Eminem gets 10 nods 10 years after he mattered (and other dubious wonders in the 2010 Grammy nominations)

December 2, 2010

 With their stated mission “to honor artistic achievement... without regard to album sales or chart position” once again more of an ideal than a reality, Grammy sponsors the Recording Academy have announced the nominees for the 53rd annual awards, the most prestigious if chronically misguided in the music industry.

Topping the list of multiple nominees with a number that puts him among such Grammy favorites as Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, and Bonnie Raitt—even though his last album “Recovery” was one of the most mediocre of his controversial but platinum-selling career—Eminem garnered 10 nods, including the most prestigious, album of the year, as well as two more of the “big four” prizes, record and song of the year (for “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna).

The rest of the album of the year contenders are divided between worthy contenders—orchestral-popsters Arcade Fire (for “The Suburbs”) and pop phenom Lady Gaga (for “The Fame Monster”)—and sheer commercial pabulum (country-pop merchants Lady Antebellum for “Need You Now” and Katy Perry for “Teenage Dream”).

Trailing Marshall Mathers with seven nominations is pop producer, singer, and songwriter Bruno Mars. Hip-hop CEO Jay-Z and the aforementioned Ladies, Antebellum and Gaga, each claimed six Grammy nods, while five nominations apiece went to the venerable guitar hero Jeff Beck, B.O.B (a.k.a. rapper Bobby Ray Simmons), easy-listening soul man John Legend, rising pop/R&B star Philip Lawrence, and classical music producer David Frost.

Completing the roster for record of the year (which is awarded to the artist and producer) along with Eminem are B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars (“Nothin’ On You”), the indomitable Cee Lo Green (“F*** You”), Jay-Z and Alicia Keys (“Empire State Of Mind”), and Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now”).

And joining Slim Shady in competition for song of the year (which is awarded to the songwriter) are Ray LaMontagne (“Beg Steal Or Borrow”), Cee Lo with “F*** You” again, tunesmiths Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, who wrote “The House That Built Me” for Miranda Lambert, Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott, who wrote “Need You Now” for Lady Antebellum.

Then, of course, there is the always laughable best new artist prize, whose contenders this year are bad-haircut pop hearthrob Justin Bieber, hip-popper Drake, Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons, and Esperanza Spalding.

The Chicago chapter of the Recording Academy will release its tally of local artists honored with nominations later today, and we’ll duly post it. But a quick scan of the complete list indicates a real shortage of hometown talent, save for the dubious inclusion of fading but acquitted R&B superstar R. Kelly, who was nominated for best contemporary R&B album (“Untitled”) and best traditional R&B vocal performance, and one minor nomination each for the American treasure Mavis Staples and wayward hip-hop hero Common.

The full list of nominees in all of the 7,894 categories (give or take) can be found online here. Meanwhile, a look at some of the other key categories follows below. And the golden gramophones themselves will be given out on Feb. 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during a ceremony televed on CBS and theoretically lasting 3½ hours, though it will of course feel three times as long.

Best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals: “Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals Version)” — the cast of “Glee”; “Misery” — Maroon 5; “The Only Exception” — Paramore; “Babyfather” — Sade; “Hey, Soul Sister (Live)” — Train.

Best pop collaboration with vocals: “Airplanes II” — B.o.B, Eminem & Hayley Williams; “Imagine” — Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare; “If It Wasn’t For Bad” — Elton John & Leon Russell; “Telephone” — Lady Gaga & Beyoncé; California Gurls” — Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg.

Best dance recording: “Rocket” — Goldfrapp; “In For The Kill” — La Roux; “Dance In The Dark” — Lady Gaga; “Only Girl (In The World)” — Rihanna; “Dancing On My Own” — Robyn.

Best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals: “Ready To Start” — Arcade Fire; “I Put A Spell On You” — Jeff Beck & Joss Stone; “Tighten Up” — the Black Keys; “Radioactive” — Kings Of Leon; “Resistance” — Muse.

Best hard rock performance: “A Looking In View” — Alice In Chains; “Let Me Hear You Scream” — Ozzy Osbourne; “Black Rain” — Soundgarden; “Between the Lines” — Stone Temple Pilots; “New Fang” — Them Crooked Vultures.

Best rock song: “Angry World” — Neil Young; “Little Lion Man” — Mumford & Sons; “Radioactive” — Kings Of Leon; “Resistance” — Muse; “Tighten Up” — the Black Keys.

Best alternative music album: “The Suburbs” — Arcade Fire; “Infinite Arms” — Band Of Horses; “Brothers” — the Black Keys; “Broken Bells” — Broken Bells; “Contra” — Vampire Weekend.

Best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals: “Take My Time” — Chris Brown & Tank; “Love” — Chuck Brown, Jill Scott & Marcus Miller; “You’ve Got A Friend” — Ronald Isley & Aretha Franklin; “Shine” — John Legend & the Roots; “Soldier Of Love” — Sade.

Best contemporary R&B album: “Graffiti” — Chris Brown; “Untitled” — R. Kelly; “Transition” — Ryan Leslie; “The ArchAndroid” — Janelle Monáe; “Raymond V Raymond” — Usher.

Best rap/sung collaboration: “Nothin’ On You” — B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars; “Deuces” — Chris Brown, Tyga & Kevin McCall; “Love the Way You Lie” — Eminem & Rihanna; “Empire State Of Mind” — Jay-Z & Alicia Keys; “Wake Up! Everybody” — John Legend, the Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common.

Best rap album: “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” — B.o.B; “Thank Me Later” — Drake; “Recovery” — Eminem; “The Blueprint 3” — Jay-Z; “How I Got Over” — the Roots.

Best country song: “The Breath You Take” —George Strait; “Free” — Zac Brown Band; “The House That Built Me” Miranda Lambert; “I’d Love to be Your Last” —Gretchen Wilson; “If I Die Young” —The Band Perry; “Need You Now” —Lady Antebellum.

Best country album: “Up On the Ridge” — Dierks Bentley; “You Get What You Give” — Zac Brown Band; “The Guitar Song” — Jamey Johnson; “Need You Now” — Lady Antebellum; “Revolution” — Miranda Lambert.

Best Americana album: “The List” — Rosanne Cash; “Tin Can Trust” — Los Lobos; “Country Music” — Willie Nelson; “Band Of Joy” — Robert Plant; “You Are Not Alone” — Mavis Staples.

Best traditional blues album: “Giant” — James Cotton; “Memphis Blues” — Cyndi Lauper; “The Well” — Charlie Musselwhite; “Joined at the Hip” — Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith; “Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites” — Jimmie Vaughan.