The 2009 Grammy Nominations

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

More often than not, the flood of end-of-year best-of lists that dominate magazine centerfolds or the trophies dolled out to a handful of lucky artists tell more about the judges than the music itself. For the Grammy Awards – despite their efforts to reach across the aisle to all kinds of world, classical, children’s music and even polka – show a strong predilection for the money-making staples of radio-bred pop rock, r&b and down ‘n dirty rap.

More often than not, the flood of end-of-year best-of lists that dominate magazine centerfolds or the trophies dolled out to a handful of lucky artists tell more about the judges than the music itself. For the Grammy Awards – despite their efforts to reach across the aisle to all kinds of world, classical, children’s music and even polka – show a strong predilection for the money-making staples of radio-bred pop rock, r&b and down ‘n dirty rap.

That was shown by Lil’ Wayne’s reception of eight nominations at Wednesday night’s live broadcast on CBS, including the coveted album of the year for Tha Carter III. He stands alongside Brit alt-rock outfit Coldplay’s seven Grammy nods. Rap artists Jay-Z garnered six as well, with Kanye West chocking up an equal amount, oddly enough, strictly through guest performances on tracks such as Estelle’s “American Boy” or Young Jeezy’s “Put On.” Ne-Yo matched these for vocal performances from his release Year of the Gentlemen, which earned a spot among albums of the year, while Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, John Mayer, Radiohead and Jazmine Sullivan racked up five each.

Some unexpected slights came to Taylor Swift, who hosted and performed for the event but failed to receive any recognition for her album Fearless. And despite a tap for best female pop vocal performance for “I Kissed A Girl,” Katy Perry fell shy of the ranks for best new artist, being outed by Lady Antebellum, Jazmine Sullivan, Jonas Brothers, Duffy and Adele.

Record of the year nominees include Adele’s “Chasing Pavements,” Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” and Plant and Krauss’ “Please Read the Letter.” Odd ball out on the album of the year list includes Radiohead for In Rainbows – included among this year’s candidates despite its digital release in 2007 – with “House of Cards” singled out for best rock performance by a group with vocals.

Whether or not less popular genres such as latin, blues and reggae ever had a shot at such top-notch categories almost seems beside the point, given that those nominations were held off until a later date. As eclectic as the Grammy’s may attempt to be in their nominations, this event made it all too clear once again that, in the end, it’s all about stadium status.

Check out the list of nominees here: Official Grammy Site.



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