Every year the Grammy nominations are a combination of the near-inevitable and the unexpected, and the class of 2018 — the awards’ 60th anniversary — are no exception.
At nearly 49 years old, Jay-Z and his 13th studio album, “4:44,” lead the nominees with eight. He’s followed by Kendrick Lamar, whose “DAMN.” album scored seven; Bruno Mars with six; and Childish Gambino (aka actor Donald Glover), newcomers SZA and Khalid, and producer No I.D. (who worked on “4:44”) with five each.
Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Bruno Mars each have nominations in Album and Record of the Year; Jay and Mars have different tracks nominated for Song of the Year as well.
The main categories — Album, Song and Record of the Year and Best New Artist — are also more racially diverse than any in memory: Without getting too specific, among the artists there are several black males, several Hispanics, a Canadian of Italian descent, a New Zealander and hardly any white males. While the Album, Song and Record categories are dominated by males, three females (Alessia Cara, Julia Michaels and SZA) are up for Best New Artist.
There are plenty of other surprises: Ed Sheeran, who was expected by many to be a front-runner, scored just two nods, both in the pop category. Former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles, from whom many expected several nominations, was shut out completely. Lorde’s “Melodrama,” a critics’ favorite that did not have a radio hit, scored an Album of the Year nod — and nothing else.
According to a press release, the nominees were selected from more than 22,000 submissions across 84 categories, from music released between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017. The voters are from “the Recording Academy’s membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers, and engineers.” The final round of Grammy voting is Dec. 7–21, 2017.
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from New York’s Madison Square Garden on CBS Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.
Head here for the full list of 2018 Grammy nominees.