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GREIN ON GRAMMYS:
FACTS AND FEATS

It’s got to be said. Women really “stepped up” in this year’s Grammy nominations. Five of the eight nominees for Album of the Year are by female solo artists. Five of the eight nominees for Best New Artist are female solo artists; a sixth is a female duo. And five of the eight nominees for Record of the Year involve women as artists, though only one is a female solo entry.

What's more, a woman, Linda Perry, is nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, for the first time in 15 years. This is only the eighth time a woman has received a Producer of the Year nom in the category’s 45-year history. And Perry is only the fourth woman to receive a nomination on her own (not with male collaborators). The first three were Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill (all artists, unlike Perry, who achieved the nom for work with other artists—Willa Amai, Dorothy and the artists from the soundtrack to the documentary film Served Like a Girl.

The other nominees for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, are Pharrell Williams (his fourth nom in the category), Larry Klein (his third) and first-time nominees Kanye West and Boi-1da (Matthew Jehu Samuels).

Kendrick Lamar received eight nominations, more than anyone else this year. It’s the second time he has been the overall noms leader. He was also the top nominee three years ago, when he had 11 noms. Brandi Carlile is the top female nominee, with six noms.

For the first time in Grammy history, four Album of the Year nominees were passed over for nominations in their home “genre album” categories. Drake’s Scorpion and Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By were passed over for noms for Best Rap Album. Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys was passed over for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album. Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer was passed over for a nom for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

Black Panther: The Album is the first soundtrack in 26 years to receive a nom for Album of the Year and also see one of its key hits (Kendrick Lamar & SZA’s “All the Stars”) receive noms for both Record and Song of the Year. The last was the somewhat whiter Beauty and the Beast in 1992. Black Panther: The Album is the third soundtrack in the past 23 years to land an Album of the Year nomination. Lamar compiled and produced the album. Both of the other soundtracks to receive noms in the past 23 years were likewise overseen by music biz luminaries. Babyface wrote and produced the songs on Waiting to Exhale, a 1996 nominee. T Bone Burnett produced O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the 2001 winner.

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born and Kendrick Lamar & SZA’s “All the Stars” from Black Panther are both nominated for both Record and Song of the Year. This is the first time in 20 years that two or more hits from films have been nominated in these categories in the same year. In 1998, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (from Titanic) and Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” (from City of Angels) were both nominated for Record of the Year, while “My Heart Will Go On,” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (from Armageddon) and “Iris” were all nominated for Song of the Year.

Six hits were nominated for both Record and Song of the Year—a far higher degree of overlap than usual. Those six are Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke,” Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” Drake’s “God’s Plan,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA’s “All the Stars” and Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey’s “The Middle.” The two Record nominees that were not nominated for Song are Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin’s “I Like It” and Post Malone featuring 21 Savage’s “Rockstar.” The two Song nominees that were not nominated for Record are Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” and Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood.”

Six people each receive noms for Album, Record and Song of the Year. They are Kendrick Lamar and Sounwave, his producer/co-writer; Drake and Noah Shebib, his engineer/mixer and co-writer; and Brandi Carlile and Dave Cobb, her producer and co-writer. Carlile is the first woman to receive noms in all three categories in one year since Adele and Beyoncé two years ago.

Childish Gambino receives a Record of the Year nom for the second year in a row. He was nominated last year for “Redbone” and is honored this year with “This Is America.” Childish Gambino is the first African American solo artist to receive back-to-back noms in this category since Peabo Bryson in 1992-93. “This Is America” is nominated for Record, Song and Music Video of the Year. It’s the first work to be nominated in all three of these categories since Beyoncé’s “Formation” two years ago.

For the first time in Grammy history, five collaborations are nominated for Record of the Year. The old record was set in 2010, when three collaborations were nominated.

Cardi B’s debut album, Invasion of Privacy, is nominated for Album of the Year. Cardi B is only the third female rapper to be nominated in this category, following Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott. Cardi B is also nominated for Record of the Year for “I Like It,” her spicy collabo with Bad Bunny & J Balvin. This is the second year in a row in which a Latin-flavored track has been nominated for Record of the Year. “I Like It” takes the spot filled last year by Luis Miguel and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber). Bad Bunny, Miguel and Daddy Yankee were all born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. J Balvin is from Colombia.

Drake’s Scorpion, a double album, is the first multi-disk album to be nominated for Album of the Year since Vince Gill’s four-CD set These Days in 2007. Scorpion is the first multi-disk hip-hop album to be nominated since OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which won 15 years ago.

Dua Lipa and Jorja Smith are the first English female solo artists to receive Best New Artist noms since Adele 10 years ago. (Moreover, Smith is the first black British artist to receive a Best New Artist nom since Corinne Bailey Rae 12 years ago.)

Greta Van Fleet receives a Best New Artist nomination. The band’s most obvious influence, Led Zeppelin, was nominated in this category 49 years ago.

Chloe x Halle, a sister duo consisting of Chloe and Halle Bailey, becomes the first sister act to land a Best New Artist nom since HAIM four years ago.

Quincy Jones adds to his lead as the most-nominated individual in Grammy history. He lands his 80th nom for Best Music Film for the documentary, Quincy. Paul McCartney, who is the runner-up in career noms with 78, didn’t add to his total this year. JAY-Z receives three noms this year as one-half of The Carters, which pushes his career total to 77. This allows him to take third place outright.

Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour becomes the first CMA Album of the Year winner to receive a Grammy nom for Album of the Year since Chris Stapleton’s Traveller three years ago.

Luke Combs becomes the first CMA New Artist of the Year winner to receive a Grammy nom for Best New Artist since Maren Morris two years ago.

Björk’s Utopia is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. It’s her eighth nomination in the category, which allows her to tie Radiohead for the most noms in the category’s 28-year history.

Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. It’s her fifth nom in the category, which allows her to tie Justin Timberlake for the most noms in the category’s 25-year history.

Tony Bennett & Diana Krall’s Love Is Here to Stay is nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It’s Bennett’s 16th nom in the category, more than anyone else. Category runner-up Barbra Streisand lands her 12th nom in the category for The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!

Finally, if you’re looking for a mastering engineer, I might suggest you call Mike Bozzi. He mastered three singles that are nominated for Record of the Year—Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA’s “All the Stars” and Post Malone featuring 21 Savage’s “rockstar.” Mastering engineers are nominated in this category, so Bozzi is competing against himself.

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