5 Nominations The Grammys Got Right (And 5 They Got Wrong)

Senior Pop Culture Editor
12.07.13 58 Comments

Last night, the 2014 Grammys were announced. Here’s what you should be mad and/or happy about.


1. If the Grammys were going to nominate “Blurred Lines” for Record of the Year, and they did, along with Lorde (“Royals”), Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”), and Bruno Mars (“Locked Out of Heaven”), they also had to nominate the OTHER song of the summer with Pharrell, “Get Lucky.” And they did. That counts as a win.


1. Album of the Year went to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s The Heist, Taylor Swift’s Red, and Sara Bareilles’s The Blessed Unrest. We support any and all Kendrick love and hope he wins, but good kid was the best album of 2012. Arguably the best album of 2013 isn’t represented: Yeezus. Kanye did, however, receive a Best Rap Album nomination. I’m sure he’s stoked. (Noteworthy: Jay Z and JT were nominated 16 times, but none in the Big Three.)


2. The Grammys are With It. (Is that what the kids are saying these days, “With It”?) Daft Punk obviously showed up in Best Dance/Electronica Album, but so did Disclosure’s smart and radiant Settle. It’s a minor surprise.


2. More than half of 2013’s Best Rock Album could have been 1971’s Best Rock Album: David Bowie. Led Zeppelin. Black Sabbath. Of those three, Bowie had the best release, and his The Next Day is much better than one of the other nominees, King of Leon’s slack-jawed Mechanical Bull, and slightly better than another, Queens of the Stone Age’s …Like Clockwork. Then again, even if The Next Day sucked, the Grammys would still have showered Bowie with love. Because he’s Bowie. Well, that, and Bob Dylan didn’t release anything this year.


3. I’m not a big Macklemore & Lewis (seven) or Lorde (four) fan, but it’s nice to see the Grammys lean heavily on some new names (even if Jay Z did lead the pack with nine nominations). Both acts came out of nowhere to have three of the biggest songs of the year, and they were justly rewarded for having done so.


3. Drake’s Nothing Was the Same was relegated to the Rap categories only, including Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Song, for both “Started From the Bottom” and “F*ckin’ Problems” with ASAP Rocky. That’s not nothing, but it’s also not Album of the Year, either. Drake done got shot again.


4. Credit where credit’s due: Neko Case, the National, Nine Inch Nails, Tame Impala, and Vampire Weekend is an excellent Best Alternative Music Album lineup. Song Written for Visual Media is pretty solid, too, assuming Regina Spektor’s Orange Is the New Black theme, “You’ve Got Time,” beats out Coldplay’s Hunger Games snore.


4. If Tig Notaro’s Live loses out to Ron White for Best Comedy Album, we riot. If Tig Notaro beats Ron White, as well as Craig Ferguson, Bob Saget, and Kathy Griffin, we…change this to a RIGHT.


5. /clicks command-F, types “justin bieber”

“Phrase Not Found.”

/clicks command-F, types “miley cyrus”

“Phrase Not Found.” Phew.


5. But seriously, nine nominations for Jay Z? Even he doesn’t love Magna Carta. Also, what’s a Sara Bareilles?

And here are the major categories:

Album of the Year
Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
Taylor Swift, Red

Record of the Year
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Lorde, “Royals”
Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines”

Song of the Year
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Lorde, “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Vocal Album
Lana Del Rey, Paradise
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience

Best Pop Solo Performance
Sara Bareilles, “Brave”
Lorde, “Royals”
Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, “Get Lucky”
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko, “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell and T.I., “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, “Suit & Tie”

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes, “Always Alright”
David Bowie, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir”
Queens of the Stone Age, “My God is the Sun”
Jack White, “I’m Shakin'”

Best Metal Performance
Anthrax, “T.N.T.”
Black Sabbath, “God Is Dead?”
Dream Theater, “The Enemy Inside”
Killswitch Engage, “In Due Time”
Volbeat feat. King Diamond, “Room 24”

Best Rock Album
Black Sabbath, 13
David Bowie, The Next Day
Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull
Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day
Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
Neil Young With Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Best Rock Song
Gary Clark Jr., “Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round”
Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear, “Cut Me Some Slack”
The Rolling Stones, “Doom and Gloom”
Black Sabbath, “God Is Dead?”
Muse, “Panic Station”

Best Alternative Music Album
Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
The National, Trouble Will Find Me
Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks
Tame Impala, Lonerism
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Disclosure, Settle
Calvin Harris, 18 Months
Kaskade, Atmosphere
Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun

Best R&B Performance
Tamar Braxton, “Love and War”
Anthony Hamilton, “Best of Me”
Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip, “Nakamarra”
Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar, “How Many Drinks? (Remix)”
Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway, “Something”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Tamar Braxton, Love and War
Fantasia, Side Effects of You
Salaam Remi, One: In the Chamber
Rihanna, Unapologetic
Mack Wilds, New York: A Love Story

Best R&B Album
Faith Evans, R&B Divas
Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire
John Legend, Love in the Future
Chrisette Michele, Better
TGT, Three Kings

Best R&B Song
Anthony Hamilton, “Best of Me”
Tamar Braxton, “Love and War”
PJ Morton feat. Stevie Wonder, “Only One”
Justin Timberlake, “Pusher Love Girl”
Fantasia feat. Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliot, “Without Me”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
J. Cole feat. Miguel, “Power Trip”
Jay Z feat. Beyoncé, “Part II (On the Run)”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J. Blige, “Now or Never”
Wiz Khalifa feat. the Weeknd, “Remember You”

Best Rap Performance
Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem, “Berzerk”
Jay Z, “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Album
Drake, Nothing Was the Same
Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
Kanye West, Yeezus

Best Rap Song
A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar, “Fuckin’ Problems”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail”
Kanye West, “New Slaves”
Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”

Best Latin Pop Album
Frankie J, Faith, Hope, Y Amor
Ricardo Montaner, Viajero Frecuente
Draco Rosa, Vida
Aleks Syntek, Syntek
Tommy Torres, 12 Historias

Best Dance Recording
Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E* and MNEK, “Need U (100%)”
Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch, “Sweet Nothing”
Kaskade, “Atmosphere”
Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie, “This Is What It Feels Like”
Zedd feat. Foxes, “Clarity”

Best Country Solo Performance
Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
Hunter Hayes, “I Want Crazy”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
Blake Shelton, “Mine Would Be You”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Civil Wars, “From This Valley”
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush”
Little Big Town, “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”

Best Country Album
Jason Aldean, Night Train
Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
Taylor Swift, Red

Best Americana Album
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Love Has Come for You
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim
Mavis Staples, One True Vine
Allen Toussaint, Songbook

Producer of the Year
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams

Best Music Video
Capital Cities, “Safe and Sound”
Jay Z, “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, “Suit & Tie”
Jack White, “I’m Shakin'”

(via Getty Image, via Grammys)

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