Grammy Showdown for Beyonce, Swift
Beyonce and Taylor Swift were each other's cheerleaders at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, but it was revealed late Wednesday that they'll be duking it out Jan. 31 at the Grammy Awards.
Beyonce and Swift respectively earned 10 and eight nominations, including song, record and album of the year. Swift's nemesis Kanye West, nouveau soul man Maxwell and the Black Eyed Peas each received six, while Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z, French DJ David Guetta and provocateuse Lady Gaga earned five apiece.
For the second year, contenders were announced on The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night, a CBS special featuring celebrity presenters and live performances.
This year's show, broadcast from Los Angeles' Club Nokia, was hosted by veteran rapper LL Cool J, who got the party started with a cheeky medley, accompanying video and audio clips of nominees with referential rhymes. "My tailor's too swift for y'all," he rapped at one point.
Other album-of-the-year nominees are the Dave Matthews Band, the Peas and Gaga; the Peas, Gaga and the rock band Kings of Leon round out the record category. Additional song nods went to Gaga, Maxwell and Kings of Leon.
"It was clear what the juggernauts were this year, and they dominated," says former Vibe and Spin editor Alan Light. As for omissions, Light was surprised that Whitney Houston's celebrated comeback album I Look to You was shut out, though less shocked that U2's acclaimed No Line on the Horizon was relegated to the rock categories: "(Horizon) was a lesser event."
Wednesday's performers included the Peas, who delivered their driving single I Gotta Feeling with a little help from Guetta and video clips of giddy fans, among them Adam Lambert and Timbaland. Maxwell crooned Michael Jackson's The Lady in My Life, while country duo Sugarland got into the holiday spirit, singing Coming Home before a cone-shaped array of lights designed to resemble a Christmas tree.
The youngest Jonas Brother made his first public appearance with his new side project, Nick Jonas&The Administration. Introduced by Nick's big brothers Kevin and Joe, the group performed the chugging rocker Who I Am.
The awards will air live on CBS.