Jimmy Carter, Judas Priest, Boy George Among Grammy Surprises

Will former President Jimmy Carter pummel Toni Morrison? Will Nashville Pussy hear its name spoken aloud? And perhaps most shocking of all, will Judas Priest win a Grammy?

These are just a few of the burning questions presented when this year's Grammy nominations were announced on Tuesday morning. Sure, many are wondering how many statuettes Lauryn Hill and Celine Dion will make off with when the awards are doled out on February 24, but there are more interesting dramas buried deep within the bowels of NARAS' 95 Grammy categories.

Take category 17 for example, Best Metal Performance, which brings with it the potential for a celebratory march from either Nashville Pussy or Judas Priest who are nominated along with Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, and Rammstein.

Its doubtful that any of those groups will be seated near former President Carter, who is part of a Best Spoken Word field that includes author Toni Morrison, actor Christopher Reeve, NPR favorite Garrison Keillor, and David Holt & Bill Mooney.

Chances are Carter will also be kept clear of another surprise nominee, Kiss, who could pick up its first-ever Grammy. The metal mainstays are up against fellow journeymen Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Jimmy Page & Robert Plant and relative newcomer Marilyn Manson for Best Hard Rock Performance, a development that raises more than a few questions about the need for new blood in rock.

The nomination of the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" for Best Rock Song also raises a few interesting possibilities. The award is presented to the songwriters behind the winning track, and the Verve shares songwriting credit with Rolling Stones Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, the men behind the sample that "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is based on.

The nominations also packed a few fabulous possibilities for 80s revivalists, as both Cyndi Lauper and Boy George are nominated for Best Dance Recording.

Amid the many questions raised, the Grammy nominations

did offer at least one answer. Those who ever wondered how broad the Grammy categories could get were offered a Best Pop Instrumental Performance field that manages to include The Dust Brothers, Bela Fleck, Kenny G, the Pat Metheny Group, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

For more Grammy news, check out the MTV News Grammy Archive.