LOS ANGELES: Rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake led Grammy Award nominations on Friday but Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile and American newcomer H.E.R helped make it a female-dominated line-up for the year’s top prizes in the music industry.
Ten-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello were among the biggest snubs in top categories that were dominated by hip-hop and R&B.
Canada’s Drake, the most-streamed artist of 2018, won eight nominations, including album of the year for Scorpion and both Song and Record of the Year for his single God’s Plan.
Five of the expanded eight nominees in the Album of the Year race were women: Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, folk singer Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You, country singer Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and newcomer H.E.R.’s self-titled H.E.R. Rapper Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys and the soundtrack to hit movie Black Panther, which was produced by Lamar, round out the Album of the Year field.
Lamar, the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize for music, Drake, Cardi B and Carlile also garnered nominations for Record of the Year.
The Recording Academy, whose members choose the Grammys, this year expanded to eight from five the number of nominees in the top four categories – Record, Song and Album of the year, and Best New Artist – to allow a more diverse line-up.
The Academy also expanded its membership and set up a diversity task force after an uproar over the low number of female nominees, winners and performers on the televised ceremony in January.
Six of the eight Best New Artist nominees on Friday were women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, British pop star Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha.
Cardi B, coming off a phenomenal year, Lady Gaga, actor Donald Glover’s music moniker Childish Gambino, and country-pop star Maren Morris each had five nominations overall. Lady Gaga’s nominations came mostly from her single Shallow with actor-director Bradley Cooper from their film A Star is Born, which won five Golden Globe nods on Thursday.
In the biggest snub, Swift, one of the world’s most successful singers, was shut out of the major awards, getting just one nomination in the pop category for her best-selling album Reputation.
Grande, who on Thursday won Billboard’s Woman of the Year accolade, and Cuban-born Cabello were relegated to two apiece in the pop album and pop single categories. Beyoncé had to make do with just three, all of which she shared with husband Jay-Z: music video Apeshit, R&B performance Summer and urban contemporary album Everything is Love.
The Grammy Awards will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 10.