Not so justified: Justin Timberlake's Grammy snub
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2013 file photo, Justin Timberlake performs on stage at the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Timberlake was among the top nominees for the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Friday night, Dec. 6, 2013. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
Justin Timberlake may have earned seven Grammy nominations, but he still has reason to cry himself a river: The pop star was shut out of the top Grammy categories — album, song and record of the year — though his comeback effort, "The 20/20 Experience," is 2013's best-selling release.
It might seem a bit much to call the second most nominated act at the Grammys snubbed, but it's only fitting after Timberlake's ultra-successful homecoming: The singer had back-to-back, multiplatinum hits with "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors," launched two successful tours and strategically marketed his return, including a full week on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," deals with iTunes and Target, as well as two film releases.
His "20/20" album, which sold nearly a million discs in its debut week in March, has pushed 2.3 million units this year; the album's sequel, which was met with mixed reviews, has moved more than 630,000 units since its Sept. 30 release.
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2012 file photo, Jay-Z performs at the grassroots rally in support of President Barack Obama at the Nationwide Arena, in Columbus, Ohio. Jay-Z was among the top nominees for the 56th annual Grammy Awards announced Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP, File)
Timberlake's nominations include best pop vocal album, pop solo performance for "Mirrors" and R&B song for "Pusher Love Girl." He also shares four nominations with Jay Z — who is the Grammy leader with nine nominations — for their hits "Suit & Tie" and "Holy Grail."
While the rap icon is the frontrunner, he's nominated twice in two categories, giving him a chance to bring home seven trophies, much like some rap newcomers who are having their Grammy breakthroughs: Kendrick Lamar, the critical darling who impressed on his own songs and by stealing thunder from others on their tracks, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the rap duo who blazed the pop charts with a same sex anthem and a tune about used clothes.
Both hip-hop acts have seven nominations, including the coveted album of the year and best new artist. "Same Love," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' original first single which saw a re-release after the success of "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us," is nominated for song of the year.