The members of fun. were "dorking it up" as they learned about their nominations, lead singer Nate Reuss said, and were especially excited to show up in the album of the year category, which also included Ocean's major label debut, the Keys' "El Camino," Mumford's "Babel" and White's "Blunderbuss."
"It's been an incredible year in music," guitarist Jack Antonoff said. "It feels like alternative music is back, looking at album of the year, especially those nominations. We couldn't be more proud to be in there. ... I think when we were sitting in our chairs out there, when we saw Jack White up there, that's when we really pinched ourselves. We felt so honored to be in the same category."
Miguel also had his mind on the forgotten art form of the album. Nominated in the major category of song of the year for "Adorn," he said in a phone interview from New York that he was most excited about another category — urban contemporary album.
"Of all of the categories to be nominated for, that is the one that means the most to me just because I just, I miss great albums. That's a huge compliment to say that your entire body of work was the best of the year," he said. "I don't know. That's the one that means the most to me. I'm really hoping maybe, just maybe."
He'll find out when the 55th annual Grammy Awards take place Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. Trophies will be handed out in 81 categories.
The 5-year-old nominations show was held outside Los Angeles for the first time and showcased Music City for its growing role in the music industry. The Bridgestone Arena marked the largest venue the show has been held in and it may have been a dress rehearsal for a chance to host the main awards show sometime in the future.
LL Cool J returned as host, sharing duties with Swift, whose hit song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" earned a nod in the jam-packed record of the year category. She was joined by fun., Gotye, Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" and Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You."
Song of the year nominees were Ed Sheeran's "The A Team," Miguel's "Adorn," Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and fun.'s "We Are Young."
Swift and LL Cool J opened the show by putting together a beat-box version of Swift's hit "Mean." Hayes displayed his versatility while announcing the best pop vocal album by singing snippets of each star's hit song. Maroon 5 played headliner, singing three songs mid-show before finishing off the live broadcast. The group stuck around for an hourlong performance afterward for the crowd in attendance.
Assisted by Monae, fun. reimagined "We Are Young" with orchestral strings as the crowd sang along, Ne-Yo, in wine-colored bowler, kicked things up with a cadre of dancers on his new club-infused song "Let Me Love You." And the show tipped its hat to Nashville with a salute to Johnny Cash by Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry.
AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report from New York.
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