Mac Miller, Dan + Shay, PSO nominated for Grammys
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.