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Grammy Awards 2012: Nicki Minaj, LL Cool J Pose With Giant Gramophone

Handout, Getty Images

The Grammy Awards bill themselves as “music’s biggest night,” and for Nicki Minaj and LL Cool J, this year’s ceremony may well live up to the hype. LL, who’s hosting the show, and Nicki, who’s up for a Best New Artist nod, among others, recently joined country darling Taylor Swift in posing for publicity pics with a giant replica of the coveted gramophone statue.

In his shot with Swift, LL is all smiles and easy charm. The rapper and actor has hosted the pre-show nomination concert every year since 2008, but this year’s telecast will mark the first time he’s presided over the awards show. in fact, it’s the first time in seven years the Grammy awards have had a proper host.

Minaj — who appears pouting in one photo, smiling big in another — could go home with trophies for Best Rap Album (‘Pink Friday’) and Best Rap Performance (‘Moment 4 Life,’ featuring Drake), as well as Best New Artist.

That last one is often labeled the “kiss of death,” since past winners Milli Vanilli and Arrested Development aren’t exactly burning up the charts these days, but it should also be pointed out that Mariah Carey, Sade, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys have all gone on to have fine careers.

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, Feb. 12 at 8PM ET on CBS. See the full list of nominees in all genres here.

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