Entertainment behind the scenes
And the 2012 Grammy nominees for album of the year are …
You read it here first: the 2012 Grammy nominees for album of the year are: Taylor Swift, Adele, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Paul Simon and the Foo Fighters.
Or maybe not. But with five months to go until the eligibility period for next year’s ceremony ends, some blue-ribbon Grammy laureates are getting an early start on their campaigns for the music industry’s top awards.
The aforementioned acts have a combined 54 Grammys among them, led by Krauss (26) and Simon (16). A Grammy track record is always good. Krauss (pictured at left with Robert Plant at the 2009 ceremony), Swift and Simon have already won the most coveted Grammy.
English pop-soul singer Adele was named best new artist in 2009, promptly disappeared and then resurfaced in February with her second album, “21.” Awash in tales of heartbreak (another Grammy plus), it topped the U.S. charts for four weeks and the U.K. charts for 12. Grammy voters will be dying for a chance to prove how prescient they were. Natalie Cole was the last new artist winner (1976) to win album of the year (1992) at a later ceremony.
The Grammys are supposed to be about creative excellence — our early contenders can all check that box — but sales figures inevitably get the attention of voters. Swift’s “Speak Now” was the third-biggest release of 2010 despite coming out in late October. The other four occupy the top four spots on the current chart. The Foo Fighters’ “Wasting Light” debuted at No. 1 last week, bumping Adele to No. 2. Krauss’ “Paper Airplane” and Simon’s “So Beautiful or So What” debuted at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.
The Foo Fighters — frontman Dave Grohl is pictured at the 2008 ceremony — have won six Grammys, and received an album of the year nomination for their previous release. Rock ‘n’ roll had a low profile at this year’s awards, with the notable exception of Arcade Fire’s shock win for album of the year.
Krauss, who turns 40 in July, is the most honored singer in Grammy history. The only other living artist with more awards is Quincy Jones. The producer/composer started building his collection of 27 statuettes in 1964.
Simon has three album of the year Grammys, but he has not won anything since the title track from his 1987 winner “Graceland” was named record of the year in 1988. A nomination for Simon, after two decades or so in the creative wilderness, would give him the edge in the “comeback” and “living legend” boxes.
To be sure, upcoming releases from the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, the Beastie Boys, Coldplay, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. Dre, Kanye West & Jay-Z could impress Grammy voters. Nominations will be announced in December, giving plenty of time for this column to be forgotten if the predictions are way off the mark.