They both campaigned with President Obama to help him secure a second term. Now both First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton have landed Grammy nominations. Both are up in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio version of their books American Grown (Obama) and Back To Work: Why We Need Smart Government For A Strong Economy (Clinton). Clinton won the category in 2005 for his autobiography My Life, while Obama’s husband has topped it twice — for Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Of Hope. Obama and Clinton are facing two top TV personalities in the Best Spoken Word Album field — Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously… I’m Kidding) and Rachel Maddow (Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military Power). Television’s presence on the Grammy nominations list announced tonight extends to the Best Song Written For Visual Media category, which features the tune “Let Me Be Your Star” from the pilot for NBC’s Smash, along with four songs from movies, including the Oscar-winning “Man Or Muppet” From The Muppets. (Nashville producer T Bone Burnett, who is behind the music on the freshman ABC drama, scored 2 noms for songs from The Hunger Games). The score soundtrack field includes Oscar winner The Artist.
Among the singing competition series, NBC’s The Voice was once again the top dog, with two of its coaches, Adam Levine from Maroon 5 (2) and Blake Shelton (1) getting noms. (Last year, all four coaches were nominated). For a second consecutive year, the music stars of Fox’s American Idol and The X Factor were shut out. There was a tie at the top of the list of nominees with six artists scoring six noms, including Fun. The indie pop band which owes a lot of its success to Fox’s Glee, which helped make their single “We Are Young” a hit.