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Guessing as we go into the 2013 Grammys

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DJ Al Walser arrives to the 55th annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast ceremony
on Sunday afternoon -- dressed as if he were nominated for an MTV
VMA moonman instead.
(Getty Images)

Last year's Grammys came pre-loaded with drama and an obvious winner. Not only was Adele certain to cart home a wheelbarrow full of trophies for her smash album "21," but in the weeks leading up to the big night she'd had surgery on those impressive vocal cords and all ears were on her when she performed. She killed, and she took home six Grammys.

This year -- not so much. Little drama, no front-runners.

Six artists top the 2013 nominees with six nominations each: Chicago rapper Kanye West, hip-hop titan Jay-Z, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (five for the duo, plus a producer nod for Auerbach), British folk-rock phenoms Mumford & Sons, and the night's two biggest success stories: R&B singer Frank Ocean and pop-rock band fun.

That means we're likely in for some surprises when the ceremony kicks off at 7 tonight on CBS.

New York's fun. swept the nominations for the top four Grammy categories, receiving nods for best new artist, song and record of the year for "We Are Young," and album of the year for "Some Nights."

Could they win all four?

It would be quite a coup. Ever fashionable with the demographic of tastemakers that's begun populating the once-staid body of Grammy voters -- everything's a crap-shoot since Arcade Fire took album of the year -- Ocean likely is heavy competition.

Would they want to? No one's swept all four top Grammys since Christopher Cross in 1980, and the last time we heard from him was as the butt of a "30 Rock" joke.

This year's nominees also are a bit of a boys club. In addition to the aforementioned studs wrestling for Grammys, other top contenders include Jack White (who rounds out the all-male record of the year category), singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and rising R&B star Miguel. Women in top categories include perennials like Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift, and the long shot of Carly Rae Jepsen for song of the year.

Women might make a more visible stand on Sunday's red carpet. Last week's fashion-bomb memo from CBS -- advising against Grammy get-ups that show buttocks, boobs, thongs, "puffy" genital skin and curves of pretty much any kind -- was clearly targeted at women. I await a few well-deserved red-carpet revolutions.

Most of the 81 Grammy Awards are given out during the pre-telecast ceremony -- which this year will be available as streaming video now at and Performers there include Chicago's regularly nominated eighth blackbird ensemble, as well as rising Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Fullbright.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 10, 2013 3:00 PM.

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