La­mar leads Grammy noms, where women make come­back

The Times-Tribune - - NATION - BY MES­FIN FEKADU

NEW YORK — The mu­sic of “Black Pan­ther,” with Kendrick La­mar in its star­ring role, of­fi­cially owns the 2019 Grammy Awards, where women are heav­ily rep­re­sented in the ma­jor four cat­e­gories fol­low­ing a year where their pres­ence was barely felt.

The Record­ing Acad­emy an­nounced Fri­day that La­mar is the top con­tender with eight nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing seven for his mu­si­cal com­pan­ion to the Marvel Stu­dios jug­ger­naut star­ring Chad­wick Bose­man and Michael B. Jor­dan. “Black Pan­ther: The Al­bum, Mu­sic From and In­spired By” is up for al­bum of the year, a cat­e­gory where women make up five of the eight nom­i­nees. Cardi B, Kacey Mus­graves, Janelle Monae, H.E.R. and Brandi Carlile also are up for the top prize, along with Drake and Post Malone.

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

An­other chance

The “Pan­ther” nom­i­na­tion would give La­mar a chance to win al­bum of the year af­ter los­ing three times. His most re­cent 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 non­clas­si­cal 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” and Cardi B’s “I Like It,” fea­tur­ing Bad Bunny and J Balvin, round out the nom­i­nees for record of the year.

Fol­low­ing La­mar, Drake — the year’s most suc­cess­ful artist — earned seven nom­i­na­tions. Though nom­i­nated for al­bum of the year, he was sur­pris­ingly shut out of best rap al­bum, where his ri­val Pusha T earned a nom­i­na­tion.

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.

Women aoe back

The nom­i­nees for the 2019 Gram­mys mark a de­par­ture from this year’s show, where women were un­der­rep­re­sented in the top four cat­e­gories. 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.

Record­ing Acad­emy CEO Neil Port­now was crit­i­cized ear­lier this year at the Gram­mys when he said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of women in the top cat­e­gories, which he later ac­knowl­edged was a “poor choice of words.” It forced the acad­emy to launch a new task force fo­cused on in­clu­sion and diver­sity. Port­now also an­nounced he would be leav­ing the acad­emy in 2019.

“In any given year there could be more folks from one area or one gen­der or one genre or one eth­nic­ity that are mak­ing record­ings and be­ing suc­cess­ful with them than in an­other year. So, in many ways we’re just a re­flec­tion of that,” Port­now said in an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press. “This year clearly there were many women not only mak­ing mu­sic but mak­ing great mu­sic and mak­ing mu­sic that res­onates with our peer vot­ers in terms of ex­cel­lence, and so that cer­tainly is at the fore­front.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

Kendrick La­mar per­forms dur­ing the Fes­ti­val d’ete de Que­bec in Que­bec City, Canada, in July. A list of nom­i­nees in the top cat­e­gories at the 2019 Gram­mys, in­clud­ing La­mar, who is the leader with eight nom­i­na­tions, were an­nounced Fri­day by the Record­ing Acad­emy.

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