Grammys: Kanye West gets 7 nominations, but Adele gets spotlight
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Rapper Kanye West nabbed a leading seven nominations for the 54th annual Grammy Awards announced Wednesday, but the rapper ceded the brightest light of music industry esteem to British singer Adele, whose six nominations include the most prestigious categories: record, album and song of the year.
West’s nods came predominantly in rap categories, though he has a co-writer credit for “All of the Lights,” in the song of the year competition. His “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” CD is nominated for rap album. Adele’s “21” is the biggest-selling album of 2011, with sales of nearly 4.7 million. Her singing voice has been temporarily silenced, however, by vocal cord surgery, which prematurely ended her American tour. It’s not clear whether Adele will be sufficiently recovered to perform when the Grammy Awards are handed out Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.
Her single “Rolling in the Deep” is up for the record of the year honor, which recognizes performance and production, along with Bon Iver’s “Holocene,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
Adele’s “21” will compete with the Foo Fighters’ “Wasting Light,” Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” Mars’ “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” and Rihanna’s “Loud” for album of the year.
Best new artist nominees along with Bon Iver are country trio the Band Perry, rappers J. Cole and Nicki Minaj and Los Angeles-based DJ-dance music performer Skrillex.
British neo-soul and jazz singer Amy Winehouse, who died of an alcohol poisoning in July, collected a posthumous nomination for her duet with Tony Bennett on “Body and Soul,” which is up for pop duo or group performance.
Surprisingly, the two fastest-selling albums of the last 12 months, Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” — the first collections in more than five years to sell more than 1 million copies in their first week of release — collectively generated just one nomination in the top four categories, an album of the year nod for “Born This Way.”
Swift, whose third album has sold almost 3.8 million copies, is vying for country album honors, and her anti-bullying single “Mean” is nominated for country song and solo performance.
Nominations in 78 categories across all musical genres were announced by the Recording Academy, which sponsors the awards. Earlier this year, academy officials announced controversial rule changes that, among other things, eliminated 31 awards categories. The organization was responding to complaints that the awards had become too unwieldy and overlapped in some instances.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011. The 2011 awards will be televised on CBS-TV from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
— Randy Lewis
Left photo: Kanye West in Paris in October. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images. Right photo: Adele in Los Angeles in August. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.