Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd Top 58th GRAMMY Nominations
The Recording Academy announced nominations today for the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards, reflecting a diverse blend of talented music makers as determined by The Academy's voting membership.
This year, Kendrick Lamar leads nominations with 11, followed by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, who each earn seven. Additionally, music producer/songwriter Max Martin receives six nominations and mastering engineer Tom Coyne, rapper Drake, and engineers/mixers Serban Ghenea and John Hanes each earn five nominations.
The eclectic nature of this year's nominations is exemplified in the Album Of The Year category, where nominees range from the alternative and soulful rock of Alabama Shakes and Lamar's thought-provoking jazz-infused rap to the classic country sounds of Chris Stapleton, the pop emergence of Swift, and the genre-bending R&B style of The Weeknd.
"The diversity in the creative community is what makes music a universal language, and it's gratifying to see the vibrancy of today's artistic landscape reflected in this year's nominations — a testament to The Academy's voting members," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Artists are pushing boundaries in exciting ways, making it an exceptionally strong year for music."
Following are the nominations in the General Field categories:
Record Of The Year
"Really Love" — D'Angelo And The Vanguard
"Uptown Funk" — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
"Thinking Out Loud" — Ed Sheeran
"Blank Space" — Taylor Swift
"Can't Feel My Face" — The Weeknd
Album Of The Year
Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes
To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar
Traveller — Chris Stapleton
1989 — Taylor Swift
Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd
Song Of The Year
"Alright" — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
"Blank Space" — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
"Girl Crush" — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
"See You Again" — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
"Thinking Out Loud" — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)
Best New Artist
Following is a sampling of nominations in the GRAMMY Awards' other 29 Fields:
For Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the nominees are "Ship To Wreck" by Florence & The Machine; "Sugar" by Maroon 5; "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars; "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar; and "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth.
The nominees for Best Dance Recording are "We're All We Need" by Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston; "Go" by the Chemical Brothers; "Never Catch Me" by Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar; "Runaway (U & I)" by Galantis; and "Where Are Ü Now" by Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber.
The Best Rock Performance nominees are "Don't Wanna Fight" by Alabama Shakes; "What Kind Of Man" by Florence & The Machine; "Something From Nothing" by Foo Fighters; "Ex's & Oh's" by Elle King; and "Moaning Lisa Smile" by Wolf Alice.
The nominees for Best Alternative Music Album are Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes; Vulnicura by Björk; The Waterfall by My Morning Jacket; Currents by Tame Impala; and Star Wars by Wilco.
For Best Rap Album, the nominees are 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole; Compton by Dr. Dre; If Youre Reading This Its Too Late by Drake; To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar; and The Pinkprint by Nicki Minaj.
The nominees for Best Urban Contemporary Album are Ego Death by the Internet; You Should Be Here by Kehlani; Blood by Lianne La Havas; Wildheart by Miguel; and Beauty Behind The Madness by The Weeknd.
The Best Country Album nominees are Montevallo by Sam Hunt; Pain Killer by Little Big Town; The Blade by Ashley Monroe; Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves; and Traveller by Chris Stapleton.
The nominees for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical are Jeff Bhasker, Dave Cobb, Diplo, Larry Klein, and Blake Mills.
For Best Music Video, the nominees are "LSD" by ASAP Rocky; "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" by the Dead Weather; "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar; "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar; and "Freedom" by Pharrell Williams.
This year's GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 21,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2015). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 16 to The Recording Academy's voting members. Ballots are due back to the accounting firm Deloitte by Jan. 15, 2016, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 58th GRAMMY Awards telecast.
The 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Feb. 15, 2016, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt Join Hurricane Benefit Concert
Your favorite country artists have stepped up to the plate to form an all-star line-up to contribute to the hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other devastated areas.
Called Country Rising, the Nashville, Tenn., benefit show will include GRAMMY winners Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Dierks Bentley and GRAMMY nominees Sam Hunt and Martina McBride, among others.
Funds raised from the concert will go to the Country Rising Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The fund was created to benefit victims from all the recent hurricanes and their affected areas, including Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands.
The concert will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 12. Tickets will go on sale starting Oct. 6.
Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert Lead 2017 CMA Nominations
Hold on to your hats, because the Country Music Association Awards are heating up with the announcement of nominees. Lauren Alaina, Dustin Lynch and Brothers Osborne did the honors on "Good Morning America" on Sept. 4. The results?
— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) September 4, 2017
GRAMMY winners Little Big Town came in next with four nominations, including a Song of the Year nod for "Better Man." Thanks to LBT, Taylor Swift has also returned to the CMA scene as a co-writer on "Better Man," marking her first nomination in three years.
GRAMMY winner Chris Stapleton earned three nods, including for Album of the Year for his latest release, From A Room: Volume 1. GRAMMY nominees Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett also pulled in three nominations, including joint recognition for Musical Event of the Year for "Craving You." GRAMMY winners Lady Antebellum earned two nominations.
— Lady Antebellum (@ladyantebellum) September 4, 2017
The 51st CMAs will be hosted for the 10th year by GRAMMY winners Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. See the full list of nominees and catch the show live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Country Focus: Chris Stapleton, "Girl Crush" Sweep Field
The GRAMMY Awards showcased some of country music's brightest stars, offering top-notch performances by Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton, and Carrie Underwood. Known for unique GRAMMY Moment artist pairings, this year's GRAMMY telecast continued the tradition of blending genres and placing icons onstage with today's hottest up-and-coming talent. Rising artist Chris Stapleton and veteran group Little Big Town swept the Country Field, with two wins each.
Stapleton was a first-time GRAMMY winner, earning two of the genre's biggest honors, Best Country Solo Performance ("Traveller") and Best Country Album (Traveller). Stapleton, who has been nominated in past years as a member of the Steeldrivers, said sincerely during his acceptance speech for Best Country Album, "This is something that you never, ever, ever dream of, so I'm super grateful for it." (He also thanked Taylor Swift for glitter bombing him before accepting his award.)
Stapleton contributed soulful country vocals to a memorial tribute to the late B.B. King, performing a rendition of the blues classic "The Thrill Is Gone" alongside Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt.
Little Big Town, who had a tremendous year largely thanks to their hit "Girl Crush," won the GRAMMY for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and took to the GRAMMY stage to share their GRAMMY-winning song about lustful jealousy. The quartet stood on a glowing, circular platform and performed an orchestral arrangement of the hit. The performance accentuated the song's somber mood with an a cappella opening followed by a sighing stringed instrumental accompaniment. Little Big Town were also nominated for Best Country Album for Pain Killer.
"Girl Crush" was named Best Country Song, with honors going to songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose — three of country music's most in-demand hitmakers known collectively as the Love Junkies. "Girl Crush" was also nominated for Song Of The Year in the General Field, an award that ultimately went home with Ed Sheeran for his top-selling pop track "Thinking Out Loud," co-written with Amy Wadge.
Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt teamed to turn their respective hits "Heartbeat" and "Take Your Time" into a duet mash-up, swapping verses in superb vocal style. Black-and-white wardrobes added to the performance's impact, creating contrast against red lighting effects. Underwood, a seven-time GRAMMY winner, was nominated this year for Best Country Solo Performance for "Little Toy Guns."
Hunt was a first-time nominee heading into the ceremony, with two nods for Best Country Album and Best New Artist in the General Field, following a breakthrough year with his debut album, Montevallo.
Luke Bryan brought plenty of charming country swagger to a tribute to legendary artist Lionel Richie. The medley of Richie hits included Bryan singing "Penny Lover" onstage beside John Legend, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, and Tyrese.
Country newcomer and first-time GRAMMY nominee Cam was a ray of sunshine wearing a yellow gown — her trademark color — when presenting the award for Best Country Album alongside actor Gary Sinise. Cam was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for her breakout hit "Burning House." Her producer Jeff Bhasker, who also worked with Elle King and Mark Ronson, among others, won the GRAMMY for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical.
Don Henley of the Eagles, who recently released a solo country/Americana album, Cass County, returned to the drum kit with the Eagles' Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh, along with Jackson Browne, to perform "Take It Easy" as a salute to Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey who died last month.
Pink and red were popular wardrobe colors on the red carpet for the post-Valentine's Day show. Hunt turned heads in a blush-tinged suit, and Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman dazzled in a red-and-pink gown. Country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift accepted her honor for Album Of The Year in a red and pink gown. First-time GRAMMY nominee Ashley Monroe, who was up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance (with Blake Shelton) and Best Country Album, chose a flowing sky blue gown.
The 58th GRAMMY Awards proved to be a strong showing for the Country Field, with several first-time nominees, multiple wins for both Stapleton and Little Big Town and a diverse representation of memorable country performances.
(Sarah Skates has been covering country music for more than a decade. Her recent work has appeared in Nash Country Weekly, MusicRow and Nashville Lifestyles.)