Main | Sunday, February 10, 2013

OPEN THREAD: 2013 Grammy Awards

The usual red carpet hubbub is already underway and the show begins at 8PM Eastern.  Gay R&B star Frank Ocean is up for six awards including Best New Artist, Record Of The Year (Thinkin Bout You), and Album Of The Year (channel ORANGE).

Ocean is the first out gay man nominated for Best New Artist, although one might grant asterisks to previous Best New Artist nominees Culture Club (1984) and Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1985) as both acts featured frontmen who were widely known to be gay, even if they hadn't yet explicitly said so. (Culture Club won, Frankie lost to Cyndi Lauper.) In the still-not-out-but-totally-gay category is KC & The Sunshine Band frontman Harry Wayne Casey (1976, lost to Natalie Cole.) Closeted-at-the-time solo male Best New Artist nominees were Elton John (1971, lost to The Carpenters) and Luther Vandross (1982, lost to Sheena Easton).  Green Day was nominated in 1995 (lost to Cheryl Crow) and that year frontman Billie Joe Armstrong came out as bisexual, although he remains married to his wife of 19 years.

As for female acts, Best New Artist winner Tracy Chapman (1989) steadfastly refuses to publicly discuss her private life but is known to date women. The Indigo Girls were widely known to be lesbians at the time of their Best New Artist nomination (1990, lost to Milli Vanilli), but I can't find a date on their "official" coming out. And both Sophie B. Hawkins (1993, lost to Arrested Development) and Joan Osborne (1996, lost to Hootie & The Blowfish) did not come out as bisexual until later.

The awards will be broadcast live with a three hour delay for the Pacific time zone. Therefore those of you on the left coast might want to clock out of the interweb unless you want spoilers. Otherwise dive in and dish the presenters, performances, and winners.

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