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Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga lead Grammy nominations [UPDATED]

The top categories were focused on a few artists and albums. The biggest surprise: Dave Matthews Band's album of the year nod.


Beyoncé's "Halo" just got a lot brighter: R&B's reigning diva collected a field-leading 10 Grammy Award nominations including album of the year for her "I Am . . . Sasha Fierce" double CD and record for the single "Halo" on Wednesday.

The live nominations show, which set the stage for the Jan. 31 awards night, generously recognized her and two other young women who had stellar years in the pop world: country-pop singer and songwriter Taylor Swift and New York pop provocateur Lady Gaga. The three combined for 23 nominations. All three showed up in the top Grammy categories of album, record and song.

Swift, whose "Fearless" is the top-selling album of 2009 to date, was recognized for her single "You Belong With Me" as record of the year, which awards vocal performance and production. Also nominated in that category are "Halo," Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" and Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody."

In yet another year of sales decline for the record industry, voters relied more than ever on artists who still managed to score gold and platinum record sales. Top categories were largely focused on a few artists and albums, with the Black Eyed Peas, R&B singer Maxwell and rapper Kanye West collecting six each.

"Poker Face," "You Belong With Me," Beyoncé's hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" and Maxwell's single "Pretty Wings" got nominations for each of those songs' writers.

In the album of the year competition, "Fearless" and "I Am . . . Sasha Fierce" are vying with the Peas' "The E.N.D.," Lady Gaga's "The Fame" and, in perhaps the biggest surprise at the top, Dave Matthews Band's "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King." U2, traditionally a favorite in the album field, had to settle for a rock album nomination for the Irish quartet's latest, "No Line on the Horizon."

And after several years in which British acts have figured prominently in top categories, Recording Academy voters went virtually all-American with this year's key nominees.

Acts vying for the title of best new artist Southern rock group Zac Brown Band, Georgia R&B singer Keri Hilson, New York duo MGMT, L.A. indie rock group Silversun Pickups and British alt-pop duo the Ting Tings.

Other multiple nominees include Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell and West with six apiece, Lady Gaga, rapper Jay-Z, and French DJ and electronic music producer David Guetta with five each.

West, however, appeared in none of the most prestigious categories, collecting most of his nods for rap collaborations.

Still, he fared better than Eminem, whose "Relapse" brought him back into the pop world with an uneven but occasionally brilliant look at the wild swings of his life in the five years since his previous studio collection. He took three nominations, for rap solo, duo or group collaboration and rap album.

The night's multiple nominations were especially sweet for Maxwell, whose last album came out in 2001.

"I'm just beyond," he said backstage. "I've been gone for eight years. I've been throwing out my trash and buying my milk. . . . To come back and make a record based on my own living experience . . . and to have this kind of reception, I feel like I've already won."

He also gave a shout-out to the album format, which many have predicted is on its way out in the iTunes-iPod age of downloaded singles.

"I wanted to bring back the idea that there was this thing that was a record, a body of work as opposed to three minutes of you shaking your butt on the dance floor somewhere," Maxwell said.

Guetta's album "One Love" has sold less than 50,000 copies, but benefited from his teaming with various Western pop acts, among them Black Eyed Peas producer-songwriter will.i.am. "The chemistry," said the Frenchman in halting English, "it's even more crazy than me. We just make music for fun. This guy selling millions of albums, spends time with a guy like me . . . just for fun?

"We're Nashville boys . . . so we'll pull for our locals: Taylor Swift [and] Sugarland," Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill said backstage. The group's "Use Somebody" not only gave nominee presenter George Lopez an excuse to drop in a Tiger Woods joke, but more significantly generated four nominations for the hard-hitting Southern alt-rock band. "You always hear the cliché, 'it's an honor to be nominated,' " Followill said. "It really is a good feeling. . . . To get four, that's pretty crazy."

Three of Swift's nominations came in country categories, including the female vocal category alongside more seasoned and technically accomplished singers Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. That's likely to set her up for more barbs like those she was pelted with following her win in that field at the recent Country Music Assn. Awards.

But Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles had nothing but praise for Swift on Wednesday. "Taylor has done a lot for the country genre. She brought a lot of young people to country music. When I was 20 years old, I was playing clubs, learning how to drink Jim Beam and Coke."

The Peas' will.i.am acknowledged the sea change the business is undergoing and how his group has adapted.

"To have a No. 1 song for six months is a big accomplishment," he said of "I Gotta Feeling." "We thank all our fans, our team, our management for going out there and trying new things. You can't just pretend it's 1998, come out with a song and do a video. You have to really collaborate with your fans. . . . It's a new day."

Nominations were announced from Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. Awards will be announced Jan. 31 at Staples Center in a ceremony to be telecast on CBS. Awards are determined by more than 12,000 voting members of the Recording Academy from eligible recordings released between Oct. 1, 2008 and Aug. 31, 2009.

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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: A big Grammy nomination: This show has got to go

Nominees list for the 52nd Grammy Awards

PHOTOS: 2010 Grammy nominations concert

Grammy Awards 2010: Live coverage of the nominations

Grammy countdown: A moment of Grammy levity, courtesy of 'The Simpsons'

Grammy countdown: Is there an M.I.A.-like surprise for record of the year?

Grammy countdown: The best new artist front-runners (Part 2)

Grammy countdown: The best new artist front-runners (Part 1)

Guess who's getting Grammy nominations?

Grammys 2010: An early look at album of the year contenders (Part 1)

Grammys 2010: An early look at album of the year (Part 2)

Photo: Beyonce. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

UPDATED 9:27 P.M.: Additional information on the 2010 Grammy nominations, as well as quotes from the Grammy press room at Club Nokia, were added to this post.

Comments () | Archives (19)

What an idiotic awards show.

really hoping for my girl taylor. nothing against be really other than the fact that she has audio help during her "live" performances. taylor does not and i will with the claims that she doesnt have that strong of a voice, but she always pretty much sings live! very few do that anymore. and sometimes she sounds flat and sometimes she sounds Great. beyonce has a distinct voice but it needs a lot of digital help to make it sound the way we hear it when she performs. this is not anything new or controversial. its well known. like i said i like both but i like taylor more for those and a couple other reasons. good luck 2 both

Some weird choices. The same handful of artists nominated in many of the categories. I'm sorry, but Beyonce is not "traditional R&B", even if she's trying to sing a classic!! Congratulations to Gaga. U2 and Whitney Houston were snubbed.

It's awful that the Grammys chose not to recognize Whitney Houston with any kind of nomination. What a slap in the face.

reat! love it so much


Record Of The Year:
"Halo" (Beyoncé)

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
"Cadillac Records"

Album Of The Year:
"I Am... Sasha Fierce"

Song Of The Year:
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),"

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
"At Last"

Best R&B Song
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"

Best Contemporary R&B Album
"I Am... Sasha Fierce"

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
"Once In A Lifetime"

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Thanks Randy. So now I have to find an article telling me what barbs were pelted at Taylor Swift after another award show? Maybe you could fill in your own blanks for the readers, pal.


I wish my hair was like Beyonce's!!!
Im gonna go home and brush my hair! hahhahahah

"Beyoncé's "Halo" just got a lot brighter:-
Where did you learn how to write?
That is just embarrassing.

23 nominations between 3 people is completely ridiculous.
And is there really a need for 109 categories?
Do the Grammys have any credibility left?

Beyonce gets ten nominations, but they can't spare even one for Whitney Houston?

Someone needs to notify the local authorities to issue a restraining order for Kanye West for the Grammys. Minimum 50 feet from the stage.

Well this just demonstrates the pathetic choices foisted on us by the inbred members of the so called "Grammy's". Musical ability has been replaced by profits. As this is America the lowest common denominater is always used.

Who in @#$% was on the Blue Ribbon panel who voted for the Album of the Year nominees????...Did the members' teens and tweens vote??? With the exception of the Dave Matthews Band, this has got to be the worst and weakest selections for Album of the Year since 1990 when MC Hammer, Mariah Carey, Wilson Phillips and Phil Collins and Quincy Jones were up for the top prize. NARAS went back to its old ways again...voting for commercial appeal over artistic integrity--snubbing far better works from Kanye, Bruce, Bob Dylan, U2, Yeahs, Yeahs, Yeahs, Green Day, MGMT, Kings of Leon, Maxwell...and list goes on. The very thought of having Swift, BEPS, Lady GaGa and well...Beyounce up for the top prize is an embarrassment for the music industry...no wonder its in a slump. For real commercial appeal why add High School Musical and Miley Cyrus (eeewwww!!). Obviously NARAS is desperate for TV ratings, so why not go for the mainstream dreck over edgier, talented, true artists who produced great music. If the recording industry is howling over these nominations, it's not about what good selections they made....it's more about how awful these nominations really are.

Dave Matthews Band a surprise to whom? It is a fantastic album that plays well recorded and live by a phenomenal band that's been at it for 18 years. This nom is more than deserved.

Their chances are still slim considering this will be a popularity contest, not a measure of quality work.

I think the cutoff was Sept for albums to be nominated. Whitney's didn't come out until after that.

Duh, I knew it would be Beyonce, with Obama as president and a black presenter, no surprise

What about Gay murder encourager, Buju Banton? Why no mention in any of the posts?


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