Even though SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman died last year from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver, he was excluded from the list of faces and names showcased during Grammy Awards' "In Memoriam" segment last night (Sunday, January 26). Other notable hard rock and heavy metal musicians who passed away in 2013 but weren't recognized at last night's event included former IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr and VIXEN's founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund.
SLAYER has been nominated for a "Best Metal Performance" Grammy Award five times and has won twice: in 2007 for "Eyes Of The Insane" and in 2008 for "Final Six".
When SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray and TYPE O NEGATIVE's Peter Steele failed to make the "In Memoriam" segment in 2011, less than a year after both of them passed away, Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), addressed the issue of stars being left out, saying that the "'In Memoriam' segment is a real connundrum, because we keep a list — and it's a sad job — of when we lose people in our industry, actually, starting this past week [for next year's awards show], because if it's very late, it's not something we can factor in. And this past year  we had over 300 people in the industry pass, and many of them — all of them — important, so we have to, at the end of the day, make a selection, and you can't get everybody there, and we try to have a broad represenation of different genres and generations and so on. We're never happy with how that exactly turns out, [but] we have the list of everybody [who died] in our program book every year."
Hanneman is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
The guitarist, who passed away in Los Angeles on May 2, 2013, had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman's last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the "Big Four" concert in Indio, California.
BLACK SABBATH was honored with a Grammy in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, which is being held tonight (Sunday, January 26) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. BLACK SABBATH was nominated for the track "God Is Dead?", from the band's 2013 comeback album "13".
The SABBATH members did not personally accept the award at the pre-telecast ceremony because they were busy preparing to be one of the presenters during the main show. Pop singer Cyndi Lauper, who co-hosted the pre-telecast, said that she spoke with them prior to the event and that they were grateful for the honor. "I know that Ozzy is not here and I saw them last night," she said. "They asked me to accept this award for them. It's awesome. And I'm sure he thanks the Academy. They had to be next door to do something. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody."
Osbourne came up with the title for "God Is Dead?", but bassist Geezer Butler wanted to call it something else. Ozzy told Shortlist, "I was in a doctor's office and there was a magazine in there with that line on the cover. I thought, 'Yeah — people flew planes into the World Trade Center because of God, there's all this fucking shit going on in the world in the name of God.'" Geezer added, "Ozzy gave me that line, and I wrote the lyrics. I wanted to call the song 'American Jihad'."
Ozzy continued, "Fuck that. I'm the guy at the front singing it; I would have had a fucking army after me . . . In the early days [of BLACK SABBATH], there was a lot of backlash from religious groups . . . I was sent letters written in blood. In my house I must have 25 fucking Bibles, each with a marked-up passage that [the sender] wanted me to read."
Butler told The Pulse Of Radio what the song was about. "It's about this guy that sets out to prove that God is still alive, and he has this voice in his head saying that God's dead, and he can't get rid of the voice telling him, so he goes out and kills everybody," he said.
"13" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart in June 2013, the first SABBATH album to ever top the U.S. chart.
The disc features Ozzy, Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi playing together for the first time in 35 years. Their last effort together was 1978's "Never Say Die!"
The nominees in this year's "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category were as follows:
ANTHRAX - "T.N.T."
Track from: "Anthems"
BLACK SABBATH - "God Is Dead?"
Track from: "13"
DREAM THEATER - "The Enemy Inside"
Track from: "Dream Theater"
Label: Roadrunner Records
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - "In Due Time"
Track from: "Disarm The Descent"
Label: Roadrunner Records
VOLBEAT feat. King Diamond - "Room 24"
Track from: "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies"
Label: Republic Records
BLACK SABBATH's "God Is Dead?" also picked up a nomination in the "Best Rock Song" category. In addition, the band's comeback CD, "13", earned a nod for "Best Rock Album", alongside LED ZEPPELIN's "Celebration Day" and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's "…Like Clockwork", among others.
METALLICA's "Through The Never" received a nomination for "Best Recording Package" and ALICE IN CHAINS' "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" was up for the "Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical" award.
Nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards were announced on December 6, 2013 by The Recording Academy and reflected an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. For the sixth year, nominations for the annual Grammy Awards were announced on primetime television as part of "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night", a one-hour CBS entertainment special broadcast live from Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
"This year's nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, in a statement.
This year's Grammy Awards process registered more than 22,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013). Grammy ballots for the final round of voting were mailed on December 11 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They were due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by January 8, when they were tabulated and the results kept secret until the 56th Grammy telecast.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, and Louis J. Horvitz is director.
The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS tonight (Sunday, January 26) at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
BLACK SABBATH continued its sterling comeback year by earning Grammy nominations for "Best Rock Album" for "13", along with "Best Metal Performance" and "Best Rock Song" for "God Is Dead?"
BLACK SABBATH's last Grammy win was in 2000 for "Best Metal Performance" for "Iron Man" from the band's "Reunion" live album.
"We are ecstatic, surprised and very happy!" Osbourne said about the latest Grammy nods.
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place Sunday, January 26 at the Los Angeles Staples Center and will be broadcast live at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
"13", the first SABBATH album in 35 years to feature guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne recording together, went No. 1 around the world, earning the band their first chart-topper ever in the U.S.
Ozzy said about the prospects of making another record, "I don't want to say there's going to be another album, because I don't want you to ask me in another year, 'What happened when you said you were going to do another record?' I'll leave it open. I'm open for anything. I have three albums to deliver of my own solo thing to my record label."
Ozzy added, "We'll all still be doing music. It's been a lot of fun doing it with BLACK SABBATH, and I'm not sorry at all for getting back together."
The making of "13" was marked by several dramatic events, including drummer Bill Ward's withdrawal from the project over a contractual dispute and Iommi's cancer diagnosis.
BLACK SABBATH will return to North America in 2014 for 10 shows that will be among the last in support of "13".