Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee is likely to receive a Grammy nomination as Best Country Album. The pop and R&B veteran has won four Grammys, including Album of the Year for his 1983-1984 blockbuster Can’t Slow Down and Song of the Year for “We Are The World,” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson.
A track from the album, “Easy” (which features Willie Nelson), is vying for a nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. (The Commodores’ original 1977 version of the song was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.)
Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson, past nominees for Best Country Album, are likely to return to the finals with Uncaged, Four The Record and Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran, respectively.
Little Big Town has a good chance of rounding out the category with Tornado. The group was crowned Vocal Group Of The Year at the CMA Awards on Nov. 1, ending (at least for now) Lady Antebellum’s three-year lock on that award.
Taylor Swift’s Red and Jason Aldean’s Night Train were released after the end of the eligibility period. They’ll vie for nominations next year (though the Grammys may put Red in the Pop Vocal Album category. The Grammys slotted Swift’s #1 single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in the Pop field this year.)
Because the Grammys now combine male and female vocalists into one category (Best Country Solo Performance), there’s a good chance that Miranda Lambert will be competing with her husband Blake Shelton. Lambert is vying with “Over You;” Shelton with “Over.”
The Grammy nominations will be announced on a live TV special on Dec. 5. The awards will be presented on Feb. 10.
Here are the five likely nominees (followed by some key alternates) in all of the categories in the country field.