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GRAMMY FAVES

Frank Ocean

Quentin Tarantino has chopped his song Wise Man out of Django Unchained but the 25-year-old singer has earned six Grammy nominations, including best New Artiste and Album (Channel Orange) of the Year. The buzz is that he has ghost-written songs for Brandy, Justin Bieber and John Legend. Last year it was Adele. This year could well belong to Frank. By the way, Channel Orange is his debut studio album.

In India: His album recently hit stores.

Hunter Hayes

He is a bolt from the blue. His self-titled debut studio album has three nominations (including best New Artiste). On September 7, 2012, Hayes became the youngest member to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

In India: Imported edition of his album is priced at Rs 1,079 on Flipkart.

Mumford & Sons

To cut a long story short, the guys toured India with Laura Marling in 2009 but they were almost booed off the stage at most venues. In Calcutta they sat unnoticed in the lobby of The Park hotel. A few months on, they had become a smash hit! The group is up for Album of the Year (besides five other categories) for Babel.

In India: The group don’t want to return for another round of drubbing.

The Black Keys

The team of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have five nominations for the album El Camino and a single from it –– Lonely Boy. The blues-rock band chose to name the album after the Chevrolet El Camino, which also means “the road” in Spanish.

In India: We woke up to the group only after they released Brothers in 2010.

Fun

This American indie band is all about adult-teen angst. They have vocal range and their music is sometimes sweetly melancholic. Two albums old, Fun has six nominations, including best New Artiste, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Some Nights (2012) is produced by Jeff Bhasker, the man behind Beyonce hits like Rather Die Young and Party.

In India: The single We Are Young was an instant hit.

Jack White

After retiring The White Stripes in 2011 (which he formed with ex-wife Meg White), Jack White (John Anthony Gillis took on his wife’s surname!) released Blunderbass (2012), which is an expression of his “own colours” on his “own canvas”. This has notched up several nominations, including Album of the Year and best Rock Album.

In India: All his works with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather are popular.

Gotye

Girls love him, men envy his voice and artistes love his creative videos and album covers. The man from Down Under is finally getting his due. Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) is up for Record of the Year (and two more entries).

In India: He will perform in New Delhi on February 6 for the Oz Fest.

Bruce Springsteen

This old horse released his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball, in 2012 and it’s superb. Voted the best album of 2012 by Rolling Stone magazine, he has picked up three nominations (including best Rock Album). Classic rock delivered Springsteen style, his angst is the driving force.

In India: The Boss, 63, has always been popular here, ever since his Born To Run (1975) days. His New Delhi gig (with Sting, Peter Gabriel and others in 1988) is still talked about.

Kanye West

The Grammy Club veteran (with 18 wins) is back with six nominations (including best Rap Song). Not bad for a part-owner of the Fatburger chain who also hip hops!

In India: He was in Bombay last January. The question he’s most likely to be asked now: Will you marry Kim Kardashian?!

Esperanza Spalding

In 2011 she became the first jazz artiste to win the best new artiste award and this year her album Radio Music Society (2012) is a frontrunner in the best Jazz Vocal Album category. One of President Obama’s favourite singers, Spalding has performed several times at the White House.

In India: Her albums are rarely available in music stores, just like other contemporary jazz artistes. Though the CD is costly, it’s available in MP3 format on Flyte.

Father & daughter

Our eyes will be on the best World Music Album category, which features both (the late) Pandit Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka.

The legendary sitarist and a three-time Grammy winner (first was in 1967 for the classic West Meets East, a collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin) has been nominated for The Living Room Sessions Part 1 (2012), which he recorded with his long-time tabla accompanist and fellow-Calcuttan Tanmoy Bose over four days in October 2011. They recorded seven different ragas (four of which are in the album) during informal sessions in Shankar’s living room in Encinitas, California.

Raviji will also be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy.

Anoushka’s album, Traveller, explores the connection between Indian music and flamenco.

shunyo awnko: those drawing a blanK!

PSY: The man even did his horse dance for Obama! Gangnam Style has crossed a billion views on YouTube — and is set to spawn Bangnam (!) Style in Bengal — but it still couldn’t sneak in. A big boo for the big man from South Korea.

Lionel Richie: He had one of the most amazing line-ups on his 10th studio album, Tuskegee. This greatest-hits effort came with a difference –– all the songs were re-recorded as duets (featuring Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, Rascal Flatts and many more). And yet, zero nominations for the Hello singer. The formula had worked for Santana with his hit album Supernatural (1999), which won nine Grammy Awards.

Nicki Minaj: Fashioned after Lady Gaga, she just couldn’t manage a nomination with her second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012) or the hit single Starships. So what if the album went gold?

Justin Bieber: The teen sensation and voice behind three successful albums has called the snub a “big bummer”. He has been quoted saying: “I was looking forward to (a nomination) but I know it will happen one day.” His last album, Believe (2012), made its debut at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But such is life!

Lana Del Rey: Many teenagers think her songs are cool but the voting members of the Recording Academy thought otherwise. The Born To Die singer is now waiting for the BRIT Awards.