Envision Dragons among newcomers to make splash at Grammys nominations


Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

Imagine Dragons perform a sold-out concert at The Joint in the Challenging Rock Hotel on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

LOS ANGELES — Pop music’s freshman class made a huge splash on the sales charts in 2013, and now many members can boast a raft of Grammy nominations, such as Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, hip-hop duo Macklemore &amp Ryan Lewis, 17-year-old singer-songwriter Lorde and nation songwriter-turned-singer Kacey Musgraves.

With each other the four acts collected 22 of the nominations announced Friday evening in Los Angeles. But rap superstar Jay Z led the field with nine nominations, even though 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 very first round of Grammy focus, 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 Fortunate,” Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” and Robin Thicke featuring T.I. &amp Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines.”

A majority of the nominated records — and their all-crucial accompanying videos — are as concerned with romantic hookups as musical hooks, provided the sentiments at the heart of “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky” and “Locked Out of Heaven.”

The YouTube element is worth noting. In the record category, the 5 nominees have tallied more than 800 million views for the official videos. This is considerably less than the almost 2 billion views earned by Psy’s novelty hit “Gangnam Style,” but proof nonetheless of the web site’s potential to fuel the popularity of new songs.

The album of the year nominee list contained a couple of surprises, like the absence of Justin Timberlake’s well-received “The 20/20 Knowledge.” 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 &amp Lewis’ “The Heist” and Taylor Swift’s “Red.”

Macklemore &amp Lewis scored in three of the top four basic fields — album, song and new artist — fueled in component by the runaway recognition of their single “Thrift Shop” and its album, “The Heist.” New artist nominees also include Lamar, Musgraves, James Blake and Ed Sheeran.

Yet another song from “The Heist,” the socially conscious “Same Adore,” turned up among song of the year nominees, as did Pink’s hit “Just Give Me a Cause,” which she wrote with in-demand songwriter-producer Jeff Bhasker and Nate Ruess of last year’s Grammy favorites, enjoyable. Also nominated had been the writers for Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Lorde’s “Royals,” a runaway hit that triggered her industrial breakthrough.

Pharrell Williams racked up seven nominations, as did Lamar, Macklemore &amp Lewis and Timberlake. Jay Z is amongst the album of the year nominees, though not for his personal “Magna Carta … Holy Grail.” He was honored for his part on Lamar’s album, which also incorporated guest spots by Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock and MC Eiht and Anna Smart.

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 profession, was deemed country enough to warrant a nomination for nation album, one of her 4 nominations. Her album is up against Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Diverse 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 nation solo functionality 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 amongst 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 Fairly 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 have been announced in the course of 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.

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