HitFIx had a front row seat backstage at the Grammys Nomination Concert, held tonight in Los Angeles. We bring you an inside look at the reaction from many of the evening’s top nominees in their own words.
Bruno Mars: “It’s kind of awesome,” said a still stunned Mars, of his seven nominations for his work on his debut as well as with Cee-Lo. However, humility was not his strong suit when he was asked about nominations for his songs. “I knew my music is just pretty incredible,” he said (and we don’t think he was joking). “I don’t know what to say. It’s been a hell of a year for all of us,” he said, speaking for his partners in production team, The Smeezingtons, “We record these songs i not too far from here in a shabby studio. It’s a little surreal.” As far as future collaborations, Mars’ wish list includes Alicia Keys, Prince and Kings of Leon.
Cee Lo Green: The singer, who nabbed four nominations, including for the coveted song and record of the year for “F*** You,” remains stunned by its success. “It wasn’t meant to be a radio song. It was meant to be something with flair. It really took on a life of its own. I had no idea it would become what it has become.” He admits he was stung a little when “Crazy,” by Gnarls Barkley, his group with Danger Mouse, didn’t win record of the year a few years ago. “It didn’t hurt, I grew from it... it was a little inconvenient and unfortunate because I truly believe we deserved it, but it’s cool.” Speaking of Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo said he and Danger Mouse are already talking about a third album. And if Prince is looking for a collaborator, Cee Lo is totally in.
B.o.B.: The newcomer missed out on a best new artist nomination, but snared five other nominations, including record of the year. He thanked the team around him, adding “We’ve been envisioning this for a year. To see it really start to come around, it’s almost like the Twilight Zone.” He added that tonight was one of the highlights of his year, as well as performing for Barack Obama, and opening for Jay Z and Eminem in Detroit. After collaborating with Bruno Mars, Hayley Williams and Rivers Cuomo, he’s keeping mum on future partners. “I want them to happen naturally. You never know. You can really want a collaboration, You force it and it doesn’t come out right. I’m open to whoever’s in my world.” However, when pressed by reporters, he added he’d love to work with Florence + the Machine and Mumford and Sons.
Hayley Williams: The Paramore lead singer was nominated for her work with Paramore as well as for “Airplanes,” her duet with B.o.B. When asked which nomination meant the most, she said, “It’s two completely different worlds. I’m always going to be stoked to represent Paramore. That’s my family.” She added that the B.o.B. song “fell into my lap. We were playing a show in New York, someone dropped the demo off for me to hear. The guys and I were like, ‘this is awesome.” Unbelievably, she and B.o.B. didn’t meet until months after the song became a smash. “We’d made the video, we ‘d talked on Twitter. The song was blowing up. We didn’t meet until the [MTV] VMAs. Hey, it’s 2010. It’s living in the future.”
Miranda Lambert: The country superstar received three nominations; plus “The House That Built Me” earned a song of the year nomination (an award that goes to the songwriters). “I’m so lucky I got my hands on [that song],” she said. “It got nominated for song of the year, not just country song of the year, overall song of the year. This song was pitched to [Lambert’s fiance] Blake [Shelton]. When I heard it. It just hit me so hard. I had this crazy reaction. I just started bawling. It was just one of these songs. I had a great feeling about it. I have a great fiance. He handed it over to me; I’m sure he wants it back at this point.”
Bill Reynolds, Band of Horses: The band received a nomination for best alternative music album for “Infinite Arms.” When asked how it felt to be nominated, Reynolds asked, “Can I cuss?” Assured that he could, he replied, “It feels fucking great.” As the only member of the band who lives in Los Angeles, he got a call at 11 p.m. last night telling him that he may want to be at the nominations. “They said, ‘Hey, we need someone from Band of Horses to come down to the Grammys. We’re not sure what that means, but we think it’s good news.” He hopped in his truck and drove down from Ojai. It’s the band’s first nomination after three albums. “We put a lot more into this record,” he says. “We have more members who were writing. It was really a fun record to make. I think it shows.”
Alex Da Kid: The co-songwriter and co-producer of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna said the song got to Eminem just as he was wrapping up recording “Recovery.” “Em heard the song and recorded it in two days. It was the last song on the album. Rihanna was recording her part as he was mixing.” Adding Rihanna was Eminem’s idea. “Once he heard the demos, he really wanted her. She can relate to the song and it makes sense.” Alex da Kid, whose real name is Alexander Grant, said the demo, which featured new artist Skyler Grey singing Rihanna’s part, “sounded pretty similar” to the final version.
Monica: The R&B singer received two nods, including best R&B album for “Still Standing,” an album that has tremendous emotional resonance for the artist. “[Still Standing] is something that I always used to say to myself. ‘Stand on your own two feet,’” she said. After going through some troubling times and leaving the industry for six years to have her two children, she said she “Every song [on the album] talks about coming through something. I wanted younger girls to feel empowered by it. I knew these were the type of messages I wanted to send...This is my first nomination since 1999. At 16 years old, I didn’t understand what it meant. Now at 30, I'm shocked.”
Craig Ferguson: The host of “The Late Late Show” found out he’d received a nod for best spoken word album for the audio tape of his book, “American on Purpose,” when LL Cool J told him on air. “I didn’t know I was nominated [before hand],” he said. “I was here being a corporate shill. I was like, ‘Did I sing and forget?’ This is kind of awkward. Other than my wife being pregnant, this is the highlight of the year. “ Informed of his competition, which includes Jon Stewart, Woody Allen and Sarah Silverman, he said, “I’m the crappiest person on this list. Chances [of winning]? Zero.” [A side note: Craig, we adore you, but please understand how disrespectful it is to Nashville to deliver the nominations for best country female vocal performance in a fake southern drawl.]
Jimmy Jam: The mega-producer and former Recording Academy chairman praised Justin Bieber, who performed from London and garnered a best new artist nomination: “I’m a Justin Bieber fan. The thing about Justin to me that I like is he’s a musician. He has a root in being a musician, which I think is really important. You can’t be a one trick pony. He’s a good singer, writer, dancer. He’s a good musician. He wants to get better at what he does. He’s a hard worker. He’s pretty good at 'Guitar Hero'.” And, as anyone trolling the web lately has seen, he can also solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than two minutes.
Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter at @MelindaNewman