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2011 Grammy Noms: Good News for Eminem, Bad News for Rock & Roll


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Grammy nominations are always head-scratchers, but now the way they are announced is even a conundrum. CBS, the network that airs the big show, devoted one weird hour to the nods dubbed "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!" last night jammed after "Criminal Minds" and before your late local news. Between hilarious banter (Dave Grohl, cracking jokes with Selena Gomez!) and awkward announcements (host LL Cool J, simply opening his mouth!) Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Train, Miranda Lambert, and B.o.B. performed, and five of the 109 categories were revealed. If they actually announced the full slate of nominees at that pace, we would have been watching a 22-hour marathon.

Here's the big news: Eminem leads all nominees with 10 nods for "Recovery." Bruno Mars follows with seven nominations, while Lady Antebellum, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga tied with six apiece. As a bonus, we got to hear Cee Lo's silky kiss-off "F--- You" referred to as "the song otherwise known as 'Forget You' " several times (the song is up for four trophies).

Pop, hip-hop, and country fared better in the general categories than rock, which has struggled to make a dent on the charts and in arenas this year. Arcade Fire are the lone rock band up for Album of the Year, competing against Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry. Rappers comprise three of the five nominees for Record of the Year -- B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars' "Nothin' On You," Eminem featuring Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie," Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind" -- alongside Cee Lo Green's "F--- You" and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." The competitors for Best New Artist -- always a curious category -- are Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons, and jazz singer/bassist Esperanza Spalding.

The Black Keys are up for four music awards and one album-packaging category, making them the rock & roll leader. Arcade Fire and Muse are both up for three awards, and Kings of Leon will compete for two. The White Stripes -- who haven't released a new album since 2007 -- also picked up two nods, one for their "Under Great White Northern Lights" box set, and one for the film itself. The Pixies earned a nomination for their "Minotaur" box set, too. Green Day also got a nod ... for Best Musical Show Album.

Michael Jackson posthumously earned a nomination for "This Is It," as did Solomon Burke for his final album, "Nothing's Impossible." Two "American Idol" vets also made the cut: Adam Lambert for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and Fantasia for Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song. For all the bustle about "Glee" taking over the Billboard charts this year, the show was only rewarded with two nominations.

The Amp is particularly excited about two of our favorite artists getting a crack at Grammy hardware: Robyn will compete against Lady Gaga, Rihanna, La Roux, and Goldfrapp for Best Dance Recording, and Janelle Monáe's "The ArchAndroid" is up for two awards, including Best Contemporary R&B Album against Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Ryan Leslie, and Usher. Speaking of Brown, it appears the industry's unstated ban on the artist who pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009 has lifted -- he's up for three trophies.

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will air February 13th on CBS. Albums and songs released between September 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010 were eligible -- which means no Taylor Swift or any of the November 22nd mega-releases could make their way onto the ballot, but songs that seem ancient (like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind") are kosher, as is Kanye West's "Power," which got a nod for Best Rap Solo Performance. Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and record companies can submit songs and albums for consideration, which are then passed on to its 12,000 voting members -- folks who creatively involved in making recordings. The first round of voting determines nominations, the second one decides the winners.

[Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

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