Kendrick Lamar, Black Panther soundtrack leads Grammy nods as women make a comeback

The music of Black Panther, with Kendrick Lamar in its starring role, officially owns the 2019 Grammy Awards, with women heavily represented in the major four categories following a year when their presence was barely felt.

Canadians Drake, Shawn Mendes nominated in top categories

Kendrick Lamar leads the field into the upcoming Grammy Awards, with eight nods, largely for helming the Black Panther soundtrack. (Amy Harris/Invision/Associated Press)

The music of Black Panther, with Kendrick Lamar in its starring role, officially owns the 2019 Grammy Awards, with women heavily represented in the major four categories following a year when their presence was barely felt.

The Recording Academy announced Friday that Lamar is the top contender with eight nominations, including seven for his musical companion to the Marvel Studios juggernaut starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By is up for album of the year, a category in which women make up five of the eight nominees.

Album of the year

  • Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B.
  • By the Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile.
  • H.E.R., H.E.R.
  • Scorpion, Drake.
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys, Post Malone.
  • Dirty Computer, Janelle Monae.
  • Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves.
  • Black Panther: The Album, Kendrick Lamar.

For the upcoming Grammy Awards, the academy has extended its top four categories from five nominees to eight.

The Panther nomination would give Lamar a chance to win album of the year after losing three times. His most recent loss was in February when his critically acclaimed DAMN fell short to Bruno Mars's 24K Magic, though Lamar's project would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for music two months later, making him the first non-classical or jazz artist to win the prestigious honour.

Lamar's Top 10 hit, the SZA-assisted All the Stars, is nominated for both record and song of the year (a songwriter's award). Five other songs scored nominations in both categories, including Lady Gaga's and Bradley Cooper's Shallow from A Star Is Born; Childish Gambino's This Is America; Drake's God's PlanZeddMaren Morris and Grey's The Middle; and Carlile's The Joke.

Canadians Drake, left, and Shawn Mendes earned nominations in top categories. (Associated Press)

Record of the year

  • I Like It, Cardi B.
  • The Joke, Brandi Carlile.
  • This is America, Childish Gambino.
  • God's Plan, Drake.
  • Shallow, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
  • All the Stars, Kendrick Lamar and SZA.
  • RockStar, Post Malone and 21 Savage.
  • The Middle, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.

Song of the year

  • All the Stars, Kendrick Lamar and SZA.
  • Boo'd Up, Ella Mai.
  • God's Plan, Drake.
  • In My Blood, Shawn Mendes.
  • The Joke, Brandi Carlile.
  • The Middle, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.
  • Shallow, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
  • This is America, Childish Gambino.

Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes was on hand on CBS This Morning to help unveil the nominees alongside reigning best new artist Grammy winner Alessia Cara, also a Canadian, fellow nominee Janelle Monae and Apple Music host Zane Lowe.

Ella Mai's Boo'd Up and Mendes's In My Blood earned a nod for song of the year, while Post Malone's Rockstar and Cardi B's I Like It, featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, round out the nominees for record of the year.

After a stellar 2018, Cardi B picked up five Grammy nominations, including for album and record of the year. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)

Following Lamar, Drake — the year's most successful artist — earned seven nominations. Though nominated for album of the year, he was surprisingly shut out of best rap album, but his rival Pusha T earned a nomination.

Drake's frequent collaborator, producer Boi-1Da, earned six nods, as did Carlile, who also scored nominations in the American Roots category.

Cardi B, Gaga, H.E.R., Morris, Gambino, producer Sounwave and engineer Mike Bozzi scored five nominations each.

Female artists 'at the forefront'

Brandi Carlile is a top nominee for her album By the Way, I Forgive You and hit song The Joke. (Jack Plunkett/Invision/Associated Press)

The nominees for the 2019 Grammys mark a departure from this year's show, when women were underrepresented in the top four categories. Of the eight best new artist nominees, six are women.

Best new artist

  • Chloe x Halle.
  • Luke Combs.
  • Greta Van Fleet.
  • H.E.R.
  • Dua Lipa.
  • Margo Price.
  • Bebe Rexha.
  • Jorja Smith.

Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow was criticized earlier this year at the Grammys after saying women need to "step up" when asked about the lack of women in the top categories, which he later acknowledged was a "poor choice of words."

It forced the academy to launch a task force focused on inclusion and diversity; Portnow also announced he would be leaving the academy in 2019.

This year clearly there were many women not only making music but making great music and making music that resonates - Neil Portnow , Recording Academy CEO

"In any given year, there could be more folks from one area or one gender or one genre or one ethnicity that are making recordings and being successful with them than in another year. So, in many ways we're just a reflection of that," Portnow said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"This year clearly there were many women not only making music, but making great music and making music that resonates with our peer voters in terms of excellence, and so that certainly is at the forefront."

Another milestone for women is in the non-classical producer of the year category, where songwriting extraordinaire Linda Perry earned a nomination. She's just the seventh woman ever nominated for prize and first since 2004.

Acclaimed songwriter and producer Linda Perry is a contender in the category of non-classical producer of the year, just the seventh woman ever nominated for the prize and the first since 2004. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press)

"Linda represents what we hope becomes the norm, which is the elimination of gender bias in producing and engineering in our industry," Portnow said.

Perry will compete with Pharrell Williams, Boi-1Da, Larry Klein and Kanye West, the only nomination he earned.

Taylor Swift, a two-time album of the year winner, also only earned one nomination — her reputation album is up best pop vocal album. Justin Timberlake, whose Man of the Woods albums flopped earlier this year, picked up a nod for Say Something, his collaboration with Chris Stapleton.

Snubs and surprises

Beyoncé and Jay-Z, billed as the Carters, as well Ariana Grande didn't earn any of the big nominations. The Carters earned two nods in the R&B category along with best music video, while Grande picked up two nods in pop.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé, billed as the Carters, didn't earn any of the big nominations. The married couple earned two nods in the R&B category along with best music video. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

Artists who were completely snubbed include Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith, Migos, Kane Brown, Nicki Minaj, XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD, whose Lucid Dreams was one of the year's biggest hits.

Some acts scored their first nominations ever, including Florida Georgia Line, whose megahit Meant to Be with Rexha is up best country duo/group performance. Camila Cabello, Malone, Mendes, Dan + Shay and DJ Mustard are also first-time nominees.

Post Malone, one of music's breakout stars in 2018 with his album Beerbongs & Bentleys, is a first-time Grammy contender. He earned four nominations. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)

Gaga, who earned acting and music Golden Globe nominations Thursday, picked up four Grammy nominations for Shallow, while Joanne is up for best pop solo performance. The soundtrack for A Star Is Born was released after Grammy eligibility, though Shallow was released in time and also earned Cooper two nominations.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga earned Grammy nods for their blockbuster hit Shallow, from Cooper's remake of A Star Is Born. (Warner Bros.)

Other famous faces outside music to earn nominations include Tiffany Haddish and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, both up for best spoken word album. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Fred Armisen, Jim Gaffigan and Patton Oswalt are up for best comedy album.

Mac Miller, who died in September, earned a nomination for best rap album with Swimming. Chris Cornell, who died last year, is up for best rock performance with When Bad Does Good.

Demi Lovato, who relapsed after six years of sobriety and was hospitalized for an overdose in July, earned a nomination for best pop duo/group performance for Fall In Line, her duet with Christina Aguilera.

Singer SZA received four Grammy nominations. A day earlier, she also picked up a Golden Globe nomination alongside Lamar for the Black Panther track All the Stars. (Amy Harris/Invision/Associated Press)

Those who earned four nominations are Musgraves, Malone, PJ Morton, Dave Cobb, Ludwig Goransson, Drake producer Noah Shebib and SZA, who earned a Golden Globe nomination alongside Lamar for All the Stars on Thursday.

Lamar has won 12 Grammys throughout his career. Though seven of his eight nominations come from Black Panther, he also earned a nod for co-writing Jay Rock's Win, up for best rap song.

Another Canadian face in the mix is Nanaimo, B.C.-born Diana Krall, who shared a pair of nominations with Tony Bennett: pop duo/group performance for 'S Wonderful and traditional pop vocal album Love is Here to Stay

The 2019 Grammys will be handed out in 84 categories live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.


2019 Grammy Awards: Selected nominees

Best pop solo performance: Colors, Beck; Havana (Live), Camila Cabello; God Is A Woman, Ariana Grande; Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?), Lady Gaga; Better Now, Post Malone.

Best pop duo/group performance: Fall In Line, Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato; Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Backstreet Boys; `S Wonderful, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall; Shallow, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper; Girls Like You, Maroon 5 and Cardi B; Say Something, Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton; The Middle, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.

Best pop vocal album: Camila, Camila Cabello; Meaning of Life, Kelly Clarkson; Sweetener, Ariana Grande; Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes; Beautiful Trauma, Pink; Reputation, Taylor Swift.

Best traditional pop vocal album: Love Is Here to Stay, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall; My Way, Willie Nelson; Nat King Cole & Me, Gregory Porter; Standards (Deluxe), Seal; The Music...The Mem'ries...The Magic!, Barbra Streisand.

Best dance/electronic album: Singularity, Jon Hopkins; Woman Worldwide, Justice; Treehouse, Sofi Tukker; Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, SOPHIE; Lune Rouge, TOKiMONSTA.

Best rock album: Rainier Fog, Alice In Chains; Mania, Fall Out Boy; Prequelle, Ghost; From the Fires, Greta Van Fleet; Pacific Daydream, Weezer.

Best alternative music album: Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, Arctic Monkeys; Colors, Beck; Utopia, Bjork; American Utopia, David Byrne; Masseduction, St. Vincent.

Best urban contemporary album: Everything Is Love, The Carters (Beyoncé and Jay-Z); The Kids Are Alright, Chloe x Halle; Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, Chris Dave And The Drumhedz; War & Leisure, Miguel; Ventriloquism, Meshell Ndegeocello.

Best R&B album: Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton; Good Thing, Leon Bridges; Honestly, Lalah Hathaway; H.E.R., H.E.R.; Gumbo Unplugged (Live), PJ Morton.

Best rap album: Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B; Swimming, Mac Miller; Victory Lap, Nipsey Hussle; Daytona, Pusha T; Astroworld, Travis Scott.

Best country album: Unapologetically, Kelsea Ballerini; Port Saint Joe, Brothers Osborne; Girl Going Nowhere, Ashley McBryde; Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves; From A Room: Volume 2, Chris Stapleton.

Best jazz vocal album: My Mood Is You, Freddy Cole; The Questions, Kurt Elling; The Subject Tonight Is Love, Kate McGarry With Keith Ganz and Gary Versace; If You Really Want, Raul Midon With The Metropole Orkest Conducted By Vince Mendoza; The Window, Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Best jazz instrumental album: Diamond Cut, Tia Fuller; Live In Europe, Fred Hersch Trio; Seymour Reads The Constitution!, Brad Mehldau Trio; Still Dreaming, Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade; Emanon, The Wayne Shorter Quartet.

Best compilation soundtrack for visual media: Call Me By Your Name; Deadpool 2; The Greatest Showman; Lady Bird; Stranger Things.

Producer of the year, non-classical: Boi-1da; Larry Klein; Linda Perry; Kanye West; Pharrell Williams.

Best music video: Apes--t, The Carters; This Is America, Childish Gambino; I'm Not Racist, Joyner Lucas; PYNK, Janelle Monae; MUMBO JUMBO, Tierra Whack.

Best music film: Life In 12 Bars, Eric Clapton; Whitney, (Whitney Houston); Quincy, Quincy Jones; Itzhak, Itzhak Perlman; The King, (Elvis Presley).