New acts rule as Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish lead Grammys nominations

Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Lil Nas X are among the high-profile contenders vying for the Grammy Awards.

Canadians in the running: Shawn Mendes, Michael Bublé, Drake, Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar

Lizzo leads the race for the Grammys with eight nominations, including in the four top categories. (Owen Sweeney/Invision/The Associated Press)

The Grammys are screaming "Cuz I Love You" to Lizzo: The breakthrough singer-rapper scored a whopping eight nominations, including bids for the top four awards, making her the show's top-nominated act.

Lizzo picked up nominations for album of the year with her major-label debut, Cuz I Love You; song and record of the year with her anthemic No. 1 hit, Truth Hurts; and best new artist.

Like Lizzo, other new artists dominated with Grammy nominations on Wednesday: Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X earned six nominations apiece.

Eilish also scored nominations in the top four categories, making the 17-year-old the youngest artist in the history of the Grammys to achieve the feat. Lil Nas X, 20, is up for three of the top four awards, including album and record of the year for Old Town Road, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

Lil Nas X scored a massive hit with Old Town Road. (Eric Lagg/Columbia Records via AP)

Nominees for album of the year are:

  • I, I, Bon Iver
  • Norman F--king Rockwell, Lana Del Rey
  • When We Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish
  • Thank U Next, Ariana Grande
  • I Used to Know Her, H.E.R.
  • 7, Lil Nas X
  • Cuz I Love You, Lizzo
  • Father of the Bride, Vampire Weekend

Nominees for record of the year are:

  • Hey Ma, Bon Iver
  • Bad Guy, Billie Eilish
  • 7 Rings, Ariana Grande
  • Hard Place, H.E.R.
  • Talk, Khalid
  • Old Town Road, Lil Nas X
  • Truth Hurts, Lizzo
  • Sunflower, Post Malone
Billie Eilish is the youngest-ever Grammy nominee to vie for all four top categories. (Universal Music)

While Taylor Swift was shut out of album of the year for Lover, the album's title track earned a nomination for song of the year, a songwriter's award.

Song of the year nominees are:

  • Always Remember Us This Way, Lady Gaga
  • Bad Guy, Billie Eilish
  • Bring My Flowers Now, Tanya Tucker
  • Hard Place, H.E.R.
  • Lover, Taylor Swift
  • Norman F--king Rockwell, Lana Del Rey
  • Someone You Loved, Lewis Capaldi
  • Truth Hurts, Lizzo

Swift earned three nominations overall, while Beyoncé — who was shut out of the top three categories — scored four. While her groundbreaking Homecoming documentary earned a nomination for best music film, its album version didn't pick up any nominations.

Instead, her The Lion King: The Gift project — which features songs inspired by The Lion King, for which she voiced the character Nala — is up for best pop vocal album, competing with projects from Ed Sheeran, Swift, Eilish and Ariana Grande. Beyonce's Spirit, from The Lion King which is being pushed for Oscar consideration, is up for best pop solo performance along with Swift's You Need to Calm DownTruth HurtsBad Guy and 7 Rings.

Canadian Shawn Mendes, left, is a nominee for his duet Senorita with Camila Cabello. (Matt Sayles/Invision/The Associated Press)

A host of Canadian acts also earned Grammy nods early Wednesday, including pop singer Shawn Mendes, rapper Drake, rising singers Daniel Caesar and Jessie Reyez and Grammy regulars Michael Bublé and Northern Cree.

Drake earned a pair of nominations for feature appearances on tracks by Chris Brown and Rick Ross. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Female acts in the spotlight

Overall, female acts out-performed their male counterparts in the top four categories: Five of the eight album-of-the-year contenders are women, while seven of the eight song-of-the-year nominees are by women. Female musicians also rule in the best new artist category, though record of the year is evenly split.

Ariana Grande, who earned her first Grammy earlier this year, is up for five more. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Grande, who won her first Grammy earlier this year, scored five nominations, as did H.E.R. and Finneas, Eilish's older brother who co-wrote, co-produced and engineered her debut album. Finneas' nominations include producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).

Several acts picked up four nominations, including J. Cole, Gary Clark Jr., Lucky Daye, Thom Yorke, Bob Ludwig and Tanya Tucker, who in August released her first album of new songs in 17 years.

British country-soul performer Yola also scored four bids, including best new artist.

Best new artist nominees are:

  • Black Pumas
  • Billie Eilish
  • Lil Nas X
  • Lizzo
  • Maggie Rogers
  • Rosalia
  • Tank and the Bangas
  • Yola

Rise of Lizzo

Lizzo's road to the Grammys has been a long one: The 31-year-old, who performed with Prince on his Plectrumelectrum album, grinded as an independent and touring artist for years before signing a major-label deal, releasing her first album in 2013.

Though she's been on the music scene for years, 2019 marked a career breakthrough for singer, rapper and musician Lizzo. (Matt Sayles/Invision/The Associated Press)

But this year marked her major breakthrough: Her song Truth Hurts topped the charts for seven weeks; she's wowed audiences with her live performances — including her twerking while playing the flute. She's also graced several magazine covers, earning praise for promoting body positivity and denouncing fat shaming.

But Lizzo has also had her fair share of critics: Some felt she shouldn't qualify for best new artist at the Grammys since she's been on the music scene for years. Others thought since Truth Hurts was originally released in 2017, it shouldn't qualify for the 2020 Grammys. The Recording Academy said Truth Hurts qualified because the song was never submitted for contention in the Grammys process and it appears on an album released during the eligibility period for the upcoming show.

Truth Hurts was co-written by Tele, Jesse Saint John and Ricky Reed, who is nominated for producer of the year (non-classical). Mina Lioness, the British singer whom Lizzo gave writing credit to after using some of her viral tweet in the hit song, didn't appear on the list of writers nominated for song of the year for Truth Hurts. Lizzo's label, Atlantic Records, told The Associated Press last week it was in the process of adding Lioness to the song's credits.

Lizzo's other nominations include best urban contemporary album, best pop solo performance for Truth Hurts, best traditional R&B performance for Jerome and best R&B performance for Exactly How I Am, which features Gucci Mane and marks the rapper's first Grammy nomination.

Another first-time nominee: former first lady Michelle Obama, who is nominated for best spoken word album for Becoming (Barack Obama has won two Grammys in the same category).

Nipsey Hussle earned three posthumous nominations. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press)

Nipsey Hussle, who died in March and was nominated for best rap album earlier this year, scored three nominations: His song Racks In the Middle is up for best rap performance and best rap song, while Higher — a collaboration with DJ Khaled and John Legend that was one of the last songs Hussle recorded — is nominated for best rap/sung performance.

The Cranberries picked up a nomination for best rock album for their eighth and final album, In the End, which the surviving members of the Irish band created using unfinished vocals from singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died last year.

The 2020 Grammys will hand out awards in its 84 categories live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26., in a ceremony hosted by Grammy-winner Alicia Keys.

Nominees were selected from more than 20,000 submissions, and the final round of voting runs from Dec. 9 until Jan. 3.

With files from CBC News


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