Eminem Returns to the Top with 10 Grammy Nods for 'Recovery'

A lot's changed since "Stan"

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Detroit rapper Eminem scored 10 nominations for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards last night for his album "Recovery." Eminem leads the pack for Grammy nods this year, earning recognition for Record, Song and Album of the Year, among other accolades. While never a stranger to commercial success (he's sold more than 80 million albums to date), Eminem finds himself in a much different environment now—no longer the cultural lighting rod of his Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers days. Here's what music critics are saying about his big night:

  • Best Record Has Been Elusive for Eminem, writes Edna Gundersen at USA Today:

Eminem, whose Recovery is 2010's best seller so far with 3 million copies, is a two-time loser in the best-album race. He lost record bids twice and song once. He's favored to take best-album honors this time.

  • He's No Longer the King of Controversy, notes Nekesa Mumbi Moody at the Associated Press: "When Eminem was first nominated for album of the year some 10 years ago for 'The Marshall Mathers LP,' it marked a milestone for the Grammys as it chose to honor an album that was considered masterful in its artistry yet morally bankrupt in its values." Now Cee Lo Green wins that prize with his censored, expletive-laden track "F*** You!," which earned a nod for Song of the Year. "It's a sign of how much times, and Eminem himself, have changed that his leading nominations were not controversial, but expected and respected," Moody writes.
  • He Got a Big Assist from Rihanna, writes Jacob Ganz at NPR:

Back when Eminem's Recovery was in the middle of its seven week run at number one on the Billboard chart this summer, we wondered what it was about the album that made it sell so consistently. The Grammy voters got to make their argument tonight, and they gave half the credit to Rihanna. Five of the rapper's 10 nominations came for the song "Love the Way You Lie," which features the Barbadian singer.

  • It'll Be an Interesting Battle for Best Album, writes John Jurgensen at The Wall Street Journal:

Joining Eminem’s “Recovery” in the top category of Album of the Year, as expected, were a pair of Ladies–Antebellum and Gaga–with “Need You Now” and “The Fame Monster,” respectively. The other nominees hail from two ends of the pop spectrum. Arcade Fire’s thematic “The Suburbs” will be a staple of critics’ year-end “best of” lists. But Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” represents pop confection (down to the candy canes on the video screens behind her tonight). Her album, which sold relatively weakly, reflects a pop market that’s overwhelmingly driven by singles, making it the category’s brassy partycrasher.

Eminem follows last year's lead Grammy nominee Beyoncé, who also received 10 nominations for her album "I Am...Sasha Fierce" and came away with six wins. Released June 22, "Recovery" spent seven nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 3.1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Love the Way You Lie" also spent seven nonconsecutive weeks atop the Hot 100.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.