Bat­tle of the divas

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

T wo of pop mu­sic’s big­gest stars are set to make the 2017 Grammy Awards the bat­tle of the divas. US su­per­star Bey­once is the most nom­i­nated artist at this year’s awards, with nods in nine cat­e­gories, while Bri­tish pow­er­house Adele is nom­i­nated for five gongs. The two most pow­er­ful women in pop will go head to head in three of the most pres­ti­gious cat­e­gories — Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Al­bum of the Year. The keen­est com­pe­ti­tion could come in Al­bum of the Year, which Adele won in 2012 with her al­bum 21, but re­mains an award that Queen Bey is yet to win. Bey­once, who last week an­nounced she is preg­nant with twins, is nom­i­nated for her land­mark vis­ual con­cept al­bum Le­mon­ade, which earned rave re­views from crit­ics and ce­mented her place as one of the great in­no­va­tors of re­cent years. Adele is nom­i­nated for her hugely suc­cess­ful al­bum 25 — which only just missed be­ing el­i­gi­ble for last year’s Grammys and was the best-sell­ing al­bum last year and in 2015. It’s not known if Bey­once will per­form at this year’s Grammys but or­gan­is­ers have con­firmed Adele will sing. The Brit will be hop­ing for bet­ter luck than her per­for­mance at last year’s show, which was marred by some tech­ni­cal prob­lems.

Bey­once will also be well placed to be­come the woman with the most num­ber of Grammy Awards, build­ing on the 20 she’s al­ready won. She’ll be a chance to over­take Ali­son Krauss’s record of 27.

Another diva in the mix will be Ri­hanna, has scored a healthy eight nom­i­na­tions.

Aus­tralians will also have plenty to cheer for on the night, with sev­eral per­form­ers from Down Un­der nom­i­nated.

Lead­ing the charge will be our very own pop diva Sia, whose This Is Act­ing is up for Best Pop Vo­cal Al­bum along­side Adele, Ariana Grande, Demi Lo­vato and Justin Bieber. The Ade­laide singer-song­writer is also nom­i­nated for Best Pop Vo­cal Duet for her song Cheap Thrills.

Fresh from win­ning Triple J’s Hottest 100 a fort­night ago, Syd­ney DJ/pro­ducer Flume is a chance for Best Dance Record­ing for his sin­gle Never Be Like You — the song has been a ma­jor hit in the US — while his al­bum Skin is up for Best Dance/Elec­tronic al­bum.

Coun­try su­per­star Keith Ur­ban could pick up an award from one of his three nom­i­na­tions — in­clud­ing Best Coun­try Al­bum for Rip­cord.

Pol­i­tics could also fea­ture promi­nently at this year’s Grammys, with some lead­ing per­form­ers and nom­i­nees, ru­moured to be boy­cotting the awards.

Drake (eight nom­i­na­tions), Kanye West (eight) and Justin Bieber (four) are all set to miss the show, while Frank Ocean went as far as re­mov­ing his al­bum Blonde from Grammy el­i­gi­bil­ity.

West, Drake and Ocean are re­port­edly up­set the Grammys don’t sup­port young black artists and want to take a stand.

“That in­sti­tu­tion cer­tainly has nos­tal­gic im­por­tance,” Ocean told the New York Times.

“It just doesn’t seem to be rep­re­sent­ing very well for peo­ple who come from where I come from and hold down what I hold down. I think the in­fra­struc­ture of the award­ing sys­tem and the nom­i­na­tion sys­tem and screen­ing sys­tem is dated.”

Bieber is un­der­stood to be rais­ing his own ques­tions over the rel­e­vance of the awards. It’s also ex­pected the cer­e­mony will pro­vide a plat­form for another group of celebrities to ex­press their dis­ap­proval of new US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. It will be up to Bri­tish host and co­me­dian James Cor­den to keep the show mov­ing and the pol­i­tics to a min­i­mum through a cer­e­mony sched­uled to run for just over 3 and a half hours.

The 59th An­nual Grammy Awards will be shown on Fox8 on Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 13, at 12pm.

Bey­once is ex­pected to bring her usual glam­our to the awards, while (left) Brit star Adele will per­form.

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