New York indie-rock trio Fun. and L.A.’s breakout R&B/hip-hop star Frank Ocean scored big in Grammy Award nominations, scoring six nods apiece predominantly in the most prestigious Grammy categories.
Absent a single lightning rod artist such as Adele in 2011, the Recording Academy heaped multiple nominations on a broad spectrum of performers. The academy also bestowed six nominations on producer Dan Auerbach, rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, and British alt-country band Mumford & Sons.
Fun. registered a rare Grammy nomination grand slam Wednesday, receiving recognition in all four general Grammy categories: album of the year for the trio’s “Some Nights,” new artist, record and song nods for its hit with singer Janelle Monae, “We Are Young.”
Ocean, from the L.A.-based R&B and hip-hop collective Odd Future, is nominated in three of the top four slots. His “Channel Orange” solo debut is vying for album of the year, and the single “Thinkin’ Bout You” is up for record – highly unusual for an act that is also nominated for new artist.
Conspicuously missing from that field is a middle-of-the-road rock, jazz or country album by a firmly established industry veteran akin to Santana’s “Supernatural” in 1999 or Herbie Hancock’s “The Joni Letters” in 2007, giving this year’s album category a decidedly younger, hipper cast.
Even so, Grammy voters largely passed over eligible pop acts that have electrified the young teen audience in the last year, among them Justin Bieber, One Direction and “Gangnam Style” Korean pop sensation Psy. Rap was relegated mostly to rap category nods outside of Ocean’s breakthrough.