Frank Ocean, fun. are front-runners heading into Sunday's Grammys

Thu Feb 7, 2013 5:46pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B artist Frank Ocean and indie-pop group fun. go into Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony as front-runners for the music industry's top accolades in a year where new talent and male artists have attracted most of the attention.

After last year's Grammy ceremony was dominated by British singer Adele, and her best-selling album "21," this year's awards show will be all about men.

fun., Ocean, British folk band Mumford & Sons, rocker Dan Auerbach, Jay-Z and Kanye West each received six nominations, while Auerbach's band, The Black Keys, got five.

"It will be a very exciting night because it's so much the antithesis of last year, which was a once-in-a-lifetime show with Adele and her moment," Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, told Reuters.

With the absence of new music from many major pop artists in the past year, emerging talent features prominently at the Grammys.

Pop chart staples Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Adele and Rihanna all picked up nominations for the 55th annual Grammy Awards, but only Clarkson and Taylor Swift received Record of the Year nods.

In the Album of the Year category, one style of music is making a comeback.

"This year seems very different ... we're seeing rock music and guitar music coming back to the Grammys and being appreciated this year," said Patrick Doyle, assistant editor of Rolling Stone magazine.   Continued...

Frank Ocean is bathed in red light as he performs "Thinkin Bout You" during the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni