Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift in line for Grammy nods
The Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift and B.B. King are among the artists who have been tapped to perform at the Grammy nomination television special on Dec. 3. This will mark the second year running that the Foo Fighters and Swift have partaken in the annual Grammy press conference, which unveil the nominees in all 100-plus categories.
Other artists in line to appear on the one-hour program include Celine Dion and John Mayer. With the exception of country upstart Swift, who was nominated for best new artist at the Grammy Awards that were handed out in February, all artists set to perform are previous Grammy winners. Historically, artists appearing at the Grammy nomination press conference are a lock for a nomination or two.
As reported last week, this will be the first time in Grammy history that the nominations have been unveiled on a prime time CBS special. "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" is set to air live for viewers on the East Coast at 10 p.m., and will be held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
The Foo Fighters, who were recently quoted in the NME as intending to go on a long break, are Grammy favorites, having taken part in last year's fan-voted "My Grammy Moment" contest. While the act's "Echo, Silence, Patience and Grace" was nominated for an album of the year trophy last year, the Dave Grohl-led mainstream rockers should be a safe bet for some single nominations in the rock field.
Similarly, expect some single nominations for Swift, whose appearance here is more to hype her upcoming album "Fearless," which is due to be in stores Nov. 11. Nevertheless, tracks from her self-titled 2006 album, including "Picture to Burn" and "Should've Said No," will be eligible in the country field.
While Swift never had a real shot at beating Amy Winehouse last year for best new artist, her long-term Grammy potential is solid, as she's more pop than Nashville, and has become one of the music industry's safest, runway-success stories of the past two years.
Dion's "Taking Chances" missed Grammy eligibility last year, having been released in late November. While the album came packed with plenty of pop smarts, including collaborations with R&B star Ne-Yo and Linda Perry (Pink), as well as Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, it received poor-to-mixed reviews. It debuted high, but the album was soon lost in the holiday shuffle. Her appearance at the Dec. 3 special likely foretells some pop vocal nominations, but it would be a surprise to see Dion in the overall record or album fields.
King released two albums in 2008, a live effort and and a well-received blues effort, "One Kind Favor," which should will get nominated in the blues fields. The legend already has 14 awards to his name, spanning the blues, rock, pop, R&B and folk categories.
Mayer, however, is the new Sting, as far as Grammy voters are concerned. Everything the man touches ends up with a nomination, and he already has five wins to his name. Expect his "Bucket List" single "Say" to score a nomination, or perhaps a rock collaboration nod for this guesting on Fall Out Boy's cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," which, if nominated, will kick-start the yearly rumours regarding Jacko's appearance at the telecast.
The Grammy nomination special is open to the public. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 27 via Ticketmaster outlets, and proceeds will beneft the soon-to-open Grammy Museum. On the Ticketmaster website, tickets are listing as ranging from $50 to $500, not including service fees. Pre-sales begin Oct. 23.
The Grammy Awards will air Feb. 8, 2009.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times