A Rock Lover’s Guide to the 2018 Grammys
We've come a long way from the days when rock 'n' roll dominated the Grammy Awards. But fans of the genre still have plenty to look forward to at this year's ceremony on Jan. 28 — and not just in the typically rock-centric awards categories, either.
From a number of pre-show festivities that should be of interest to classic rock fans to live performances delivered by some of the genre's biggest and best artists — not to mention the acts who actually stand to take awards home from this year's ceremony — there's no shortage of reasons for rock lovers to tune in and find out who wins at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. With that in mind, we've rounded up a handy watching guide with a list of everything you need to look for.
Watching well-dressed famous people step up to a podium offers its own kind of entertainment, at least for a little while, but a big part of any Grammy Awards ceremony is the roster of artists that's been rounded up for live performances — and this year's lineup includes a solid classic rock quartet. U2, out on the promotional trail for their recent Songs of Experience LP, are scheduled to take the stage, as is Elton John — putting in one of his final live appearances before embarking on his recently announced farewell tour. Sting, recently added to the roster, will also perform — perhaps alongside Shaggy, with whom he's due to release a new collaborative LP later this year. Finally, Gary Clark Jr. is playing with Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste as part of a tribute to the late rock pioneers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino.
THE PRE-SHOW: WHERE THE REAL AWARDS ARE HANDED OUT
Any music fan can name a handful of Grammy Awards categories, but most don't know just how many of these things are handed out every year. In fact, there are 84 in all, which means there's absolutely no way the portion of the ceremonies seen during the live telecast could possibly make room for them all. Instead, a bunch of Grammy winners — as in "approximately 70," the vast majority of them — will be announced during the pre-show. And while it's unfortunate that these awards won't be handed out on TV, this part of the Grammys will still be broadcast: Starting at 3ET, fans can watch via livestream, either via CBS or the official Grammys site. And it isn't just niche winners like the (dearly departed) Best Polka Album that get honored during the pre-show, either — last year, that's when categories like Best Rock Album and Best Rock Vocal Performance were announced, so classic rock fans may very well want to tune in.
CLASSIC ROCK'S GROWING DIVERSITY WILL BE ON FULL DISPLAY
While it's often thought of as a single genre, rock is really an incredibly diverse music that draws from — and has inspired — artists in countless disciplines. That's reflected in this year's crop of nominees, which includes rock artists who've released work that's being considered in a variety of categories. The Rolling Stones, for example, are among the Best Traditional Blues Album nominees, with their Blue & Lonesome set of cover songs going up against genre vets like Elvin Bishop and R.L. Boyce. Gregg Allman, meanwhile, is listed in the Best Americana Album category with his final album, Southern Blood — up against genre-defying acts like the Mavericks and Jason Isbell. Cat Stevens is among the Best Folk Album nominees with his latest release, The Laughing Apple -- and Bruce Springsteen is nominated in the Spoken Word Album category for Born to Run. More than ever, classic rock is everywhere you look (or listen).
EXACTLY WHO IS NOMINATED?
All told, there are a number of rock favorites who stand to gain some extra awards hardware during the Grammys this year. Metallica notched two nominations for their Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct LP; not only are they going up in the Album of the Year category, the Hardwired track "Atlas, Rise!" is among the nominees for Best Rock Song. Allman's Southern Blood also picked up a pair of nominations, making the cut in the Best Americana Roots Song category as well as Best Americana Album. Allman's fellow Allman Brothers Band vet Derek Trucks, meanwhile, earned a nomination for the Tedeschi Trucks Band's latest outing, Live From the Fox Oakland. Look over the full list of rock-related nominees below, and don't forget to tune in on Jan. 28.
Best Rock Album
Emperor of Sand - Mastodon
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct - Metallica
The Stories We Tell Ourselves - Nothing More
Villains - Queens of the Stone Age
A Deeper Understanding - The War on Drugs
Best Rock Song (with songwriter names)
"Atlas, Rise!" - Metallica (James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich)
"Run" - Foo Fighters (Foo Fighters)
"Blood in the Cut" - K. Flay (JT Daly & Kristine Flaherty)
"Go to War" - "Nothing More" (Ben Anderson, Jonny Hawkins, Will Hoffman, Daniel Oliver, David Pramik & Mark Vollelunga)
"The Stage" - Avenged Sevenfold (Zachary Baker, Brian Haner, Matthew Sanders, Jonathan Seward & Brooks Wackerman)
Best Rock Performance
Leonard Cohen, "You Want It Darker"
Chris Cornell, "The Promise"
Foo Fighters, "Run"
Kaleo, 'No Good"
Nothing More, "Go to War"
Best Traditional Blues Album
Blue & Lonesome - The Rolling Stones
Migration Blues - Eric Bibb
Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio - Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio
Roll and Tumble - R.L. Boyce
Sonny & Brownie's Last Train - Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi
Best Americana Album
Southern Blood - Gregg Allman
Shine on Rainy Day - Brent Cobb
Beast Epic - Iron & Wine
The Nashville Sound - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Brand New Day - The Mavericks
Best Americana Roots Song (with songwriter names)
"Cumberland Gap" - David Rawlings (David Rawlings & Gillian Welch)
"I Wish You Well" - The Mavericks (Raul Malo & Alan Miller)
"If We Were Vampires" - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Jason Isbell)
"It Ain't Over Yet" - Rodney Crowell Featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White (Rodney Crowell)
"My Only True Friend" - Gregg Allman (Gregg Allman & Scott Sharrard)
Best Contemporary Blues Album
Live From the Fox Oakland - Tedeschi Trucks Band
Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm - Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm
Recorded Live in Lafayette - Sonny Landreth
TajMo - Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo'
Got Soul - Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Best Folk Album
The Laughing Apple - Yusef / Cat Stevens
Mental Illness - Aimee Mann
Semper Femina - Laura Marling
The Queen of Hearts - Offa Rex
You Don't Own Me Anymore - The Secret Sisters
Best Spoken Word Album
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil Degrasse Tyson
Confessions of a Serial Songwriter - Shelly Peiken
Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In - Bernie Sanders and Mark Ruffalo
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher
Best Engineered Album, Non Classical
Is This The Life We Really Want? - Roger Waters
Every Where Is Some Where - K. Flav
Natural Conclusion - Rose Cousins
No Shape - Perfume Genius
24K Magic - Bruno Mars
Best Music Film
Long Strange Trip - The Grateful Dead
One More Time With Feeling - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
The Defiant Ones - Various Artists
Soundbreaking - Various Artists
Two Trains Runnin' - Various Artists
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, "Something Just Like This"
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber, "Despacito"
Imagine Dragons, "Thunder"
Portugal. The Man, "Feel It Still"
Zedd & Alessia Cara, "Stay"
Best Pop Vocal Album
Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
Imagine Dragons, Evolve
Lady Gaga, Joanne
Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)
Best Dance Recording
Bonobo Featuring Innov Gnawa, "Bambro Koyo Ganda"
Camelphat & Elderbrook, "Cola"
Gorillaz Featuring DRAM, "Andromeda"
LCD Soundsystem, "Tonite"
Odesza Featuring WYNNE & Mansionair, "Line of Sight"
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Kraftwerk, 3-D The Catalogue
Mura Masa, Mura Masa
Odesza, A Moment Apart
Sylvan Esso, What Now
Best Alternative Music Album
Arcade Fire, Everything Now
LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
The National, Sleep Well Beast
Best New Age Album
Brian Eno, Reflection
India.Arie, SongVersation: Medicine
Peter Kater, Dancing on Water
Kitaro, Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, Volume 5
Steve Roach, Spiral Revelation
Best American Roots Performance
Alabama Shakes, "Killer Diller Blues"
Blind Boys of Alabama, "Let My Mother Live"
Glen Campbell, "Arkansas Farmboy"
Leonard Cohen, "Steer Your Way"
Alison Krauss, "I Never Cared For You"
Best Song Written For Visual Media
Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, "City of Stars," La La Land
Lin-Manuel Miranda, "How Far I'll Go," Moana
Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," Fifty Shades Darker
Sia & Greg Kurstin, "Never Give Up," Lion
Common & Diane Warren, "Stand Up for Something," Marshall
Best Recording Package
Jonathan Coulton, Solid State
Magín Díaz, El Orisha De La Rosa
Mura Masa, Mura Masa
Father John Misty, Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition)
The National, Sleep Well Beast
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Lovely Creatures: The Best Of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds (1984 - 2014)
The Grateful Dead, May 1977: Get Shown The Light
Various Artists, Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque In Upper Volta
Various Artists, The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition
Various Artists, Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Best Music Video
Beck, "Up All Night"
Jay-Z, "The Story of O.J."
Kendrick Lamar, "Humble."
Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid, "1-800-273-8255"
You can see the full list of nominees at Grammy.com.