Two with KC ties vie for al­bum of year Grammy

The Kansas City Star - - Front Page - BY AARON RANDLE aran­[email protected]­ In­cludes re­port­ing by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Kansas City, stand up and shout.

For the first time in his­tory, two Kansas City, Kan., mu­si­cians will com­pete against each other for the big­gest award in mu­sic.

The Record­ing Academy an­nounced its nom­i­nees Fri­day for the 61st Grammy Awards, and KCK na­tive Janelle Monae and KCK pro­ducer Jer­maine “JWhiteDidIt” White are up for awards in mul­ti­ple cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing the big­gest prize, al­bum of the year.

As a record­ing artist, Monae, a Sch­la­gle High School alumna, is nom­i­nated for her third stu­dio al­bum, “Dirty Com­puter.” She is also up for best mu­sic video for “PYNK,” wherein Monae de­buted her now-in­fa­mous “vagina pants.” Sur­pris­ingly, she’s not com­pet­ing in any R&B cat­e­gories.

“My role as an artist is to push cul­ture for­ward and to bring some­thing new to the ta­ble, to be in­no­va­tive in the space that I’m in,” Monae told The Star in Oc­to­ber, ahead of her show at Starlight, her first KC con­cert in five years. “And if I can get a num­ber 1 song or have cul­tural rel­e­vance by be­ing au­then­ti­cally my­self, then that is what is suc­cess­ful to me. That’s how I de­fine my suc­cess.”

White, a mu­sic pro­ducer who was born in Leav­en­worth and lived in KCK, may be the big­gest as­set to Cardi B, rap’s new­est su­per­star.

White is nom­i­nated along­side her in the al­bum of the year cat­e­gory for his pro­duc­tion on her de­but al­bum, “In­va­sion of Pri­vacy,” and again for record of the year for his work as a pro­ducer on Cardi’s Latin-rap sin­gle “I Like It.”

They were nom­i­nated for a Grammy last year for the first sin­gle off that al­bum, “Bo­dak Yel­low (Money Moves),“which, like “I Like It,” hit No. 1 on the Bill­board sin­gles chart.

“You’ve got to trust the for­mula,” White told the Star ear­lier this year, speak­ing on his affin­ity for hit-mak­ing with Cardi B. “I think it’s proven that when me and Cardi get to­gether, we just make his­tory.”

This year, Ken­drick Lamar is the top con­tender with eight nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing seven for his mu­si­cal com­pan­ion to the su­per­hero movie “Black Pan­ther.”

Fol­low­ing a year where women’s pres­ence was barely felt, now women make up five of the eight nom­i­nees for al­bum of the year. In ad­di­tion to Monae and Cardi B, Kacey Mus­graves, H.E.R. and Brandi Carlile also are up for the top prize, along with Lamar, Drake and Post Malone.

The up­com­ing Gram­mys is the first where the academy ex­tended its top four cat­e­gories from five nom­i­nees to eight.

The “Pan­ther” nom­i­na­tion would give Lamar a chance to win al­bum of the year after los­ing three times. His most re­cently loss was in Fe­bru­ary when his crit­i­cally ac­claimed “DAMN” fell short to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” though Lamar’s project would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for mu­sic two months later, mak­ing him the first non-clas­si­cal or jazz artist to win the pres­ti­gious honor.

Lamar’s Top 10 hit, the SZA-as­sisted “All the Stars,” is nom­i­nated for both record and song of the year (a song­writer’s award). Five other songs scored nom­i­na­tions in both cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shal­low” from “A Star Is Born”; Child­ish Gam­bino’s “This Is Amer­ica”; Drake’s “God’s Plan”; Zedd, Maren Mor­ris and Grey’s “The Mid­dle”; and Carlile’s “The Joke.”

Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” and Shawn Men­des’ “In My Blood” earned song of the year nods, while Post Malone’s “Rock­star” rounds out the nom­i­nees for record of the year.

Fol­low­ing Lamar, Drake – the year’s most suc­cess­ful artist – earned seven nom­i­na­tions.

Drake’s fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor, pro­ducer Boi-1Da, earned six nods, as did Carlile, who also scored nom­i­na­tions in the Amer­i­can Roots cat­e­gory.

Cardi B, Gaga, H.E.R., Mor­ris, Gam­bino, pro­ducer Soun­wave and en­gi­neer Mike Bozzi scored five nom­i­na­tions each.

Of the eight best new artist nom­i­nees, six are women, in­clud­ing H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith. Rock band Greta Van Fleet and coun­try singer Luke Combs also earned nom­i­na­tions.

Tay­lor Swift, a two-time al­bum of the year win­ner, only earned one nom­i­na­tion – her “rep­u­ta­tion” al­bum is up best pop vo­cal al­bum. Justin Tim­ber­lake, whose “Man of the Woods” al­bums flopped ear­lier this year, picked up a nod for “Say Some­thing,” his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Chris Sta­ple­ton.

Bey­once and Jay-Z, billed as The Carters, as well Ari­ana Grande, didn’t earn any of the big nom­i­na­tions. The Carters earned two nods in the R&B cat­e­gory along with best mu­sic video, while Grande picked up two nods in pop.

Artists who were com­pletely snubbed in­clude Car­rie Un­der­wood, Sam Smith, Mi­gos, Kane Brown, Nicki Mi­naj, XXXTenta­cion and Juice WRLD, whose “Lu­cid Dreams” was one of the year’s big­gest hits.

Gaga, who earned act­ing and mu­sic Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions Thurs­day, picked up four Grammy nom­i­na­tions for “Shal­low,” while “Joanne” is up for best pop solo per­for­mance. The sound­track for “A Star Is Born” was re­leased after Grammy el­i­gi­bil­ity, though “Shal­low” was re­leased in time and also earned Cooper two nom­i­na­tions.

Other fa­mous faces out­side of mu­sic to earn nom­i­na­tions in­clude Tif­fany Had­dish and for­mer U.S. pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter, both up for best spo­ken word al­bum. Dave Chap­pelle, Chris Rock, Fred Ar­misen, Jim Gaf­fi­gan and Pat­ton Oswalt are up for best com­edy al­bum.

Mac Miller, who died in Septem­ber, earned a nom­i­na­tion for best rap al­bum with “Swim­ming.” Chris Cor­nell, who died last year, is up for best rock per­for­mance with “When Bad Does Good.”

Demi Lo­vato, who re­lapsed after six years of so­bri­ety and was hos­pi­tal­ized for an over­dose in July, earned a nom­i­na­tion for best pop duo/group per­for­mance for “Fall In Line,” her duet with Christina Aguil­era.

The Grammy Awards will air on Feb. 10 on CBS.


Janelle Monae of KCK is up for al­bum of the year for “Dirty Com­puter” and best mu­sic video for “Pynk.”


Jer­maine White, who used to live in KCK, pro­duced songs on Cardi B’s Gram­mynom­i­nated al­bum, “In­va­sion of Pri­vacy.”

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