LOS ANGELES: Pop queen Beyonce’s “Black Is King” musical film propelled her to the front of this year’s Grammy pack with nine nominations, organisers said Tuesday ahead of the annual awards show.
Fellow pop stars Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift each snagged six nominations for second place, as did rapper Roddy Ricch.
As the music industry attempts to weather one of its most tumultuous years in modern history due to the coronavirus pandemic, danceable pop made a comeback in the Recording Academy’s top categories.
Women scored big gains across all genres ahead of the 63rd annual Grammys, set to take place on January 31, with comedian Trevor Noah as host.
Beyonce’s sweeping “Black Parade” – released in June amid explosive nationwide anti-racism protests after another spate of police killings of Black Americans – is vying for Record of the Year and Song of the Year honors.
Swift, a former Grammy darling who had fallen out of grace with the Academy in recent years, bagged a coveted Album of the Year nomination for her quarantine surprise album “Folklore,” and its single “Cardigan” is up for Song of the Year, which honors songwriting.
Rivals in that category include “Black Parade” as well as songs penned by Ricch, last year’s big winner Billie Eilish and warbling rapper Post Malone.
Bluesy rock singer and songwriter Brittany Howard – known for her leading vocals with the band Alabama Shakes – jumped into the spotlight on her own with five nominations after releasing her first solo album “Jaime.”
Bieber back in the mix
Justin Bieber snagged four nominations in the pop categories as well as his first country nod, for his work on the song “10,000 Hours” by Dan and Shay.
After sweeping the general categories at last year’s gala Eilish also picked up another four nominations, as did rapper DaBaby.
Following a banner year, Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion received her first Grammy nominations, posting four.
The remix of her wildly popular song “Savage” featuring Beyonce is up for several awards including Record of the Year – and helped Queen Bey jump to the lead spot.
The format for the 63rd Grammys remains unclear – other awards shows have been forced to go partially or fully virtual in light of pandemic restrictions on large gatherings.
The nominations were rolled out by stars across the globe speaking via video chat.
The Academy’s interim president Harvey Mason Jr dedicated this year’s ceremony to the resiliency of the music industry as well as frontline workers combatting the infection’s spread.