There's the old saying about it being an honor just to be nominated. That saying no doubt holds true for the artists, composers and songwriters who landed nominations for the 50th annual Grammy Awards, but they'd also like to win.
"I had a couple of nominations last year, and I didn't win," laughed Ne-Yo, who picked up four Grammy nods on Thursday morning (December 6), including Best R&B Song for "Hate That I Love You" (featuring Rihanna) and Best R&B Vocal Performance for "Because of You." "And to get this many nominations this year, it's an honor for somebody to give you the recognition, of course, but it'd also be an honor if I win."
"Being recognized for doing something you truly love is an amazing thing, whether you win or lose," added Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, up for two Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Album. "I still really want to win though!"
If Ne-Yo does take home a golden gramophone or two on February 10, he said he plans to celebrate "with a lot of alcohol and a lot of friends and family."
And he wasn't the only artist planning to keep it within the fam. Akon, who received four Grammy nominations of his own, had a similar idea. "I'm calling my mom," he smiled. "She's probably going to scream, 'cause she's always said, 'You know what, you're gonna win.' "
Of course, both of those guys are certified hitmakers — and practically old pros at the Grammy game. For a host of other acts, recognized by the Recording Academy is a completely new experience — and a complete surprise.
"I grew up watching the Grammys every year and always dreamed that some day I would be there," said Tom Higgenson, frontman of Plain White T's — who scored a pair of nods, including Song of the Year, for their massive hit "Hey There Delilah." "It's funny, but before I even started writing 'Hey There Delilah,' I joked with Delilah that the song I wrote for her would be the song that made the band successful and that she'd be my date for the Grammys. Looks like I'll have to give her a call."
"I don't know how we got here, but I ain't complainin'!" exclaimed Hayley Williams, fiery frontwoman of Best New Artist nominees Paramore. "2007 hasn't stopped getting better since it started."
And that enthusiasm wasn't just limited to wet-behind-the-ears newcomers. Take, for example, the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, who seemed positively giddy when he spoke about his band's five nominations — including one for Album of the Year.
"That's pretty huge. We never expected to get something like that," Grohl said. "You're always surprised when you're nominated at the Grammys, because this is the real deal, this is voted on by our peers, by people who really love and understand music. But Album of the Year ... man, I don't know. Maybe Rock Album, or maybe Rock Song, but ... not Album of the Year. Man."
Or Nelly Furtado, who got all prom queen when discussing her nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance.
"The Grammy Awards are like the senior prom of the music business, only they happen every single year," she told MTV News. "Who wouldn't want to be invited to the prom? I was prom queen in high school, so I am thrilled and honored. "
And then there are those who decided to play it cool, despite probably having no idea they'd ever end 2007 with an armload of Grammy noms. Take, for example, Canadian chanteuse Feist, whose breakout hit "1234" earned her four nods — as many as Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna — including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and a spot in the Best New Artist category. For her, it was just another day in the wilds of the Great White North, which meant shoveling snow and baking and a whole lot of gratitude.
"This news has hit me like the blizzard I'm in the middle of, up in the Canadian woods," she wrote in a statement to MTV News. "I haven't quite absorbed it yet, so I'm going to go shovel the walk and make an apple cobbler now. [It's] astounding and amazing and surreal. Thank you."