As the biggest night in music approaches, the newest names on the guest list get ready for a well-deserved night of glory, but who will take the prize?
by Katy Littlejohn
As February creeps ever-closer, the freshest faces of the music industry are feeling their nerves churn, wondering if their music has done enough to win the ultimate prize: Grammy. The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 12 in Los Angeles. Among those relatively new to nominations are Adele, Mumford & Sons, Skylar Grey, The Band Perry, and Bruno Mars. Each of these artists have broken our hearts, inspired us, pumped us up, or mellowed us out this year.
British rockers Mumford and Sons began their Grammy resume last year when they were nominated in the Best New Artists category. Their debut album, Sigh No More, has brought their delicious blue grass/rock sound to North America with hits like “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave,” nominated this year in four categories including Song of the Year. Sigh No More continues to do well in North America, and the band played their first stadium concert at the Air Canada Centre last fall to a packed house.
Another Brit, the soulful Adele, who speaks on behalf of and to the broken hearts of the world, has earned herself six nominations this year, including Album of the Year for her second released album 21. Her hit “Someone Like You” (nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance) has been covered by amateurs and professionals alike, but all attempts pale in comparison to Adele’s performance at the 2011 Brit Awards, the footage of which became the song’s music video. Several of the tracks off 21 have been feature in Glee, today’s equivalent of being parodied by Weird Al Yankovic.
Speaking of Al, his latest parody, “Perform This Way” (nominated for Best Short Form Music Video) tips a hat to Lady Gaga’s nominated album Born This Way. Where Adele champions the broken hearted, Gaga champions the dare-to-be-different individual. Her album pairs well with Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization meant to target bullying in school. Gaga sent a video message of love and encouragement to students at Etobicoke School for the Arts earlier this year congratulating them on their anti-bullying efforts. Lady Gaga has received three nominations this year.
Certainly making an effort to be an individual in an industry full of cookie-cutters and copy-cats is Bruno Mars. His retro style of performance and unique sound almost make it seem like he’s been around for years, but his first big solo single “Grenade,” nominated for both Song and Record of the Year, was released only in late 2010. He is also nominated for Album of the Year (Doo-Wops and Hooligans) as well as in four other categories. Mars’ tribute to the late and great Amy Winehouse at the 2011 VMA Awards has put him in a league of his own, musically.
Winehouse, though small in stature, always made her presence and talent known. Even in her death, she continues to mesmerize fans through her nominated duet performance of “Body and Soul” with crooning legend Tony Bennett. Though her death was a tragedy for those closest to the jazz singer as well as those within the larger music community, Winehouse managed to make her mark worldwide with her 2007 album Back to Black which included the tracks “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab.”.
Though some of the nominees are familiar, having earned popularity through radio time over the past year, these newly established legends are about to face one of the biggest nights of their lives—a send-off into music immortality. Grammy 2012 will be just the beginning. Tune in to CBS on February 12th at 8pm to see who wins, and who has to wait another year to hold Grammy’s gold.