Fun. and big names atop Grammy nominations list

Jack Antonoff (left) and Andrew Dost of multiple nominee Fun.
Thomas Lohnes/dapd via AP
Jack Antonoff (left) and Andrew Dost of multiple nominee Fun.

The big winner at the most recent Grammy Awards was Adele, who went 6-for-6 thanks to the best-selling record of 2011, the critical and commercial darling “21.”

With no such dominant album this year — in fact “21” was 2012’s bestseller — this year’s Grammy race seems more competitive. Nominations for the 55th Grammy Awards, which were announced during an hourlong concert special Wednesday on CBS, went to a variety of acts with main general field categories spanning rock, hip-hop, pop, and R&B.

The top nominees, with six apiece, were pop group Fun., roots rockers Mumford & Sons, R&B singer Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of the bluesy rock duo the Black Keys, and rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z.


First-timers Fun. and Ocean had particularly good showings in the major categories.

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Thanks to its breakthrough album “Some Nights” and its hit singles “We Are Young” and the title track, Fun. was nominated in all four of the top general field categories: album, song, and record of the year, as well as best new artist, making the New York-spawned trio only the ninth act in Grammy history to accomplish that feat. Ocean was nominated in three categories: album for “Channel Orange,” record for “Thinkin’ Bout You,” and new artist.

In that last category, Ocean and Fun. will be up against buzzed-about rock group Alabama Shakes, fresh-faced country star Hunter Hayes, and Americana trio the Lumineers.

Among the nominees with local ties are veteran jazz keyboardist Chick Corea, who netted five nominations including two in two separate categories for best improvized jazz solo and best jazz instrumental album (he shares one each with former Berklee College of Music VP Gary Burton); storyteller and singer-songwriter Bill Harley, who received a nod in the best children’s album category, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for best chamber music-small ensemble performance. The cast album of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” directed by the American Repertory Theater’s Diane Paulus, was nominated for best musical theater album

Hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, the show sandwiched a handful of category announcements between performances by several acts that would receive good news of a nomination — including Maroon 5, who performed a medley of their hits, and Fun., who performed “We Are Young” with string accompaniment and an assist from Janelle Monáe.


The 55th Grammy Awards will air on CBS at 8 p.m. on Feb. 10 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

For a full list of the nominees go to

Sarah Rodman can be reached at