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Photos: Eminem

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  1. Big seller

    Eminem lent his voice -- and image -- to a claymation character for Lipton's Brisk Iced Tea Super Bowl commercial. The ad aired on Feb. 6, 2011. According to reports, the rapper received $1 million for his services.

    Since his first major-label record, "The Slim Shady LP," dropped in 1999, Eminem has gone on to sell more than 39.6 million albums in the United States. (Brisk via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. You can't say that on TV!

    Lil Wayne and Eminem performed at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2010. The pair's expletive-filled act gave the censors a workout at end the evening. (Kevin Mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Love the way they sing

    Singer Rihanna joined Eminem onstage as the opening act at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. The pair performed Eminem's hit "Love the Way You Lie" from his seventh album, "Recovery." Rihanna had contributed vocals to the album version as well. (Kevin Mazur/em / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Encouraging words

    Eminem performed at the launch of the game "DJ Hero" at the Wiltern Theatre on June 1, 2009, in Los Angeles.

    "I came up doing freestyle battles on local stages with other MCs and DJs," said Eminem. "DJing is an essential part of hip-hop and 'DJ Hero' will give people all over the chance to experience the music from the other side of the turntables." (Kristian Dowling / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Honoring an inspiration

    Eminem inducted Run-DMC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 24th annual ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 4, 2009. The group is only the second hip-hop act to be inducted. Eminem said during the ceremony he first heard the group when he was 11, and that "something about the big drums and the strong raps grabbed hold of my ears and changed my life." (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Another Moonman for the mantel

    Eminem won the best hip-hop video award at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sept. 13, 2009. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Behind the act

    Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as gay fashionista Bruno, fell on Eminem, putting his bottom right in the rapper's face during the 2009 MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif., on May 31. Eminem angrily stormed out of the event, but it was confirmed days later that the whole incident had been a pre-arranged stunt. (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. The real Slim Shady

    Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, released a memoir called "The Way I Am" on Oct. 21, 2008. The book marked a re-emergence that came four years after his fourth major studio album ("Encore" in 2004), three years after he was treated for a sleep medication dependency and two since the violent death of his best friend and the collapse of a second marriage to his childhood sweetheart. (Dutton Books via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Yanking the crowd

    Eminem performed his hit "A-- Like That" at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards on June 4 in Los Angeles. Joining him on stage were life-sized "Crank Yankers" characters who also appeared in the music video for the single. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Getting Sirius

    Eminem, left, 50 Cent, center, and Dr Dre attended the Shady National Convention at the Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 28, 2004, in New York. The event launched Shade 45, Eminem's Sirius radio station that features uncensored hip-hop and rap. Shade 45 is now also available on XM and Dish Network. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Appetite for nudity

    Eminem dressed as famed Guns 'n' Roses frontman Axl Rose at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards on June 4. Toward the end of his set with D12, the rapper pulled down his pants and revealed his backside to the audience, a scene that was edited out the broadcast. (Kmazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. His life story?

    Eminem, left, and Kim Basinger star in the 2002 film "8 Mile" about a young rapper growing up poor in Detroit and struggling with his family life while trying to earn respect in the hip-hop community. The film was well received critically and won an Academy Award for best original song for Eminem's "Lose Yourself." (Universal) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. High-school loves

    Eminem and then-wife Kim attended the record release party for his third major album, "The Eminem Show." The pair met in high school and began dating off and on in 1989. They married in 1999, had a daughter in 1995, then divorced in 2001. They remarried in January 2006, but divorced again that December. (Marion Curtis. / Time & Life Pictures via Getty Image) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Coming to an understanding

    Eminem, right, performed his song "Stan" with Elton John at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 21, 2001. The performance caused waves because the rapper was under fire for the homophobic lyrics in his music, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation condemned openly gay musician John for appearing with Eminem. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Momma says ...

    Several of Eminem's songs on his "Slim Shady" album reference his mother, Debbie Mathers, portraying her as a neglectful parent. She retaliated by releasing her own hip-hop album, "Set the Record Straight," to fight his charges. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Oops!

    Eminem took home three trophies at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, which were held in New York on Sept. 7.

    When accepting the award for best male video, he went into his pocket looking for his speech and dumped out a bunch of pills. But it was his performance of the "The Real Slim Shady" that was actually memorable, with Eminem starting out on 6th Avenue in New York surrounded by an army of blond, white T-shirt-and-jeans-wearing clones of himself, who dutifully followed him through the aisles of Radio City and onto the stage. (Kevin Kane / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Happy days

    Eminem won music video of the year at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards on Aug. 22, 2000, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Two years later, the rapper and Benzino, the co-owner of The Source magazine, entered into a feud. Benzino claimed that the rapper was a product that worked to discredit black and Latino artists' contributions to the hip-hop genre. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Say cheese

    Eminem was arrested twice in June 2000 on gun charges in Michigan, and was hit with probationary sentences in both cases.

    The rapper was nabbed by Warren cops for carrying a concealed weapon and assault after fighting with a man he saw kissing his estranged wife Kim outside of a club. He also got popped for brandishing a weapon during a parking lot beef with members of the rival rap outfit Insane Clown Posse. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Fresh face in music

    Eminem attended the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards in New York and took the opportunity to pose with his mentor Dr Dre and Supremes singer Diana Ross.

    Dre signed Eminem to his record label Aftermath in 1996 and helped produce "The Slim Shady LP." Dre first learned of the young rapper after Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine requested a demo after hearing Eminem placed second at the 1997 Rap Olympics. (Ke.mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Eminem in Brisk ad
    Brisk via AP
    Above: Slideshow (19) Eminem
  2. Image: Lady Gaga
    Danny Moloshok / Reuters
    Slideshow (31) 2011 Grammys red carpet - Red carpet
  3. Image: Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch
    Matt Sayles / AP
    Slideshow (21) 2011 Grammys red carpet - Awards show
  4. Image: 3rd Annual "Change Begins Within" Benefit Celebration - Arrivals
    Jason Merritt / Getty Images
    Slideshow (27) Katy Perry
updated 2/7/2011 8:50:28 PM ET 2011-02-08T01:50:28

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards pits last year’s mega acts against each other in a clash of the ubiquitous music titans.

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The nominees come as no surprise to anyone with radio, television, Internet reception or access to the mall. Eminem, Jay-Z, Cee Lo Green, John Legend and a couple of Ladies (Antebellum and Gaga) gave Grammy plenty of big hits to choose from, but just because the noms are obvious doesn’t mean the same can be said of the upcoming winners.

Maybe Eminem seems poised to prove that after “Recovery” comes reward. His 11 previous Grammy wins bode well for him, but all bets are off when Eminem’s biggest track goes head-to-head with Jay-Z’s NYC anthem or Cee Lo Green’s ultimate earworm. With strong contenders across the categories, a sweep won’t be easy for any one artist.

Who will win? Who should win? Ree Hines and Helen A.S. Popkin share their thoughts.

Album of the year
“The Suburbs,” Arcade Fire
“Recovery,” Eminem
“Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
“The Fame Monster,” Lady Gaga
“Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry

Helen: Ugh. Katy Perry

Ree: Don’t worry — it’s not like she’s going to win or anything. “Teenage Dream” has a catchy, bubblegum-pop title track (which was performed better and bubblier by the cast of “Glee”), but it’s not a real threat.

Lady Gaga, on the other hand, could cash in her best album I.O.U. from last year and claim her belated award.

Video: ‘Fame Monster’ mash-up (on this page)

Helen: Johnny Weir should win for “The Fame Monster.” If not for his awesome “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance” routines, he could cash in his Olympic gold medal I.O.U. from last year. Dollars to doughnuts Lady Gaga’s cool with that.

Ree: Mmm. Doughnuts. None of that matters anyway. Aside from the fact that Johnny isn’t nominated or even a musician, this is a lock for Eminem.

Helen: Agreed. “Recovery” wins because you know how much we Americans love our “Intervention.”

Record of the year
“Nothin' On You,” B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
“Love the Way You Lie,” Eminem featuring Rihanna
“F--- You,” Cee Lo Green
“Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
“Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum

Helen: OK, I know this is record of the year, but can we talk about the “Love the Way You Lie” video for a sec? The one where Megan Fox beats up that hobbit from “Lost”?

Ree: Why, domestic violence never looked so sexy! Sigh and gross.

Helen: Sigh and gross, indeed. Anyhoo, Cee Lo Green gets record of the year for that one song. How could he not?

Video: ‘Crazy’ Cee-Lo scores big with ‘F*** You’ (on this page)

Ree: “F--- You,” Helen. I mean, yeah, Cee Lo. That’s my pick, too. Not that the Lady Killer will actually win here. Nah, the top honor in this category goes to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”

Helen: Didn’t that come out, like, five years ago?

Ree: Feels like it. It actually dropped in October 2009, but by Grammy’s wonky eligibility standards, that’s still fresh.

Helen: Fine. Can I just pick “Poker Face,” then? That was my pick last year, and by Grammy standards it should still qualify. In fact, I pick Cartman’s version of “Poker Face” from “South Park.”

Song of the year
“Beg Steal or Borrow”
“F--- You”
“The House That Built Me”
“Love the Way You Lie”
“Need You Now”

Helen: “F--- You,” Ree. Hey, wait a gosh darned minute! Didn’t we just do this one? (Check me out, pretending not to know the difference between record of the year and song of the year just so you can deliver the annual explanation.)

Ree: Well, the previous category, record of the year, is for the actual recorded song. That means the performers, producers, engineers, mixers and the manager’s ex-girlfriend (who allegedly played triangle on a track) gets the coveted gold-dipped gramophones. Song of the year goes to the brainy types who actually wrote the song.

Slideshow: 2011 Grammys red carpet (on this page)

Helen: You think it took a brainy type to yet again misinterpret Thomas Wolfe? (Yeah, I’m looking at you, “The Country Music Cliché That Built Me.”)

Ree: Touche. As for my pick, “Love the Way You Lie” is the obvious winner, and as such, I’m totally going with that. Or, you know, “F--- You,” (Helen). But since I also want to ensure my post-show bragging rights, I’m adding “Beg Steal or Borrow” as a potential dark-horse winner. Bases covered.

Helen: Well, in that case, I pick “F--- You,” “Beg Steal Or Borrow,” “The House That Built Me,” “Love the Way You Lie,” AND “Need You Now.”

Not really. Three country songs in a category certainly ups the odds that the better one will take it — but you ignore Lady Antebellum’s saturation throughout the nominations at your own risk.

Video: Lady Antebellum ‘needs you now’ (on this page)

Still if “Empire State of Mind” takes record of the year — or even if it’s passed over for “F--- You,” there’s no way everyone’s favorite song isn’t winning this category. So, Ree, I really mean it when I say that the winner here is “F--- You.”

Best new artist
Justin Bieber
Florence and the Machine
Mumford & Sons
Esperanza Spalding

Helen: What, no Ke$ha?

Ree: Quit trying to make Ke$ha happen.

Helen: Fine, then I’m a Belieber!

Ree: You’re just saying that so the real Beliebers won’t send you death tweets for picking someone else.

Helen: And your point is?

Video: ‘Never Say Never’ to Justin Bieber (on this page)

Ree: Yes, well, I’m a Belieber, too, then. Whatever. This one will go to either Drake or Justin Bieber, but frankly — and this seems the norm for the best new artist category — they’re not so new. Heck, Biebs' career seems a little long in the tooth here. (I just got a death tweet, didn’t I?) How about I just stick to complaining about how Janelle Monae should be here?

Helen: Works for me. It’s just weird to see a jazz bassist (Esperanza Spalding) in a category that is for the most part, musically meaningless. Can’t we just agree this should go to mythic pipes behind Welsh Goddess outfit, Florence and the Machine? I mean, keeping in mind that “Dog Days” will no doubt haunt us in movie trailers for decades to come.

R&B album
“The Love & War Masterpeace,” Raheem DeVaughn
“Back to Me,” Fantasia
“Another Round,” Jaheim
“Wake Up!” John Legend and The Roots
“Still Standing,” Monica

Helen: So 2006 best new artist John Legend has five Grammy noms this year, but “American Idol” comeback kid Fantasia pretty much owns R&B categories with three noms. If you’re going with odds over quality, these are your only real contenders. Sure, you’d think Legend’s got the extra juice with his awesome Roots collaboration. But what’d I say about Americans and our recovery stories? This is Fantasia’s first time back at the Grammys since her 2008 noms. Usually, when “American Idol” winners disappear, they never come back. But Fantasia is back, baby! With a hit album! Plus she has that awesome reality show!

Ree: Haven’t actually watched “Fantasia for Real,” have you?

Helen: Ree, I haven’t actually watched “American Idol,” but I know those contestants crap up the nominations every year.

Ree: It’s like I don’t even know you.

This one should be a clear and easy win for John Legend and The Roots. No one else comes close this year. If Fantasia takes it, I’m done with best R&B album.

Rap album
“The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” B.o.B
“Thank Me Later,” Drake
“Recovery,” Eminem
“The Blueprint 3,” Jay-Z
“How I Got Over,” The Roots

Helen: Where’s Kanye? How can Kanye get his annual consolation best rap album award after getting screwed over in the top categories if he isn’t even nominated?

Ree: Nicely spotted, but Kanye’s latest release, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” came out 53 days too late for consideration. Save that rant for next year, though. I’m sure it will come in handy. As for this year, who knows? I’m leaning toward Eminem for the win, but I’m rooting for the Roots. Honestly, there’s no bad choice here.

Helen: I beg to differ. As Eminem is a shoo-in for “Recovery” in the best album category that failed to include Jay-Z, “The Blueprint 3” gets the Kanye West consolation prize this year. B.o.B and Drake were too shiny and new to win over vets, though the Roots certainly stand a chance.

Rock album
“Emotion & Commotion,” Jeff Beck
“The Resistance,” Muse
“Backspacer,” Pearl Jam
“Mojo,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Le Noise,” Neil Young

Helen: Dang, they should change this category to “Crusty Old White Bastards.” Seriously, y’all. Muse aside, and no offense to the venerable gents entered here, this is always a veteran’s grab bag of old men and when applicable, Green Day.

Ree: And they’re halfway there.

Helen: Word. And I’d like to take a moment of silence here to acknowledge the official dissolution of The White Stripes, announced on the band’s website on Feb. 3. Meg, Jack, I talked some smack about you in the early days, but you were exciting and new and everything this category never is.

Ree: Amen. On to Muse and the crusties ... Muse’s best rock song win (yeah, I’m calling that one now) will have to satisfy the trio this year, because best rock album goes to Neil Young for “Le Noise.” Tom Petty offers a little competition with “Mojo,” but the Recording Academy still owes the godfather of grunge some trophy case fodder. Last year marked Young’s first Grammy win after about a half-century of rock and that was for best art direction on a boxed or special edition package.

No, really.

Adding insult to Grammy injury, that spiffy award was delivered during the pre-telecast ceremony. If Young doesn’t get some love for his folk-metal mash-up this year, there’s something very wrong in rock.

Helen: Yet more proof that in the end, Grammy is pretty much meaningless. If and when Neil Young wins, he should throw the statue right back at ‘em.

Country album
“Up on the Ridge,” Dierks Bentley
“You Get What You Give,” Zac Brown Band
“The Guitar Song,” Jamey Johnson
“Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
“Revolution,” Miranda Lambert

Helen: Is it me or is the country album category all about the young ‘uns this year? Usually you’ve got a couple of oldies. Zac Brown Band took the cursed best new artist Grammy last year, which normally means we never see them again. But here they are, up against 2009’s best new artist nominee, Lady Antebellum, which is the contender to beat. Dierks Bentley is too bluegrass, and Jamey Johnson can’t compete with Lady Antebellum’s steam-rolling crossover appeal. Miranda Lambert fits the Country Sweetheart role, in both sound and looks. She’d be the upset.

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Ree: Don’t expect an upset. It’s Lady Antebellum’s award. They’re nominated in six different categories, including the big three (album/record/song), but despite their crossover success, it’s the country nods that’ll pay off for the Nashville trio.

Helen: True but booooooooring.

Ree: OK, fine. How’s this for a prediction? Lady Antebellum wins, but in a righteous fit of Kanye-esque rage, Dierks Bentley rushes the stage and points out that Rosanne Cash had one of the best country albums of the year. Of the year!

Ree Hines and Helen A.S. Popkin can agree on one thing: the Grammy old guard needs to tune their old-timey radio to something other than Bland FM.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Video: ‘Crazy’ Cee-Lo scores big with ‘F*** You’

  1. Closed captioning of: ‘Crazy’ Cee-Lo scores big with ‘F*** You’

    >> look behind the scenes at singing sensation cee-lo green. the number one song we can't say the title of on morning tv. today jamie gangel caught up with him. good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning, meredith. we'll call it if by the title that won't get me in trouble with my mother "forget you." but your teenagers know it by two other words. whichever version you listen to, cee-lo is at the top of the charts. [ applause ]

    >> reporter: wherever you look these days cee-lo green is bringing down the house . see you driving around town with the girl i love and i'm like [ bleep ] you

    >> reporter: pushing the envelope with x-rated lyrics and a sense of humor.

    >> the people have spoken.

    >> reporter: but the 36-year-old's real name thomas decarlo calloway can't believe the song is a hit.

    >> what did you think would happen when you released it?

    >> honestly, i didn't expect it to see the light of day. [ bleep ].

    >> reporter: instead it's a pop culture phenom with more than 40 million hits on youtube.

    >> reporter: and dozens of parodies including his favorite, this one in sign language.

    >> i thought she was sassy.

    >> reporter: you said cute as a button. what do you mean?

    >> there's something adorable about it.

    >> reporter: adorable. but don't let your mother catch you singing it, which is exactly why he thinks it works.

    >> i think it reminds people of the time where rock & roll was illegal, when they wouldn't show elvis from the waist down and profanity is always, you know, stuff like that.

    >> reporter: for the record, his 10-year-old son has heard the song but is not allowed to swear. it's not cee-lo's first hit. he's been writing and singing for almost two decades. baby i'm crazy

    >> reporter: thanks to covers like this -- i'm like [ bleep ] you and [ bleep ] her, too

    >> reporter: and especially this --

    >> his fans now range from 5 to 50-something. it's a long way from a difficult childhood growing up in atlanta. his parents, both ordained ministers died when he was young. he was headed for trouble until he said music saved his life.

    >> reporter: i used to sing along with records and at some point i began to embody them.

    >> his favorites included jackie wilson -- can you sing a little bit of it?

    >> reporter: -- al green . if i gave you my love i'd tell you what i'd do i'd expect a whole lot of love out of you

    >> reporter: and james brown . doing the best i can doing the best i can i'm only a man darling

    >> reporter: you name it, he can sing it. even pairing up with gwyneth paltrow on "saturday night live" for some country. and we rely on each other, uh-huh

    >> reporter: next up with the five grammy nominations and everyone waiting to see just how he deals with those forbidden words.

    >> reporter: which version are you going to sing?

    >> i'll give you this much -- it's going to kind of be half and half .

    >> half and half ?

    >> reporter: yeah. you'll see.

    >> anything more?

    >> reporter: nope. not even for you, pretty lady.

    >> oh! we learned cee-lo will perform with gwyneth paltrow and none other than the muppets. it was supposed to be a surprise but miss piggy can't keep a secret.

    >> reporter: she has a potty mouth . you get those two together.


Discuss: Will you watch the Grammy Awards?

If so, what is your pick for Song of the Year?

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