Mac Miller, Dan + Shay, PSO nom­i­nated for Gram­mys

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Magazine & Pets - By Scott Mervis

Mac Miller has earned his first Grammy nom­i­na­tion, an honor con­sid­ered to be long over­due by his hard­core fans.

The late rap­per from Point Breeze is nom­i­nated for best rap al­bum for this year’s “Swim­ming.”

His fifth al­bum and third for Warner Bros., it was re­leased in Au­gust, a month be­fore he was found dead in his Los An­ge­les home at 26 from an ac­ci­den­tal drug over­dose.

Miller re­ceived the best re­views of his ca­reer for “Swim­ming,” which was seen as a bounce-back record af­ter a dif­fi­cult breakup with Ari­ana Grande and a DUI ar­rest. The record had Miller do­ing just as much, or more, singing than rap­ping, a melodic di­rec­tion he had been tak­ing in re­cent years.

Upon its re­lease, Pitch­fork de­clared, “He’s come a long way since his over­bear­ing kid brother act of his early ‘Blue Slide Park’ days.”

Also nom­i­nated in that cat­e­gory are Cardi B, Nipsey Hus­sle, Pusha T and Travis Scott. Cardi B’s “In­va­sion of Pri­vacy” is also nom­i­nated for al­bum of the year.

Miller is one of sev­eral Pitts­burghers and for­mer Pitts­burghers who were nom­i­nated when the Gram­mys were an­nounced Fri­day morn­ing.

Dan + Shay, a hot Nashville pop­coun­try act that fea­tures Pitts­burgh na­tive Dan Smy­ers, re­ceived two nom­i­na­tions, best coun­try duo/group per­for­mance and best coun­try song, for “Te­quila,” the hit from its third, self-ti­tled al­bum.

Mr. Smy­ers grad­u­ated from North Al­legheny High School and then earned a de­gree in fi­nance from Carnegie Mellon Univer­sity be­fore mov­ing in 2010 to Nashville, where he hooked up with Shay Mooney. The duo played a concert at the By­ham late last month to ben­e­fit the Tree of Life fund.

Christina Aguil­era, who grew up in the North Hills and broke out of the city as a teenager with the hit “Ge­nie in a Bot­tle” in 1999, re­ceived nom­i­na­tions for best rap/ sung per­for­mance for “Like I Do,” fea­tur­ing Goldlink, and best pop duo/group per­for­mance for “Fall in Line,” fea­tur­ing Demi Lo­vato. The songs both ap­pear on “Lib­er­a­tion,” the 37-year-old pop diva’s eighth al­bum and first in six years. It peaked at No. 6 on the charts when it was re­leased in June.

Also re­ceiv­ing two nom­i­na­tions is In­di­ana, Pa., na­tive Renee Flem­ing: best mu­si­cal the­ater al­bum for “Carousel” and best opera record­ing, with the Metropoli­tan Opera Orches­tra and Metropoli­tan Opera

Cho­rus, for “Strauss, R.: Der Rosenkava­lier.”

The Pitts­burgh Sym­phony Orches­tra, which won two Gram­mys ear­lier this year, is nom­i­nated for best or­ches­tral per­for­mance for Beethoven’s Sym­phony No. 3, “Eroica,” and Strauss’ Horn Con­certo No. 1. The engi­neer, Mark Don­ahue, is nom­i­nated for best en­gi­neered al­bum, clas­si­cal for that ef­fort. The eighth re­lease in the Pitts­burgh Live! se­ries, it was recorded at Heinz Hall with PSO mu­sic di­rec­tor Man­fred Ho­neck con­duct­ing.

Miller’s “Swim­ming” is likely to face tough com­pe­ti­tion from Travis Scott’s “Astroworld.” The rap­per, who head­lined the Miller trib­ute concert in LA on Hal­loween, was listed as one of the top 10 Grammy snubs by Rolling Stone on Fri­day morn­ing.

The mag­a­zine wrote, “’Astroworld’ was im­pec­ca­bly crafted — with help from wide-rang­ing, hy­per­mu­si­cal guests, in­clud­ing Ste­vie Won­der, John Mayer, and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bai­ley — and wildly suc­cess­ful: It’s sold 1 mil­lion copies to date, and sin­gle ‘Sicko Mode’ is the most pop­u­lar record in the coun­try this week. But shock­ingly, Scott is not nom­i­nated in any of the gen­eral cat­e­gories.”

In­ci­den­tally, RS also con­sid­ered two nom­i­na­tions, nei­ther of which are in top cat­e­gories, to be a snub for Ms. Grande, who noted in an in­ter­view this week that she is work­ing on a song about her for­mer boyfriend.

The 61st an­nual Grammy Awards will be broad­cast live from Sta­ples Cen­ter in Los An­ge­les on Feb. 10 on CBS at 8 p.m.

Mac Miller, who died in Septem­ber, has been nom­i­nated for a Grammy.

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