Eminem tops Grammys list; Seattle acts also score nominations
Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Them Crooked Vultures were among Seattle-connected acts nominated for Grammys Wednesday night — all three in the hard rock category. Also nominated: Pearl Jam ("Backspacer"); Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds ("Kundalini Bonfire"); Kenny G ("Heart and Soul"); Band of Horses ("Infinite Arms").
AP Music Writer
Eminem's "Recovery" was made complete on Wednesday night as the Recording Academy nominated the resurgent rapper for 10 awards, including the biggest prizes: album, song, and record of the year.
It was a night that also saw the academy honor one of the year's most profane but infectious hits: Cee Lo's "(Expletive) You" was nominated for both record and song of the year.
That song was co-written by Bruno Mars and helped him garner seven nominations, the second-highest tally. Other top nominees included Lady Antebellum, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, who were all nominated for six each. Gaga also was nominated for album of the year — the second straight nomination in the category for her.
Among the nominees with Northwest connections were three acts singled out for best hard-rock performance, including Seattle's Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and Them Crooked Vultures, an L.A. supergroup whose drummer is Dave Grohl, formerly of Nirvana.
More locals in the hunt: Pearl Jam's "Backspacer" was nominated for best rock album; Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds' "Kundalini Bonfire" for best rock instrumental performance category; Kenny G's "Heart and Soul" for best pop instrumental album; and Band of Horses' "Infinite Arms" for best alternative music album.
Seattle's David Miles Huber was nominated for best surround sound album ("Parallax Eden"). And Gage Averill, a former program director at Northwest Folklife, was tapped for best album liner notes ("Alan Lomax in Haiti").
The production team Tha Bizness, originally from the Northwest, worked on Chris Brown's track "Take My Time" on the album "Graffiti," both of which were short-listed for awards. Northwest Sinfonia, a prolific recording orchestra for videogames and soundtracks, was cited for its contribution to "Porter, Quincy: Complete Viola Works."
The nominations were announced as part of an hourlong CBS special from Club Nokia in Los Angeles that featured performances by nominees such as Mars, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Train and Miranda Lambert.
For Eminem, "Recovery" was a critical and commercial triumph. It became the best-selling album of the year so far, with more than three million copies sold, and spawned top hits like "Love the Way You Lie" featuring Rihanna, which was nominated for song and record of the year.
But it was also a mark of personal redemption for Eminem, and came almost 10 years after he was first nominated for album of the year for "The Marshall Mathers LP." Since then, Eminem has become one of the top-selling artists in the world, but also struggled through prescription drug addiction that led to lags between albums and sub par material. With "Recovery," his status as the best rapper — and pop's top artist — was restored.
Country trio Lady Antebellum couldn't be more opposite than Eminem, but their album "Need You Now" was the second-best selling album of the year, doing almost as well as "Recovery," with almost 3 million albums sold, fueled by the lovelorn title track — a huge crossover hit for the band. Grammy voters rewarded that success, nominating them for album of the year and also record and song of the year for the hit.
Other nominees for record of the year included the rap hit "Nothin' On You" by newcomer B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars, and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' anthem for New York, "Empire State of Mind."
Rounding out the nominations for song of the year were Ray LaMontagne's "Beg Steal Or Borrow" and Lambert's hit "The House that Built Me," written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin.
Perry's "California Gurls" was one of the year's top hits but was shut out of the record and song of the year categories. Yet Perry, who performed the hit on CBS' live nominations broadcast, was far from disappointed: Her album "Teenage Dream" was nominated for album of the year, along with Gaga's "The Fame Monster," "Recovery," "Need You Now" and Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs."
"It's amazing. It's like no other award show because I feel like you're being recognized by your peers," she said. "And there's so many fantastic performers and artists that could be in this category, so when they nominate you, it feels like a win."
Bieber appeared on the show from London and the 16-year-old was rewarded for staying up: he was nominated for best new artist in a category that also included Drake, Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons and jazz artist Esperanza Spaulding.
"It feels amazing. I can't believe I'm in this position. Thank you to the fans," he said. "I don't know what to say."
Entertainment writer Sandy Cohen and Seattle Times staff and freelancers contributed to this report.