LOS ANGELES (LA Times) —Pop music’s freshman class made a big splash on the sales charts in 2013, and now several members can boast a raft of Grammy nominations, including Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 17-year-old singer-songwriter Lorde and country songwriter-turned-singer Kacey Musgraves.
Together the four acts collected 22 of the nominations announced Friday night in Los Angeles. But rap superstar Jay Z led the field with nine nominations, although most were collected in the rap categories rather than in the higher-profile general fields.
The New Zealand-born Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, was recognized in record and song of the year categories in her first round of Grammy attention, and her album “Pure Heroine” also was nominated for pop vocal album. Vying with Lorde’s “Royals” in the record category are Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams’ “Get Lucky,” Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” and Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines.”
A majority of the nominated records — and their all-important accompanying videos — are as concerned with romantic hookups as musical hooks, given the sentiments at the heart of “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky” and “Locked Out of Heaven.”
The YouTube factor is worth noting. In the record category, the five nominees have tallied more than 800 million views for the official videos. This is considerably less than the nearly 2 billion views earned by Psy’s novelty hit “Gangnam Style,” but proof nonetheless of the web site’s ability to fuel the popularity of new songs.
The album of the year nominee list contained a few surprises, including the absence of Justin Timberlake’s well-received “The 20/20 Experience.” Also unexpected was singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest” listed next to Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” Macklemore & Lewis’ “The Heist” and Taylor Swift’s “Red.”
Macklemore & Lewis scored in three of the top four general fields — album, song and new artist — fueled in part by the runaway popularity of their single “Thrift Shop” and its album, “The Heist.” New artist nominees also include Lamar, Musgraves, James Blake and Ed Sheeran.
Another song from “The Heist,” the socially conscious “Same Love,” turned up among song of the year nominees, as did Pink’s hit “Just Give Me a Reason,” which she wrote with in-demand songwriter-producer Jeff Bhasker and Nate Ruess of last year’s Grammy favorites, fun. Also nominated were the writers for Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Lorde’s “Royals,” a runaway hit that triggered her commercial breakthrough.
Pharrell Williams racked up seven nominations, as did Lamar, Macklemore & Lewis and Timberlake. Jay Z is among the album of the year nominees, though not for his own “Magna Carta … Holy Grail.” He was honored for his role on Lamar’s album, which also incorporated guest spots by Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock and MC Eiht and Anna Wise.
Jay Z’s album is in the running in the rap album category, along with “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” “The Heist,” Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” and Kanye West’s “Yeezus.”
Taylor Swift’s “Red,” the most eclectic-sounding album of her career, was deemed country enough to warrant a nomination for country album, one of her four nominations. Her album is up against Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park,” Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” Tim McGraw’s “Two Lanes of Freedom” and Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story.”
Shelton finds himself competing with his wife, Miranda Lambert, in the country solo performance category with his single “Mine Would Be You.” Lambert received a nomination for “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Lee Brice is nominated for “I Drive Your Truck,” Hunter Hayes for “I Want Crazy” and Darius Rucker for “Wagon Wheel.”
Elsewhere among this year’s 82 Grammy categories, the dance/electronica album contenders vying with Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” are Disclosure’s “Settle,” Calvin Harris’ “18 Months,” Kaskade’s “Atmosphere” and Pretty Lights’ “A Color Map of the Sun.”
Paul McCartney was nominated in the rock song category for “Cut Me Some Slack,” his collaboration with Nirvana’s Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear from the soundtrack to Grohl’s documentary “Sound City.”
Nominations were announced during a concert at Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles that was broadcast on CBS-TV and hosted by rapper-actor LL Cool J.
©2013 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099):GRAMMYS