Courtney Barnett set for Grammy upset

Courtney Barnett performs live at the Forum, Kentish Town - London. Source: AAP

Courtney Barnett and Keith Urban will lead an Aussie posse to the Grammy Awards while Taylor Swift is expected to dominate.

When Courtney Barnett walks out of the 58th Grammy Awards in downtown Los Angeles and heads for a post-event party, there's a good chance she will be the newest member of one of music's elite clubs.

The indie singer-songwriter-guitarist, who runs her own record label from her Melbourne home, is nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy, one of the most-watched categories at Monday's (Tuesday AEDT) ceremony.

Past winners include The Beatles, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Carly Simon, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Sam Smith, Crosby Stills & Nash, Cyndi Lauper and fellow Australians Men at Work, who took the award in 1983.

Win or lose, the surprise Grammy nomination has elevated the 28-year-old to one of the US music media's new darlings.

"Um, about one in five?" Barnett, when asked by American music's bible Rolling Stone about her chances of winning the Grammy, deadpanned.

Chart-topping 22-year-old Meghan Trainor, whose debut studio album Title featured hit singles including All About That Bass, Lips Are Movin and Dear Future Husband, is the favourite in the category.

Bookmakers have English singer-songwriter James Bay second, US football player turned country star Sam Hunt third and then Barnett the fourth pick.

At the back of the pack is American singer-songwriter Tori Kelly.

Barnett should prepare a winner's speech, with the voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences regularly snubbing Top 40 artists and honouring surprise choices.

In 2012 Bon Iver claimed the category ahead of Nicki Minaj and The Band Perry and a year earlier, in one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding trumped Drake, Florence and the Machine, Justin Bieber and Mumford & Sons.

Australia is well represented at the ceremony this year, with country star Keith Urban, West Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala and Melbourne future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote also nominated.

Urban is up for Best Country Solo Performance for John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.

Tame Impala is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for Currents, with other nominees including Bjork's Vulnicura, Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color and Wilco's Star Wars.

Hiatus Kaiyote is competing in the Best R&B Performance category for Breathing Underwater, with The Weeknd (Earned It) and Tamar Braxton (If I Don't Have You) their biggest rivals.

In other key categories Taylor Swift is favourite to win Album of the Year for 1989, ahead of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and The Weeknd's Beauty Behind the Madness.

Swift is also favourite for Song of the Year (Blank Space) ahead of Ed Sheeran (Thinking Out Loud) while Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk is the frontrunner for Record of the Year.

It is Barnett's first trip to the Grammys, so the no-frills artist is not sure what to expect from the ceremony and red carpet carnival where, just a few years ago, Lady Gaga arrived in an egg.

"I can't really judge something I've never been to," Barnett said.

"But from what I've seen of it - dressing up and wearing fancy clothes and stuff - we don't really do that, so that's a start.

"It'll be an interesting life experience."

The Grammy Awards, with more than 80 categories, is split into two ceremonies, with the first beginning from 7.30am Tuesday (AEDT) and the main broadcast event from midday Tuesday (AEDT).

Source: AAP

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