The nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards will be announced tonight for the first time in a flashy, live concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena hosted by Taylor Swift and LL Cool J that will feature performances by fun., The Band Perry, Maroon 5, Janelle Monae, The Who and others.
While previous years' Grammys have been dominated by a single powerhouse artist or album (I'm lookin' at you, Adele), this year it could be anyone's game. Will Billboard sensations Justin Bieber and Rihanna get nods, or will indie darlings like Frank Ocean, Mumford and Sons, and The Black Keys rule the night? I guess we just have to wait and see!
Check back at 10:00 PM ET as we reveal the nominees along with CBS' broadcast.
Best Pop Vocal Album
Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
Florence and The Machine, Ceremonials
fun., Some Nights
Maroon 5, Overexposed
Pink, The Truth About Love
Record of the Year
"Lonely Boy," The Black Keys
"Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Kelly Clarkson
"We are Young," fun. featuring Janelle Monae
"Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye featuring Kimbra
"Thinkin Bout You," Frank Ocean
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," Taylor Swift Best New Artist Alabama Shakes fun. Hunter Hayes The Lumineers Frank Ocean Country Solo Performance "Home," Dierks Bently "Springsteen," Eric Church "Cost of Livin," Ronnie Dunn "Wanted," Hunter Hayes "Over," Blake Shelton "Blown Away," Carrie Underwood Album of the Year El Camino, Black Keys Some Nights, fun. Babel, Mumford and Sons Channel Orange, Frank Ocean Blunderbuss, Jack White Song of the Year "The A Team" Ed Sheeran (songwriter: Ed Sheeran) "Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen (songwriters: Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay) "Adorn" Miguel (songwriter: Miguel Pimentel) "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" Kelly Clarkson (songwriters: Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi) "We Are Young" fun. featuring Janelle Monáe (songwriters: Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess) Best Pop Duo/Group Performance "Shake It Out" by Florence + The Machine "We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monáe "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra "Sexy And I Know It" by LMFAO "Payphone" by Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa Best Pop Solo Performance Adele, "Set Fire to the Rain (Live)" Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe" Katy Perry, "Wide Awake" Rihanna - "Where Have You Been" Best Dance Recording Avicii, "Levels" Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo,"Let's Go" Skrillex feat. Sirah, "Bangarang" Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin, "Don't You Worry Child" Al Walser, "I Can't Live Without You" Best Dance/Electronic Album Steve Aoki, Wonderland The Chemical Brothers, Don't Think deadmau5 Kaskade, Fire & Ice Skrillex, Bangarang Best Rock Performance Alabama Shakes,"Hold On" The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy" Coldplay, "Charlie Brown" Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait" Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care of Our Own" Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Anthrax, "I'm Alive" Halestorm, "Love Bites (So Do I)" Iron Maiden, "Blood Brothers" Lamb of God,"Ghost Walking" Marilyn Manson ,"No Reflection" Megadeth, "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)" Best Rock Song Jack White, "Freedom at 21" Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait" The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy" Muse, "Madness" Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care of Our Own" Best Rock Album The Black Keys, El Camino Muse, The 2nd Law Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball Jack White, Blunderbuss Best Alternative Music Album Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do Bjork, Biophilia Gotye, Making Mirrors M83, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Tom Waits, Bad As Me Best R&B Performance Estelle, "Thank You" Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Ledisi, "Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) Luke James, "I Want You" Miguel, "Adorn" Usher, "Climax" Best Traditional R&B Performance Anita Baker, "Lately" Beyonce, "Love on Top" Melanie Fiona, "Wrong Side of a Love Song" Gregory Porter, "Real Good Hands" SWV, "If Only You Knew" Best Urban Contemporary Album Chris Brown, Fortune Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream Frank Ocean, Channel Orange Best R&B Album Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio Anthony Hamilton, Back To Love R. Kelly, Write Me Back Tamia, Beautiful Surprise Tyrese, Open Invitation Best Rap Performance Drake feat. Lil' Wayne, "HYFR (Hell Ya F---ing Right)" Jay-Z & Kanye West, "N---as In Paris" Nas,"Daughters" Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz, "Mercy" Young Geezy feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000, "I Do" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Flo Rida feat. Sia, "Wild Ones" Jay-Z & Kanye West feat. Frank Ocean & The-Dream, "No Church in the Wild" John Legend feat. Ludacris, "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)" Nas feat. Amy Whinehouse, "Cherry Wine" Rihanna feat. Jay-Z, "Talk That Talk" Best Rap Song Nas, "Daughters" Wale feat. Miguel, "Lotus Flower Bomb" Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz, "Mercy" Drake feat. Lil' Wayne, "The Motto" Jay-Z & Kanye West, "N---as In Paris" Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa Featuring Bruno Mars, "Young, Wild & Free" Best Rap Album Drake, Take Care Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 The Roots, Undun Nas, Life Is Good Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don't 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story Best Country Song Carrie Underwood, "Blown Away" Ronnie Dunn, "Cost of Livin' " Eli Young Band, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" Alan Jackson, "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore" Eric Church, "Springsteen" Best Americana Album The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter John Fullbright, From the Ground Up The Lumineers, The Lumineers Mumford & Sons, Babel Bonnie Raitt, Slipstream Best Blues Album Shemekia Copeland, 33 1/3 Dr. John, Locked Down Ruthie Foster, Let It Burn Heritage Blues Orchestra, And I Still Rise Joan Osborne, Bring It on Home Head to Grammy.comfor the nominees in all 81 categories! Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone [Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images] More: Wait, Really? 12 Grammy Winners You Won't Believe American Music Awards Winners' List: Did Justin Bieber Best Rihanna For Top Honors? The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Winners Are...
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There's probably still someone somewhere that would fall for one of Sacha Baron Cohen's weird and wooly scenarios but let's face the facts: the days when Ali G. could snag an interview with Pat Buchanan or Gore Vidal are long gone. 2009's Bruno definitely let some steam out of Borat's tires not to mention the ensuing lawsuits. But it's refreshing to see Cohen and his Borat/Bruno cohort director Larry Charles flex their muscles in the fictional universe of The Dictator a vehicle that doesn't skimp on their signature cringe-worthy humor.
The world of The Dictator gives them the leeway to create crazy spectacles — at one point Cohen's General Aladeen rides down Fifth Avenue on a camel surrounded by a giant motorcade. Having a plot helps too; although part of the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen's schtick is how the viewer is made culpable by proxy by our amusement and horror at how he tricks and torments people who aren't in on the joke The Dictator continues the self-reflexive satirical bite. We're certainly not off the hook. Aladeen says and does truly outrageous things but they're also exaggerations of the world we live in. It might be a stretch to call Sacha Baron Cohen the British Lenny Bruce or George Carlin in a face merkin but rest assured that no topic is off limits. If you are offended by jokes about abortion rape feminists body hair race religion politics STDs war crimes ethnic cleansing necrophilia and/or bestiality don't even bother. However if you like the kind of comedy that makes you hide your face in your hands feeling like each laugh is being pried from you against your will you're in business.
Cohen eats up the screen as both General Aladeen and his incredibly dumb body double; the latter prefers the intimate company of one of his goats to a human while the former is a fairly stupid ruthless dictator whose own people are so disloyal to him that they actually ignore his commands to execute people. (He really likes to execute people.) When he arrives in New York City to attend a summit at the UN his uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) has the two switched so he can easily manipulate the "General" into signing a treaty to make Wadiya a democracy and reap the financial benefits. Aladeen finds refuge with Zoe a hairy-pitted activist who thinks he's a political dissident and is excited to be able to give him a safe haven in her touchy-feely Brooklyn grocery co-op. Instead of being typecast as another blonde dummy Anna Faris is finally given room to play as the wide-eyed naïf who takes Aladeen's very serious statements as jokes or simple miscommunications. She's a great foil to Baron Cohen who is easily half a foot taller than she is and has a wolfish grin. Their banter is often the most politically incorrect of the bunch but also the funniest.
Alas the plot. It's a bare bones situation to get a very broad character from A to B. Aladeen is obviously an outlandish mishmash of modern dictators; he spouts racist misogynist rhetoric endlessly and after a while...yeah we get it. However like all of Sacha Baron Cohen's humor The Dictator also takes a direct shot at Western countries (specifically the United States) which would be all fine and dandy if he didn't wedge an expository speech in about it as well. The problem with making a traditional narrative movie is that with some exceptions you've got to play within the guidelines. The Dictator isn't trying to do anything fancy; all it needs a few big beats and a neat ending to wrap it all up. It doesn't quite manage to tie it all together in a way that makes The Dictator more than an hour and a half or so of laughing and cringing.
Besides Faris and Kingsley there are a number of cameos by a very wide variety of comics and actors. Megan Fox plays herself Kevin Corrigan appears as a creepy dude who works at the co-op John C. Reilly is a racist security guard and Fred Armisen runs an anti-Aladeen café in New York's Little Wadiya district. The very funny Jason Mantzoukas has a large role as Nadal the former head of rocket science who was supposedly executed for not making Aladeen's nuclear warhead pointy. It's a good ensemble and hopefully Sacha Baron Cohen's next feature-length film will build on The Dictator's weaknesses.