Why Is Bruno Mars' Single Getting a Grammy Nod This Year?

His nominated track wasn't even released this year, so what's going on?

By Leslie Gornstein Dec 11, 2011 5:01 PMTags
Bruno MarsGABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Why did records like Bruno Mars' get nominated for this year's Grammys when the album was released in 2010?
—Corinne Huntley, via Facebook

Mars isn't the only artist who, at first glance, appears to be getting a bit of Grammy gift.

Katy Perry's "Firework," which will compete with Mars' "Grenade" for Record of the Year, came out in 2010, as did another contender, "The Cave," a Mumford & Sons song that debuted stateside more than a year ago.

So what's going on?

Nothing much, actually.

The Grammy rules for eligibility are pretty clear (not to mention out there for all to see) and they allow for late-2010 releases. Specifically, the rules say thus:

For the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, albums must be released between Oct. 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2011. Recordings must be in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the Internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product.

Perry's "Firework" debuted on Oct. 26, 2010, while the U.S. release of "The Cave" came on the same day. As for Mars, the official release date for "Grenade" is listed as Sept. 28, 2010. But the associated album release was on Oct. 4, and, according to a Grammy official I wrangled, that's the only date that mattered in this case.

As for when Adele's stuff was released—she's up for record of the year, too—does it matter? She's Adele. Just hand her all the Grammys already.