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Now: Her song, “F–in’ Perfect” is up for best pop solo
Then: (here in 1993) was mouthy eighth-grader Alecia Moore, who sassed her teachers at Lenape Middle School in Doylestown, Pa. “I just wanted to get the hell out of that town and get on with my life,” she told The Mail of her early years.
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CEE LO GREEN
Now: The flashy R&B star is up for four awards – three as an artist and one as a producer.
Then: Before slipping on the flamboyant stage getups, the singer went shirtless in 1998 as the frontman for Atlanta-based hip-hop group Goodie Mob, who made their mark with biting social commentary. Green left in 2000 to form Gnarls Barkley, who won two Grammys in 2007.
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Now: The “Firework” singer’s tune is up for two Grammys, including the esteemed record of the year.
Then: When she wasn’t shopping at Bebe, the California Gurl, here at 15, was an aspiring gospel singer, who released a 2001 Christian pop album under her real name, Katy Hudson.
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Now: She’s up for six awards, landing a nod in nearly every category for which she was eligible.
Then: Before the bouffant, Adele Adkins brushed her bangs and slipped on a crocheted sweater in 2007 – but she still made Grammy take notice, taking home two awards the following year.
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Now: The singer/rapper, known for her outrageous costumes and Technicolor wigs, is up for the prestigious best new artist award.
Then: What a difference two years makes! Back in 2010, a fresh-faced, sleekly coiffed Minaj greeted the cameras with a bright smile before performing with Robin Thicke on Late Show with David Letterman.
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Now: The electronica artist – who is credited with bringing dubstep to the masses – is up for best new artist.
Then: Before he dropped the beat, Sonny Moore hit the road with the Vans Warped Tour as the vocalist for post-hardcore/screamo band From First to Last. He left the group when his vocal cord injuries required surgery.
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Now: She’s up for three awards, including album of the year for her multiplatinum Born This Way.
Then: has always hated pants – even back in 2007, when she was a brunette performing at Lollapalooza with her pal Lady Starlight.
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Now: He’s dominating the rap category with five nominations.
Then: In 2004, a less-tattooed Lil Wayne had just released the mix tape Tha Carter – a title he would repurpose three more times – and was best known for being a featured rapper on other artists’ tracks. “[I] was just making $10 million off of rapping and I ain’t put out one album,” he later told Complex.
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Now: The singer’s retro-style pop earned him six Grammy nods.
Then: Peter “Bruno” Hernandez, here in 1990, was a pint-size Elvis impersonator with a regular gig in a local Waikiki, Hawaii, show. The tot’s talent even landed him a part in 1992’s Honeymoon in Vegas. “Performing from such a young age just got me so comfortable on stage,” he later told Midweek.