Grammy snubs: What's next for West and Whitney?

根據USA TODAY的報導,Whitney Houston在今年6月結束巡演行程後,有可能與恩師Clive Davis再度聚首,為灌錄全新專輯進行準備動作!

Kanye West's love-gone-wrong concept album 808s & Heartbreak and Whitney Houston's comeback I Look to You seemed like locks for Grammy nominations.

But both were largely overlooked when contenders were announced last month.

USA TODAY, with the help of Vibe magazine editor in chief Jermaine Hall and Entertainment Weekly senior editor Rob Brunner, looks at what happened and where these artists go from here.

Kanye West
* The project: Fourth studio album 808s, a distorted blend of R and B, electronica and pop, represented an artistic departure for the hip-hop star. Instead of rapping on this melancholy saga of a broken relationship, West sang, using Auto-Tune to filter his vocals. His three previous discs were album-of-the-year nominees, and many deem 808s his best work.

* The sales: Made its debut at No. 1 in Billboard, with 450,000 copies sold the first week and 1.5 million copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

* The high point: Wound up on numerous year-end best-album lists in 2008.

* The turning point: Notorious for throwing tantrums at awards shows, West may have blown his chance at album of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, where he interrupted Taylor Swift's speech to declare Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) "one of the best videos of all time." The Swift incident "probably hurt him, but it wasn't really the traditional Kanye hip-hop album," Hall says. "He went out of the box, which some people loved, but for others, it took a while to grow on them."

* The nominations: Six nominations, but they're all collaborations — and he can win no more than three because he's competing against himself. Only one track (rap performance nominee Amazing,featuring Young Jeezy) is from 808s.

* The fallout: The VMA backlash was fierce and nearly universal against the 12-time Grammy winner. He apologized to Swift on his blog, via phone and on The Jay Leno Show, but the damage was done. He canceled his Fame Kills tour with Lady Gaga and has kept out of the limelight since.

* The next move: In early January, West blogged that he was excited to be back in the studio: "It's funny how so many rappers get worse as their careers stretch out, but true poets get better." He also released a VH1 Storytellers CD/DVD Jan. 5. Hall predicts that West's next album will be "a hit critically and with the masses. You can't deny his talent. All he has to do is continue to do what he does, which is be a genius." Adds Brunner: "I would hate to think that that one misstep would derail things permanently. I think he'll come back and be nominated for many Grammys to come."

Whitney Houston
* The project: Houston's first pop album since 2002's Just Whitney marked a return for the singer, whose stellar career had been derailed by marital problems and substance abuse. She made her first major live appearance in five years at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party last February and played several buzz-building listening parties through the summer. Arista moved the planned September release date up to Aug. 30 to ensure Grammy eligibility.

* The sales: Made its debut at No. 1 with first-week sales of 305,000 copies. It has sold 919,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

* The high point: Houston topped the album chart for the first time since The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1993 and garnered generally favorable reviews. She made the rounds at talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she candidly discussed her fall from grace.

* The turning point: Releasing the album right at the Grammy deadline gave it scant time to make an impression. A shaky four-song performance on Good Morning America in September came weeks before ballots were due. "It wasn't a massive commercial hit from an artist that you'd expect one from," Brunner says. "It had a strong few weeks out of the gate, but there hasn't been a ton of pop radio support, and I don't think it had a huge impact outside of her hard-core fan base."

* The nominations: None, despite the album's commercial success and the kind of rise-from-the-ashes story that Grammy voters often embrace. The promotional push put "so much emphasis on revelations about her personal life that the album almost seemed like a sideshow," says Brunner. "It was a middling album by Whitney Houston standards," Hall says.

* The fallout: Houston, who performed a pair of concerts in Russia in December, has maintained a fairly low profile in the USA of late. The six-time Grammy winner will be celebrated at the BET Honors (Monday) and is up for two NAACP Image Awards (Feb. 26). A remastered 25th anniversary edition of her groundbreaking debut album, Whitney Houston, is out this week.

* The next move: She's spending the first half of 2010 overseas. Her four-month Nothing But Love world tour begins Feb. 11 in Tokyo and will visit Australia and Europe. "She'll go back into the studio with Clive Davis, and they'll find songs that are great," says Hall. She tried "to capture the sound of the moment," but her audience is used to the sound she's already cultivated. "Having songs on the radio would help," Brunner says. "Maybe if she makes another album that doesn't get lost in all of the hoopla around this other stuff, people can appreciate it as a work of music more."



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