Individuality takes center stage at Grammys
The band Fun, from left, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess pose for a photo backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Donn Jones/Invision/AP)
Fun. helped break up the sound of dance and electronic music on Top 40 radio with its edgy pop-rock grooves. Frank Ocean made a bold statement in R&B — with an announcement about his sexuality and with his critically revered, multi-genre album, "channel ORANGE." And Mumford & Sons continued to bring its folk-rock swag and style to the Billboard charts with its sophomore album.
They all were rewarded Wednesday when The Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Those acts, who scored the most nominations with six each, were joined by typical Grammy contenders like Jay-Z and Kanye West, who also got six nominations. The Black Keys' singer and guitarist, Dan Auerbach, is also up for six awards, thanks to his nomination for producer of the year. His band earned five nods, along with R&B singer Miguel and jazz pianist Chick Corea.
"It feels like alternative music is back," said fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff. His band's gold-selling "Some Nights" is up for album of the year, competing with Black Keys' "El Camino," Mumford & Sons' "Babel," Jack White's "Blunderbuss" and "channel ORANGE," the major label debut from Ocean.
FILE - In a Dec. 10, 2011 file photo, Dan Auerbach, lead singer of The Black Keys, performs at Spike TV's Video Game Awards in Culver City, Calif. Dan Auerbach received one nomination and the band got five nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards, announced Wednesday night, Dec. 5, 2012, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Fun. is nominated in all of the major categories, including best new artist, and record and song of the year for its breakthrough anthem "We Are Young."
Ocean, whose mother attended the nominations special, scored nods in three of the top four categories. His song "Thinkin Bout You" — which he originally wrote for another singer — will compete for record of the year with Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" and four No. 1 hits: Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," ''Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye and Kimbra, Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "We Are Young" by fun.
Song of the year, too, features some No. 1 hits, including fun. and Clarkson's jams, as well as Carly Rae Jepsen's viral smash "Call Me Maybe." But then there's Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," a slow groove about a homeless prostitute, and Miguel's "Adorn," the R&B singer-songwriter's crossover hit.
"It's like one of those songs that wrote itself and I was the vessel," the 26-year-old said in an phone interview from New York City late Wednesday, where he performed with Trey Songz and Elle Varner.