Buble, Alpert, Marley, Colbert win early Grammys

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Buble has won his fourth best traditional pop vocal album Grammy.

Buble was one of the early winners Sunday at the Grammy Awards. Herb Alpert’s “Steppin’ Out” was named best pop instrumental album, Ziggy Marley won reggae album and Steven Colbert won spoken word album.

Cyndi Lauper announced some of the early awards during the pre-telecast ceremony, jokingly giving acceptance speeches for the artists who were not present. The red carpet opened with a crush of people ahead of the show, as most of the nominees in the less mainstream categories vying for camera time before the big stars flooded in.

Jay Z, keeping up the decade-long Grammy tradition of rappers leading in nominations, is the night’s front-runner with nine, including nods for best rap album, rap song and rap performance. He’s nominated twice for best rap/sung collaboration with “Part II (On the Run)” featuring Beyonce and “Holy Grail” with Justin Timberlake, whose comeback album earned him seven nominations, but none in the major categories.

For top album, Macklemore & Lewis and Kendrick Lamar’s platinum-selling debuts, “The Heist” and “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” will battle Taylor Swift’s earth-shattering sales force “Red,” Daft Punk’s electronic adventure “Random Access Memories” and the surprise nominee — “The Blessed Unrest” from the piano-playing Sara Bareilles.

Macklemore & Lewis’ “Same Love” is up for song of the year alongside No. 1 Billboard hits, including Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Lorde’s “Royals,” ”Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars and Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess of fun. Lorde and Mars’ songs repeat in record of the year, and will be up against Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” and two songs that feature Pharrell Williams — Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which has sold 6.6 million tracks and is the biggest song of 2013.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, rising country singer Kacey Musgraves and British electronic act James Blake will compete with Lamar and Macklemore & Lewis for best new artist. Lorde, who was shut out of the category, has four nominations.

“Well, I’ve been waking up every morning and eating a lot of garlic,” she said jokingly. “I have been, I don’t know, just kind of chilling out, trying not to get too tired, because I feel like it’s going to be a big day and night.”

Lorde’s “Royals” is nominated for best pop solo performance and her debut, “Pure Heroine,” is up for pop vocal album, the award the 17-year-old hopes to bring home to New Zealand.

“Because it’s about the album, which is this body of music that I’ve written,” said Lorde, whose album will compete with efforts from Timberlake, Mars, Thicke and Lana Del Rey. “That being said, I’m still going to be proud of what I’ve done if I don’t win a Grammy.”

Lorde is just one of the top females to hit the Grammy stage Sunday: Beyonce, Madonna, Carole King, Pink, Swift and Perry will also perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The men are showing up, too, and performers include Metallica, Willie Nelson, Dave Grohl and Nine Inch Nails. Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, who has two nominations, will sing separately on the telecast.

“I love it because you see a lot of people that you’ll never see anywhere else and you’ll see a lot of old friends,” Starr said.

LL Cool J will host the 56th annual Grammy Awards, to air live on CBS at 8 p.m. EDT.

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AP writers Chris Talbott, Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Mike Cidoni Lennox and Beth Harris contributed to this report.

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Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin

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