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The Grammys: Five underdog artists you should be rooting for on Sunday night

Miranda LambertMiranda Lambert is a true longshot going up against Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. But you should still be rooting for her.

Check Click Track every day at noon this week for preview coverage of Sunday's Grammy Awards.

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be held in Los Angeles, Sunday and this year's ceremony comes with a new slogan: "We're All Fans."

But fans of who, exactly? The sprawling pool of nominees can feel so overwhelming, even Randy Jackson asked his Twitter followers to help him fill out his ballot. We're not mad at you, dawg! With so many artists in the mix and with the state of the music industry in such a tizzy, it's difficult to tell up from down. And while this year's Grammy narrative is bound to center around the highly-nominated trifecta of Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, Click Track suggests five underdog nominees you should be rooting for on Sunday night.

(Long shots, tear-jerkers and French rock bands, after the jump.)

Song of the Year: Maxwell, "Pretty Wings"
With his masterful "BLACKSummers'night" snubbed for an Album of the Year nomination, this is the most coveted Grammy that Maxwell is up for. If "Pretty Wings" doesn't win, we're hoping for another Kanye West stage-storming. (And yes, Taylor Swift is nominated in this category for "You Belong to Me.")

Best Rock Song: Pearl Jam, "The Fixer"
Pearl Jam? Underdogs? Yep. The band has only taken home a single Grammy over its 20 year career -- a Best Hard Rock Performance victory for "Spin the Black Circle" in 1996. The last time Pearl Jam was nominated for Best Rock Song was way back in 1993. The song was called "Jeremy." The award went to Eric Clapton's unplugged version of "Layla."

Best Alternative Music Album: Phoenix, "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix"
Enough bon mots cannot be heaped upon this fabulous French rock band. Anyone who voted for Depeche Mode or Death Cab For Cutie probably didn't see this video of the group playing an impromptu version of "1901" near the Eiffel Tower.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Miranda Lambert, "Dead Flowers"
If going up against Taylor Swift for BFCVP wasn't enough, Lambert is also facing another blond juggernaut: Carrie Underwood. Poor Miranda. "Dead Flowers" might be the saddest, most profound tune in her songbook. If she doesn't win, all the more reason to cry.

Best Country Song: Jamey Johnson, "High Cost of Living"
If there were a Grammy for best beard, Johnson would be a lock. (Take that, Kings of Leon!) Unfortunately, the neo-outlaw remains somewhat of a long shot for Best Country Song. And while his radio-friendly hit "In Color" has earned Johnson plenty of love on the country awards circuit, it's good to see the brilliantly bleak "High Cost of Living" nominated here.

By Chris Richards  |  January 25, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Grammys  | Tags: Jamey Johnson, Maxwell, Miranda Lambert, Pearl Jam, Phoenix  
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