By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
She likely won’t get “21,” but Adele is poised to take the biggest bulk of nods when the Grammy nominations are announced Wednesday night.
The British singer-songwriter has had a great year, thanks to her sophomore album, “21.” The mournful album about a failed relationship is the year’s best-selling disc with over 4.5 million copies sold. It has resulted in two smash singles, “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You.”
The Recording Academy will likely add to Adele’s achievements. She is a strong contender to get bids for album of the year and for song and/or record of the year for the searing groove “Rolling in the Deep.”
But she’s not the only favorite for top nominations. Taylor Swift’s multiplatinum “Speak Now” is a possible contender for album of the year, as is Tony Bennett’s “Duets II,” which marked the 85-year-old’s first album to debut at No. 1, making him the oldest artist to achieve that feat.
Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which had the year’s biggest debut with 1.1 million albums sold in its first week, could become her third straight disc to be nominated for album of the year. She was cited for “The Fame Monster” this year and for her debut, “The Fame,” in 2010.
Then there’s Kanye West. His “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” was one of the most highly regarded albums of 2010, and is eligible for a nomination for album of the year. So is his collaboration with Jay-Z for “Watch the Throne,” another contender in the category.
A handful of the nominations are scheduled to be revealed during the fourth annual Grammy nominations concert special, to air live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on CBS at 10 p.m. EST. Lady Gaga is slated to open and close the show.
Other performers include Katy Perry, who could get a record of the year nomination for her hit “Firework”; Rihanna, who could snag a few nominations, including album of the year for “Loud”; and The Band Perry, the country sibling trio likely to be up for best new artist. (Another strong contender for that category, Nicki Minaj, is scheduled to be a presenter on the special.)
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The Band Perry, at rehearsals Tuesday night, were hopeful about getting a nomination.
“Our fingers are crossed. We kinda don’t like to think too much about that kind of stuff on nights before nominations. We don’t want to be a bad luck charm. I’ll tell you what, it would be the cherry on top of a really wonderful year,” said Kimberly Perry. “We actually just today got the news that we’ve been certified platinum. We’ve been high-fiving and celebrating all day. If we were honored to be nominated for best new artist, we would definitely be celebrating two days in a row.”
This year’s nominations will mark the newly trimmed Grammys. Earlier this year, amid some protests, the academy cut the number of categories from 109 to 78. Some of the more niche categories, like best Zydeco or Cajun music album, were eliminated. In addition, men and women will now compete together in vocal categories for pop, R&B and country, instead of having separate categories for each sex.
Even with the reductions, there is an avalanche of categories, as noted by Neil Portnow, the Academy’s CEO and president.
“We’ve got 78 categories now. It would certainly be impossible to do all of them on any of our shows,” he said Tuesday.
The 54th annual Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 12 in Los Angeles, and will be telecast live on CBS.
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