Mariah and Daddy Yankee Snubbed, Karina Pasian Scores Surprise Nomination for 2009 Grammys

Lil Wayne and Coldplay (or as our Sound Check blog would say, the abominable Coldplay) might've topped the list of 2008 Grammy nominees, but among the mainstream contenders announced Wednesday night there were plenty of Latin surprises!

The biggest was for newcomer Karina Pasian--the 17-year old Dominican songstress scored a Best Contemporary R&B Album nomination for her self-titled debut, and she'll go head to head with Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, J. Holiday and Best New Artist nominee Jazmine Sullivan for the prize. Karina tells that while her family was glued to the TV in the hopes that she'd score a nod, she was occupied with something else: "I was doing my homework." That changed once Karina heard the good news, through for our exclusive interview.

Another big Grammy surprise, though not for a happy reason: Daddy Yankee's Talento Del Barrio was snubbed for a Best Latin Urban Album nomination. Those went out instead to Wisin y Yandel, Rakim y Ken-Y, Voltio and the lesser known Cali-based artists Akwid and La Sinfonia. Ouch! This obvious exclusion warrants the question: could Yankee's McCain endorsement have had anything to do with it? After all, conservative politics don't exactly mesh well with The Recording Academy.

Also snubbed was Mariah Carey, who actually performed at the Grammy nomination concert special but got no love for her so-so album, E=MC². In fact, the only nod that Mimi received was for Best Gospel
Performance, for her one-off collaboration with an assortment of gospel
singers called "I Understand" that appeared on Randy Jackson's Music Club, Volume One. Harsh.

In the Hard Rock Performance category, Tex-Mex prog-rockers The Mars Volta will compete against the decidedly regressive Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest and Rob Zombie to win a Grammy for their latest release, Wax Simulacra. The Brazilian Girls picked up a nod for Best Electronic/Dance album, along with Daft Punk, Kylie Minouge and Robyn. And singer Colby O'Donis scored a nod for Best Dance Recording for "Just Dance," his collabo with electro-pop artist Lady Gaga.

As for the other top Latin categories, there were no major surprises: Juanes, Luis Miguel and Luis Fonsi are among the nominees for Best Latin Pop Album and Los Tigres Del Norte are up for Best Norteño Album, while José Feliciano and revived salsa trio DLG earned nods for Best Tropical Latin Album.

Our favorite category? Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album, of course--that one features some of the coolest releases of the year, by Grupo Fantasma, Ximena Sariñana, Nortec Collective, Locos Por Juana and Jaguares.

Congrats to all the nominees! Click here to see the full list on

--Monica Herrera