1. Justin Timberlake Gets Shut Out Of The Big 4
JT will still be donning a suit and tie come Grammy night, with seven total nominations tying the pop superstar with artists like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar (Jay Z leads all nominees with nine). Still, "The 20/20 Experience" was considered a heavy favorite for an album of the year nod, while "Mirrors" looked like a safe bet for both record of the year and song of the year. Timberlake's first two albums, "Justified" and "FutureSex/LoveSounds," were each nominated for the album of the year, and the blockbuster "20/20 Experience" earned JT some of the best reviews of his career. Heads: continue getting scratched.
2. Lorde Will Not Rule The Best New Artist Category
The 17-year-old has enjoyed one of the biggest breakout years out of any artist after being a complete unknown to U.S. listeners in 2012, thanks largely to "Royals," her nine-week Hot 100 champ. "Royals," which Lorde performed at the "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!" on Friday night, scored nominations for record of the year and song of the year, but the New Zealander could not extend her reign to the best new artist category. Despite prognosticators putting her as a favorite in the best new artist pool, Lorde will not be able to live that fantasy.
4. Bruno Mars' "Jukebox" Stops Playing In Album of the Year
Two years ago, Bruno Mars' debut album "Doo Wops and Hooligan" was nominated for the album of the year Grammy; his follow-up, "Unorthodox Jukebox," spawned two more No. 1 singles ("Locked Out of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man") and made the singer-songwriter and Super Bowl-ready artist thanks to a slew of slickly produced pop tracks. So where's the AOTY love for "Unorthodox Jukebox"? This year, Mars will have to be satisfied with record of the year and song of the year nods for "Locked Out of Heaven."
1. Sara Bareilles' 'Blessed' Album Of The Year Nod
Released last summer following a three-year break since her last album, Sara Bareilles' "The Blessed Unrest" continued to display the 33-year-old's reliability as a pop singer-songwriter, with a No. 2 debut on the Billboard 200 chart and a durable radio hit with "Brave" (which just reached a new Hot 100 peak, at No. 26, in its 28th week on the chart). However, very few expected Bareilles' third studio effort to be in the running for album of the year and edge out heavy favorites like Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" and Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" in the process. Bareilles -- who scored a song of the year nomination with her breakout hit "Love Song" at the 2009 Grammys -- will compete against Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift, Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar in the category, while "Brave" is also up for best pop solo performance.
2. Kendrick Lamar's Big Night
Speaking of K. Dot, the Compton MC managed a massive haul with seven nominations, including a coveted album of the year nod. Lamar's lauded debut, "good kid, m.A.A.d city," was expected to land him a best new artist nod, but a gritty rap opus is by no means a sure thing in the album of the year category, no matter how well it's reviewed or how much it sells (ask Drake, whose "Take Care" and "Nothing Was The Same" albums were shut out of the top album category in back-to-back years). Along with the album of the year, the 26-year-old will compete for best new artist, best rap album, best rap/sung collaboration (for "Now or Never" with Mary J. Blige) and best rap performance (for "Swimming Pools (Drank).") If "good kid, m.A.A.d city" snags the top album prize, the LP would be the first debut full-length to come out on top since Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" in 2003.
5 more at Billboard
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