"Far Away," the powerful tune written and sung Marsha Ambrosius, is out front in the Grammy race for Best R&B Song. Ambrosius was inspired to pen the track following a friend's suicide and her music video includes an impassioned written plea for homophobia and bullying to come to an end. The video's conclusion also includes information on suicide prevention. Though she lost Best R&B Song for "Floetic" back in 2003 when she was part of duo Floetry, she and co-writers Larrance Dopson, Lamar Edwards, Sterling Simms and Justin Smith should prepare speeches.
Cee Lo Green competes in this category for the first time for "Fool for You" with co-writer Jack Splash. He was nominated in the general field last year for Song of the Year for "Forget You." He has better odds to win for this song with collaborator Melanie Fiona in the Best Traditional R&B Performance field.
The soulful Ledisi competes in this category for the first time for "Pieces of Me." Her songwriting partners Charles Harmon and Claude Kelly got their first nods last year for Fantasia's "Bittersweet." If voters choose to honor Ledisi anywhere, it's likely this will be her prize, but odds are she'll have to wait for a less competitive year to take home a Grammy.
Kelly Price wrote "Not My Daddy" on her own, but gets some assistance on the track from Stokley. She's also nominated for Best R&B Performance for the song as well as for her album "Kelly." But Price has yet to win a Grammy. This is likely another year where she racks up a few nominations, but walks away without a trophy.
A large batch of first-time nominees in this category are Charlie Wilson, Dennis Bettis, Carl M. Days Jr., Wirlie Morris and Mahin Wilson. The group contend for Charlie Wilson's successful R&B tune "You Are." Wilson's popularity has waned in the last couple years, which prevents him from being a very serious contender.
Listen to the nominated songs below.