By Maurice Bobb
The 2013 Grammy nominations list for the 55th annual awards was released on Wednesday night (December 5), and there’s one thing the Academy wanted to make clear: R&B is back. Crooners Miguel and Frank Ocean racked up an unprecedented five and six nods, respectively, for their breakout years on the charts.
Ocean, who debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts with his debut album, Channel Orange, received the biggest honor of the duo, snagging "Record of the Year" and "Album of the Year" nominations for his critically acclaimed major label opus. The quietest member of the Odd Future collective put the music world on notice with last year’s spectacular mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, setting up the high expectations for his debut, which featured the groundbreaking 10-minute concept piece titled "Pyramids." Judging by his noms in the top Grammy Awards categories, he met those expectations and then some.
Not to be outdone, Miguel, who has been knighted as the new jack successor to R&B freak-music pioneers R. Kelly, Prince and Marvin Gaye, knocked the ball out of the park with his own sophomore LP, Kaleidoscope Dream. The RCA Records singer is the frontrunner for the “Best Urban Contemporary Album” and is a strong contender for “Song of the Year” with his infectious ballad, “Adorn.” And while both artists have a decidedly different approach in crafting their soundscapes, it’s fair to say that these two newcomers have already planted their flag in the industry.