There was a lot of hype surrounding Frank Ocean going into the 2013 Grammy Awards Sunday night. The R&B artist was nominated for six awards, placing him at the top of a list of contenders who shared the lead with six nominations.
Post music critic Chris Richards picked Ocean to win at least three of the top prizes, including best new artist, album of the year and record of the year.
Ocean was largely shut out of those categories, however, reports The Associated Press:
But Ocean — who was anticipated to win best new artist — won two trophies and was restricted to the urban categories. It was another year the Grammys dissed a rap or R&B artist from the top awards. Last year, West lost in an upset and in 2011 it was Eminem.
Ocean’s official studio debut, “channel ORANGE,” did win best urban contemporary album. He also won best rap/sung collaboration for “No Church In the Wild” with West, Jay-Z and The-Dream.
But the R&B singer released one of the year’s most critically revered albums last year, which made several best-of-the-year lists. He also made headlines when he revealed his first love was a man shortly before the album’s release.
The lack of wins was compounded by a mediocre performance, noted David Malitz of Style Blog:
Was that the most traditionally dazzling performance by Frank Ocean? Nope. His voice can disappear on him sometimes and the multimedia aspect and the song selection itself (the fine but not-an-album-standout “Forrest Gump”) made it seem like Ocean was buying into his own hype a little bit. But you simply can’t look away when he’s on stage or on screen. He’s a special talent who would rather play by his own rules, do something unexpected and different than simply sing his biggest hit the way it appears on the album.
The combination made his showing a letdown for the evening, says Richards:
You still had to win on one front or the other, which made R&B visionary Frank Ocean the evening’s biggest disappointment. His excellent and deserving debut album “Channel Orange” lost best album honors to Mumford &Sons, while his wobbly performance of “Forest Gump” failed to eclipse the quiet intensity he summons so easily in the studio. (He didn’t go home empty-handed. “Channel Orange” won best contemporary urban album, and he shared a Grammy with Jay-Z, Kanye West and The-Dream for best rap/sung collaboration.)
More from the Grammy Awards: