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There was lots of action going on behind-the-scenes at the Grammy Nominations Concert. For what was happening on stage, check out Katie Hasty’s blog. Below, we bring you the good stuff you didn’t see on TV.
Bruno Mars was full of good-natured bluster after snagging six nominations (the man is on a roll: the newcomer had seven last year). When asked if he expect to receive such a bounty, he replied “Ye-ah. What do you think? I was doing it for fun?” After he finished laughing, he more seriously added, “You know what, this awards stuff.. I’m trying to get used to it. It’s hard for me because [fellow album of the year nominees] Adele is incredible, Kayne West is incredible...The fact that this album got recognized and I’m being categorized with these acts, I guess that’s the craziest part for me because I’m a fan of all this music. I’m just trying to enjoy these little moments like this.” “Grenade’s” nomination for song and record of the year was especially gratifying, he added, flanked by his fellow members in his production team, The Smeezingtons, because that was the song that we worked the hardest on. Out of all the songs that we were fortunate to be part of this year, we were the most proud of that one.”
Triple nominee Jason Aldean was planning to throw down in his hometown in Georgia this weekend to celebrate his nods, but he admitted he remained a little baffled by events that happened earlier in the week. At Monday night’s taping for CMT's Artists of the Year special, honoree Aldean and Hank Williams Jr. were performing Aldean’s current hit, “Tattoos On This Town.” After one take, Bocephus walked off, never to return. In a non-explanation, he later issued a statement saying that he left because “it didn’t feel right, it didn’t sound right. I didn’t want to disrespect him.” We asked Aldean for his take: "I think when it comes to Hank, the only thing that you can predict about Hank is that he’s unpredictable,” he says. “I’m still a huge fan. He’s one of my idols, one of the guys that I grew up listening to. I’m a huge fan and, you know, it was a little weird, but it’s Hank Jr., what are you going to say?”
[More after the jump...]
The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White, who wound up with two nominations last night (though in our mind were snubbed for best new artist) have come up with a way to thank uberfan Taylor Swift for all her support: she has tweeted about the band and proudly proclaimed her love repeatedly: “We owe her one,” said White, before cracking up the press room by adding, “I think we’ll let her open on our next tour, just as a thank you.” The duo remains flabbergasted by how social media has helped spread the word. “It’s a beautiful world that we live in that if someone like [Swift] is into what we do, she can with one click let six million people know we exist,” White says....He’s also blown away by another fan: Bob Seger, who recently said that he and Kid Rock thought “Barton Hollow” was the best song of the year: “That freaked us out a bit,” he said. “Bob Seger...I grew up in Muscle Shoals, so when we played in bars up and down the state line, you had to know all of his records. Nobody could sing it, but you had to try, and so that he even acknowledged our existence was pretty cool for me.”
The Band Perry was still “in the clouds,” according to the sibling act’s Kimberly Perry over the last 48 hours, which included performing on the show, receiving a best new artist nod, and finding out that the trio’s debut album had gone platinum, signifying sales of more than 1 million copies. A large part of the success comes from the tremendous reception to “If I Die Young,” which snagged a number of CMA Awards a few weeks ago, and has become both a major country and pop smash. Why did the wistful song strike such a chord? “‘If I Die Young’ got its legs at country radio and just kept walking,” she said. “It’s been a real special song to be part of. Two-year olds love it, our 80-year old grandmother [and] her friends love it. I think it has a lot to do with the spirit that we wrote it in. We truly wrote the song celebrating life and could point to the moment of contentment that the three of us were experiencing then. I think that’s just so wrapped in to that song.” But who do they play when they want a little inspiration? Adele: “She is our pre-show dance party every night on the tour bus,” Perry added...As far as the mash-up they performed of album cut, “Independence” and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin,’” attribute that to the band’s full admiration of the Heartbreaker: Said Perry: “We’re in love with Tom Petty.”
Grace Potter’s only regret of the evening was the Kenny Chesney wasn’t there to celebrate their nomination for best country duo/group performance for the bittersweet, poignant “You and Tequila” (written by Matraca Berg and Deana Carter). “I wish Kenny were here,” she said. The duet feel into her lap out and came as a complete surprise. “Kenny called me out the blue,” she said. “I didn’t know him from Adam. I guess someone had sent him some of my music and he had it on his iPod shuffle and he was in St. John floating around on his boat or doing whatever it is that Kenny Chesney does when he’s in the islands and he heard my voice..He was very excited with my voice and thought it would fit the song.” Potter and her band The Nocturnals will be specials guests on Chesney and Tim McGraw’s 2012 19-date stadium outing. Having already playing some gigs with Chesney, she’s found his fans very open. “I think they can attach to a lot of different genres, it’s not really about how you’re playing, it’s about what you’re playing and whether you can get behind it and believe in it and enjoy a beer while you’re doing it,” she says. As far as future collaborations between the two, she’s not ruling it out: “We’re going to be doing all this touring together. We’ll probably come up with some harebrained idea.”
The legendary Grandmaster Flash was overwhelmed by the opportunity to perform Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s seminal “The Message” with Lupe Fiasco, Common, Melle Mel and Scorpio. The song was one of several recordings named 2012 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees, alongside tracks from Martin Luther King, Bruce Springsteen and Cole Porter. The self-described “foster kid from the Bronx” says he was “speechless,” when the Recording Academy called to tell him about the induction. “I thought the phone call was a real bad joke at first, turns out it was serious. Being able to take this culture that I co-created and take that on stage, how cool was that?”... It’s hard to imagine, but he adds that at first, he was uncertain that people would want to hear “The Message’s” message. “We weren’t sure how many people would be interested in that [but we] said ‘Well, let’s try to do something different.’ We were totally unsure, but then when the record was done, the record company gave me the only press copy and they instructed me to take it down to WBLS in NY and put it in the hand of [program director] Frankie Crocker.” From there, the 1982 song took off. Grandmaster Flash, who is working on a new album, recalls hearing it on one station and he would switch to another and it would be playing and so on. “The song took us to a whole other plane, to a whole other place. It was a window into urban America. We didn’t realize that people would be that interested... it turns out that they were”... And Grandmaster Flash is now interested in Lady Gaga. After watching LG and Jennifer Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles battle it out vocally with a smoldering “You and I,” he said, “I have a brand new respect for her. I would love” to work with her.
And if you're wondering what happened to the rumored Van Halen reunion announcement, check here.
For Grammy snubs and surprises, go here.