Continued from page 1

Beyonce won for best traditional R&B performance. Mumford & Sons took their first Grammy, winning along with Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros for their long form video documentary “Big Easy Express.”

Celebrities rolled down the red carpet in the early afternoon, but it remained to be seen if any would try to skirt CBS’s mandate that stars dress appropriately with butts, breasts and other sensitive areas covered adequately.

“”I think it’s just, you know, we should always stay classy and dress according to the event that’s being held,” Ashanti said on the red carpet, where she showed off a thigh-baring gown. “So I don’t think people should be limited so much and told what you can and cannot do. But, you know, you do have to have a certain class and prestige about yourself.”

Ocean might be riding a wave toward some of the night’s biggest honors, but limiting Ocean’s chances for a clean sweep are his fellow top nominees. Fun. became just the second act to sweep nominations in all four major categories with a debut album, equaling Christopher Cross’ 1981 feat. Like Cross’ “Sailing,” the New York-based pop-rock band has ridden along on the crest of an inescapable song: “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae.

Cross won five Grammys, sweeping the major awards. Fun. likely will have a much harder time piling up that number of victories because of the buzz surrounding the group’s competitors. It’s not just Ocean who has people talking.

London-based folk-rockers Mumford & Sons had one of the top-selling albums of the year with “Babel” and already has a history with The Recording Academy’s thousands of voters, having been nominated for major awards the year prior. Also, The Black Keys have a winning track record at the Grammys.

And don’t count out West and Jay-Z, who were shut out of the major categories but remain very much in voters’ minds.

Jack White’s “Blunderbuss” competes with fun.’s “Some Nights,” Ocean’s “channel ORANGE,” Mumford’s “Babel” and The Keys’ “El Camino” for the night’s top award, album of the year.

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring Kimbra, Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” join the fun., Ocean and Black Keys entries in record of the year.

Fun. and Clarkson also are nominated for song of the year along with Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Miguel’s “Adorn.”

And rounding out the major categories, fun., Ocean, Alabama Shakes, Hunter Hayes and The Lumineers are up for best new artist.

Those major nominees figure prominently on the 3 1/2-hour telecast, broadcast live on CBS.

Swift will kick things off with a show-opening performance. Fun. and Ocean will take the stage. Others scheduled to perform include Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Clarkson, White and Juanes.

There will be no shortage of mashups the Grammys have become famous for, either. Elton John, Mavis Staples, Mumford, Brittany Howard, T Bone Burnett and Zac Brown are saluting the late Levon Helm, who won the Americana Grammy last year a few months before his death. The Keys will join Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on stage. Sting, Rihanna and Bruno Mars will perform together. Other team-ups include Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, and Alicia Keys and Maroon 5.

___

Story Continues →