Kanye West, Jay-Z take early lead at Grammy Awards
From left, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Country Winston and Ted Dwane, of musical group Mumford & Sons, arrive at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everybody's thinkin' about Frank Ocean — but his main competition Kanye West and Jay-Z took home two early Grammy Awards.
They won best rap song and best rap performance in the pre-telecast awards Sunday for the song "N----s in Paris" from their "Watch the Throne" collaboration, joining Skrillex, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea and Matt Redman atop the pre-telecast awards show toteboard.
Other early winners included Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons.
Ocean is a cause celebre and the man with the momentum as Sunday's Grammy Awards. One of six top nominees with six nominations apiece, Ocean — the 25-year-old R&B singer turned cultural talking point — will have the music world's attention.
Skrillex arrives at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
It remains to be seen if it will be the "Thinkin Bout You" singer's night, but there's no question he's dominated the discussion so far. Already a budding star with a gift for building buzz as well as crafting songs, Ocean was swept up by something more profound when he told fans his first love was a man last fall as he prepared to release his major-label debut, "channel ORANGE."
It was a bold move and one that could have submarined his career before it really even got started. Instead, everyone from Beyonce to the often-homophobic R&B and rap communities showed public support. It was a remarkable moment.