Finally, The Grammys Are Awesome!

The nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards represent a perfect intersection of music that is both popular AND good.

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

The nominations for the 2013 Grammy Awards were announced last night, and for once, the voting body honored a crop of artists who are both popular and critically acclaimed. It’s a pretty amazing list with major nods for established acts like Jack White, Florence and the Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift, as well as up-and-coming stars like Frank Ocean, who is a contender in three of the top categories.

3. Record of the Year

Chris Pizzello, file / AP

“Lonely Boy” - The Black Keys
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” - Kelly Clarkson
“We Are Young” - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
“Somebody That I Used to Know” - Gotye Featuring Kimbra
“Thinkin Bout You” - Frank Ocean
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” - Taylor Swift

4. Album of the Year

Matt Roberts / Getty Images

El Camino - The Black Keys
Some Nights - Fun.
Babel - Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss - Jack White

5. Song of the Year

Harrison Mcclary / Reuters

“The A Team” - Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
“Adorn” - Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
“Call Me Maybe” - Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” - Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
“We Are Young” - Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)

Nearly every category is competitive. It may be easy to predict who will likely go home with a statue, but the quality level is so high in the major categories that come show night, everyone will be biting their nails.

7. Best New Artist

Erika Goldring / Getty Images

Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Who doesn’t love the possibility of Skrillex performing at the Grammys?

9. Best Dance Recording

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

“Levels” - Avicii
“Let’s Go” - Calvin Harris Featuring Ne-Yo
“Bangarang” - Skrillex Featuring Sirah
“Don’t You Worry Child” - Swedish House Mafia Featuring John Martin
“I Can’t Live Without You” - Al Walser

10. Best Pop Solo Performance

The Associated Press / AP

“Set Fire to the Rain [live]” - Adele
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” - Kelly Clarkson
“Call Me Maybe” - Carly Rae Jepsen
“Wide Awake” - Katy Perry
“Where Have You Been” - Rihanna

11. Best Rap Performance

Phil Mccarten / Reuters

“HYFR (Hell Ya … Right)” - Drake Featuring Lil’ Wayne
“… In Paris” - Jay-Z & Kanye West
“Daughters” - Nas
“Mercy” - Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
“I Do” - Young Jeezy featuring Jay-Z & André 3000

The “Alternative Music” category has a wonderful “island of misfit toys” flavor this year.

13. Best Alternative Music Album

Charles Sykes, File / AP

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
Biophilia - Björk
Making Mirrors - Gotye
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming - M83
Bad As Me - Tom Waits

Check out a complete list of nominees here.

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