January 20, 2014 12:00 PM

Catch the 56th Annual Grammy Awards SUNDAY, JAN. 26 8 P.M. ET on CBS

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

He’s nominated for seven Grammys, yet many fans still feel Timberlake was robbed because The 20/20 Experience didn’t garner nods in major categories like Album of the Year. But don’t cry him a river: The singer, 32, says his return to music wasn’t all about the accolades. “I was like, ‘Let’s make some music without all the hoopla of expectations,’ ” he recently told two high school journalists. ” ‘Let’s make something that feels genuine.’ I’m glad we were able to do it that way, because for me, it’s the best stuff I’ve ever done.”

ALICIA KEYS

WHY I LOVE CAROLE KING

THE SINGER PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE 2014 MUSICARES PERSON OF THE YEAR HONOREE

When I think of Carole King, I think of one of the most significant inspirations of my life. She is pure, powerful and one of the greatest songwriters of all time! Regardless of background or geography, there is something that connects all of us through Carole’s powerful words and reverberating rhythms. She liberated us with her simplicity and her sincerity in songs like “It’s Too Late,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “Nightingale.” And I swear when I sit down at the piano to sing and play “Natural Woman,” I can only daydream about the moment in her life that ignited what I would call a perfect song. It gives me chills! I recall vividly what it felt like the first time I heard the dimension and layers of her masterwork Tapestry. I felt the same open and deeper understanding of music as when I first discovered Stevie Wonder’s Inner Visions, and both are moments I will never forget. She reminds us that a woman alone at a piano can be as powerful as a 30-piece orchestra or an electrifying rock band. Her legacy is enduring, and her albums will be passed down to generations almost as a rite of passage. Carole and I are connected in so many ways – growing up in New York, discovering music at an early age, and our shared desire to find a deeper truth about life on the keys of a piano. I am so grateful to her for all the inspiration she’s given me. I’ll never be able to thank her enough. And when I think about the fact that I can call her a friend, I almost faint!

FASHION TIME MACHINE

A LOOK BACK AT HOW THESE NOMINEES HAVE ROCKED THE GRAMMY RED CARPET

TAYLOR Swift

2008

Sandi Spika

2013

J. Mendel

2012

Zuhair Murad

RIHANNA

2007

Roberto Cavalli

2013

Azzedine Alaïa

2012

Giorgio Armani

ADELE

2009

Barbara Tfank

2013

Valentino

2012

Sybil Connolly

MIRANDA Lambert

2011

Edition by George Chakra

2013

Roberto Cavalli

2012

Pavoni

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