Entertainment » Music

Frank Ocean Earns Six Grammy Noms, Dominates Year-End-Lists

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Dec 7, 2012

R&B superstar Frank Ocean had quite a year, and to cap it off it was announced on Wednesday that the singer has been nominated for six Grammy Awards.

Ocean, 25, was one of the leading artists (all male) who were nominated for the 55th Grammy Awards, which will be broadcast on Feb. 10. Indie pop band fun., folk group Mumford & Sons, rap icons Jay-Z and Kayne West and rocker Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys also snagged six nods.

Ocean's impressive nominations, include all major categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Short Form Music Video for "No Church in the Wild," which appeared on Jay-Z and Kanye West's album "Watch the Throne."

Ocean's critically acclaimed debut album, "channel ORANGE," is up against Black Keys' "El Camino", Jack White's "Blunderbuss," Mumford & Sons' "Babel," and fun.'s "Some Nights." His single, "Thinking About You" is nominated against Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," fun.'s "We Are Young," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," and the Black Key's "Lonely Boy," for Record of the Year. When it comes to the Best New Artist nomination, the singer faces Alabama Shakes, fun., Hunter Hayes and the Lumineers.

Soon after the nominations were announced, the "Pyramids" singer took to Twitter and wrote "WTF" and "Wow," Pitchfork points out.

Ocean, who is a member of the controversial rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, made a huge impact in the music world, specifically in R&B and rap, when he wrote on his Tumblr that his first love was with a man, days before his record was set to drop. After the announcement, his peers, including rappers who have had anti-gay lyrics songs in the past, like Snoop Dogg, lauded Ocean.

When "channel ORANGE" was released in July it was met by both critical and commercial acclaim as it peaked at number 2 on US Billboard 200 and 1 on US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Allmusic gave the LP four-and-a-half stars out of five, while the Guardian gave it a perfect score. Rolling Stone also it gave it four-and-a-half stars out of five, Spin gave it 9 out of 10 and the influential indie review site, Pitchfork, rated "channel ORANGE" a 9.5 out of ten, one of its highest rated albums of the year.

The record has landed on several critics' year-end-lists for 2012 as well and both Spin and Paste named it album of the year. Rolling Stone, Filter and Mojo placed it at the number two spot and NME and Time said it as their third favorite record of the year.

Earlier this week, the "Novocain" singer was rumored to be in a relationship with French model Willy Cartier. The men have been spotted together at red carpet events, so it may not come to a surprise to some fans if they show up together at the 2013 Grammys.

Ocean wasn't the only member of the LGBT community to earn a Grammy, however. Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres are up for Best Spoken World Album and are up against Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Watch the music video for Ocean's single "Pyramids" below:


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