The Nominees Are In!

Dave Iannacone

The nominees for the 2012 Grammy Awards have officially been announced, with the usual mix of surprises and obvious choices. Having condensed the number of categories down to 78 from 109, the race for a win is tighter than ever. This year’s nominee leader is unsurprisingly Kanye West, who shockingly was snubbed in some major categories, followed by Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars with six each.

The night’s biggest award, Album of the Year see’s Adele’s 21 take on the Foo Fighter’s Wasting Lights, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans and, interestingly, Rihanna’s Loud. Surprisingly absent is Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which has been named the best album of the year by various publications.

For Record Of The Year, an award given to everyone involved in the recording of a song, Adele and Bruno Mars are once again going head to head with “Rolling In The Deep” and “Grenade,” respectively. However, they face stiff competition from Bon Iver and his song “Holocene,” Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave,” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Again, noticeably absent is Kanye West’s “All of the Lights,” which has been praised for its production.

As for Song Of The Year, an award given to the songwriters, once again Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” (co-written with Paul Epworth,) Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” (co-written with Body Brown, Claude Kelly, Phillip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Andrew Wyatt,) Bon Iver’s “Holocene,” and Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” face off, this time finally against Kanye West’s “All Of The Lights,” which is, once again, surprising as it’s being recognized for songwriting only, not its incredible production.

The final main category, Best New Artist sees country newcomers The Band Perry face off against multiple nominee Bon Iver, rappers J. Cole and Nicki Minaj, and outrageously dance act Skrillex.

In the pop categories, Adele’s “Someone Like You” takes on Lady Gaga’s “You & I,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and Pink’s “F***in’ Perfect” for Best Pop Solo Performance, while Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse’s duet “Body And Soul” is pinned against The Black Keys’ “Dearest,” Coldplay’s “Paradise,” Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” and Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring Christina Aguilera. Best Rock Song comes down to Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave,” The Decembrists’ “Down By The Water,” Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” Radiohead’s ‘Lotus Flower,” and the Foo Fighter’s “Walk,” while Kanye’s “All Of The Lights,” Wiz Khalifa’s “Black And Yellow,” Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor,” Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On,” and Jay-Z and Kaye’s “Otis” face off for Best Rap Song.

For the full list of nominees, visit www.grammy.com.  The fifty-fourth Annual Grammy Awards are being held February 12 on CBS.