Rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake topped a wide-ranging list of Grammy nominees announced Friday, but female artists — particularly Brandi Carlile — made a strong showing in the newly expanded top categories of album, record and song of the year.
Lamar, Drake and Carlile all scored nominations in each of the top three Grammy categories, which were expanded this year from five to eight nominees in an effort to bolster diversity. The Recording Academy has come under fire in recent years over lack female representation in the top categories.
This year, however, women nabbed five of the eight nominations for album of the year and are strongly represented in the other top categories, including six female acts nominated for best new artist.
Lamar scored eight Grammy nods, led by his album of the year nomination for the “Black Panther: The Album” film soundtrack. Drake landed in the category for “Scorpion,” while Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You” earned her a nod. Also nominated for top album were H.E.R. for her self-titled release, Post Malone for “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Cardi B for Invasion of Privacy,” Janelle Monae for “Dirty Computer” and Kacey Musgraves for “Golden Hour.”
For record of the year, an honor presented to the performer, Drake earned one of his seven nominations for “God’s Plan,” while Carlile was nominated for “The Joke” and Lamar earned a nod for his collaboration with SZA, “All the Stars.” Rounding out the category were Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin for “I Like It,” Childish Gambino for “This is America,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for “Shallow,” Post Malone and 21 Savage for “Rockstar” and Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey for “The Middle.”
Song of the year nominations, which recognized songwriters, included Lamar’s “All the Stars,” Drake’s “God’s Plan,” Carlile’s “The Joke,” Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up,” Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” and Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” Also nominated were “Shallow,” the Lady Gaga-Bradley Cooper tune from the movie “A Star is Born,” and “The Middle,” the hit from Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.
Women dominated the best new artist category, with nominations going to Chloe X Halle, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha, Jorja Smith and Luke Combs.
The expansion of top Grammy categories was announced in July, with Recording Academy President Neil Portnow saying the move “creates more opportunities for a wider range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters when having to make the often-challenging decisions about representing excellence and the best in music for the year.”
The change came on the heels of a USC report released in January that found only 9.3 percent of nominees in the top Grammy categories were women over the past five years. Portnow also came under fire when, after being questioned about a lack of female representation among nominees, he responded that women need to “step up” to be recognized.
Portnow has announced that he will step down next year at the end of his term.
The Grammys recognize recordings released between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018.
The 61st Grammy Awards will be held at Feb. 10 Staples Center following a one-year move of the ceremony back to New York City in honor of the show’s 60th anniversary.
Grammy nominations were originally scheduled to be announced Wednesday, but they were delayed by two days due to the national day of mourning declared Wednesday following the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
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