hard to argue with. Her debut album, “I Dreamed a Dream,” has moved almost 3.9 million copies.

On the film and TV front, compilation soundtrack nominations went to “Crazy Heart,” “Glee: The Music, Volume 1,” “Treme,” “True Blood — Volume 2” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”

In the score soundtrack album category (a composer’s award), a slot dominated this year by the usual suspects, Hans Zimmer received two nominations, for “Inception” and “Sherlock Holmes.” Also in the running are “Alice in Wonderland” (Danny Elfman), “Avatar” (James Horner) and “Toy Story 3” (Randy Newman).

Up for song written for a motion picture, television or other media are “Down in New Orleans” (from “The Princess and the Frog,” written by Newman), “I See You” (from “Avatar,” by Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell), “Kiss Like You Kiss” (from “True Blood,” by Lucinda Williams), “This City” (from “Treme,” by Steve Earle) and the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning “The Weary Kind” (from “Crazy Heart,” by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett).

Nominated for musical show album(presented to album producers and show composers and lyricists) were “American Idiot,” “A Little Night Music,” “Promises, Promises,” “Sondheim On Sondheim” and “Fela!”

Material released between Sept. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010 (a 13-month period) is eligible for the 2011 Grammys.

2011 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS:

SONG OF THE YEAR
Ray LaMontagne – “Beg Steal or Borrow”
Cee Lo Green – “F*** You”
Miranda Lambert – “The House That Built Me”
Eminem Feat. Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie”
Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now.”

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
Eminem – “Recovery”
Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
Lady Gaga – “The Fame Monster”
Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream.”

RECORD OF THE YEAR
B.o.B. Feat. Bruno Mars – “Nothin’ On You”
Eminem Feat. Rihanna – “Love the Way You Lie”
Cee Lo Green – “F*** You”
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind”
Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Dierks Bentley – “Up on the Ridge”
Zac Brown Band – “You Get What You Give”
Jamey Johnson – “The Guitar Song”
Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”
Miranda Lambert – “Revolution”

BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Drake – “Over”
Eminem – “Not Afraid”
Ludacris – “How Low”
T.I. – “I’m Back”
Kanye West – “Power.”

BEST ROCK ALBUM
Jeff Beck – “Emotion & Commotion”
Muse – “The Resistance”
Pearl Jam – “Backspacer”
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “Mojo”
Neil Young – “Le Noise.”

BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
Glee Cast “Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)”
Maroon 5 – “Misery”
Paramore – “The Only Exception”
Sade – “Babyfather”
Train – “Hey, Soul Sister (Live)”

BEST NEW ARTIST
Justin Bieber
Drake
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Sara Bareilles – “King of Anything”
Beyonce – “Halo (Live)”
Norah Jones – “Chasing Pirates
Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”
Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”

BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Michael Buble – “Haven’t Met You Yet”
Michael Jackson – “This Is It”
Adam Lambert – “Whataya Want From Me”
Bruno Mars – “Just the Way You Are”
John Mayer – “Half of My Heart”

For the complete list in PDF form, click here.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • UTA lobby in Nashville

    UTA's Nashville Office Sets 2020 for Move to Historic Downtown Library Building

    UTA has announced a forthcoming move to much bigger digs in Nashville, with plans to leave its current home at the Cummins Station complex in the first quarter of 2020 to make good on a signed lease on a major library building in the heart of downtown that’s being renovated for office use. Once construction [...]

  • Toni Cornell

    Chris Cornell's Daughter Toni Releases First Single, 'Far Away Places'

    Toni Cornell, the daughter of late Grammy-winning rockstar Chris Cornell, is carrying on her father’s musical legacy with her first single, titled “Far Away Places.” The song, which the 15-year-old wrote at 12 years old, was produced by her father in his home studio in Miami, known to be one of the last songs he [...]

  • Depeche Mode - Dave GahanLes Vieilles

    Depeche Mode Documentary Gets One-Night Theatrical Release

    Depeche Mode has reunited with the group’s long-time filmographer, Anton Corbjn, for a combination documentary/concert film, “Spirits in the Forest,” which Trafalgar Releasing has announced it will put on approximately 2400 screens worldwide for one night Nov. 21. The film documents performance footage from the Berlin dates of Depeche Mode’s 115-gig Global Spirit Tour of [...]

  • Patti SmithVariety's 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Patti Smith Talks Biopics, Beats and Losing Her Cool in Front of Bob Dylan

    On Thursday afternoon Variety partnered with IFP for the first “10 Storytellers to Watch” event, and among the novelists, lyricists, podcasters, playwrights, graphic novelists and brand storytellers who were honored was the pioneering singer, poet and author Patti Smith. The legendary artist received the Impact in Storytelling honor not only for her formidable body of [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Chuck Dauphin receives the CMA Media

    Country Music Journalist Chuck Dauphin Dies at 45

    Chuck Dauphin, the undisputed sweetheart of country music journalism, died Wednesday night at 45. Dauphin was the rare journalist who could claim the title “CMA Award winner.” The Country Music Association bestowed him with its CMA Media Achievement Award backstage during a lull in the telecast in 2014. A writer and radio personality who was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content