There will apparently be no queen of the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, although it could be a fruitful day for the eight present and former San Diego area artists who were nominated Wednesday.
English singing sensation Adele, who went home with six wins this year, was nominated in only one category. So was Beyoncé, who won six Grammys in 2010.
That should come as good news to the six, decidedly male, artists who each earned a field-leading six nominations. They include the English folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, hip-hop superstars Jay-Z and Kanye West, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, young R&B sensation Frank Ocean and the New York pop-rock trio fun.
Close behind, with five nominations each, is jazz keyboard legend Chick Corea, rising pop vocal star Miguel and the blues-rocking Black Keys, whose singer-guitarist Auerbach earned his other six nominations for his work as a songwriter and producer. (An analysis of the top contenders in some of the major categories appears in this article, following the information about this year's nominees with San Diego ties.)
The contenders in all 81 categories were announced in conjunction with an all-star Wednesday night concert in Nashville, which aired nationally on CBS as "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night." The one-hour telecast included appearances by everyone from The Who and Maroon 5 to Sheryl Crow and The Band Perry. Taylor Swift and Ll Cool J served as co-hosts.
This year's top female artists, with three nominations each, are Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, Janelle Monae, 2012 Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding and Swift, who won two Grammys last year and four in 2010. She likely would have led all contenders, has her new chart-topping new album “Red” not been released after the eligibility period, which runs from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012.
Winners in all but about 10 of the 81 Grammy categories will be announced Feb. 10 during the pre-telecast portion of the star-studded awards show, which is webcast live on grammy.com .
Grammy nominees with San Diego ties
Heading the list of San Diego nominees is Indian classical music icon Ravi Shankar, who — at 92 — may be this year’s oldest Grammy contender. He was nominated for Best World Music Album honors, for “The Living Rooms Sessions, Part 1,” which was recorded at his Encinitas home. Nominated in the same category is his daughter and protégé, fellow sitar master Anoushka Shankar, 31. She is nominated for her album “Traveller,” which fuses Indian music with Spanish flamenco. (pictured)
"I'm so happy that both my daughter and my husband are nominated," Sukanya Shankar, Ravi Shankar's wife, said Wednesday night from the Encinitas home she and her hurband share.
"Ravi said: 'It feels so strange to see both our names' (on the nominees' list) and I hope she wins.' And Anoushka said: 'I'm not going to win with Bapi (her father) nominated!' "
Tom Waits, 62, a graduate of Chula Vista’s Hilltop High School and a 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is nominated in the Best Alternative Music Album category for “Bad As Me.” He is the youngest nominee -- and certainly the most innovative and revered -- in that category (the other nominees include Fiona Apple, Bjork, Goyte and M83).
The Best Folk Album contenders include the classical-meets-bluegrass quartet The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which is led by cello great Yo-Yo Ma. The group includes former San Diego violinist Stuart Duncan and former Oceanside mandolinist Chris Thile, who has won two Grammys as a member of the trio Nickel Creek. Also vying for the Best Folk Album award is “This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark,” which features a vocal performance by former San Diego music scene mainstay Rosie Flores.
Rising jazz singer Gregory Porter, who attended San Diego State University on a football scholarship before being sidelined by an injury, is nominated, but not for jazz. His song “Real Good News” is up for the Best Traditional R&B Performance prize. He may be a long shot, though, since Beyoncé is nominated in the same category.
The Baja-based group Los Tucanes De Tijuana, which last month won its latest Latin Grammy Award, is nominated for the Best Regional Mexican Music Album (for “365 Dias”).
Last but not least, is the iconoclastic composer Harry Partch, who lived in San Diego from 1964 until his death in 1974. “Partch: Bitter Music,” which features 23 of his mind-bending compositions, is nominated in the Best Classical Compendium category.
Read George Varga's full story and more on utsandiego.com