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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 1, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 48
GRAMMYS 2018: Seattle acts Odesza and the late Chris Cornell land nominations; hip hop and R&B dominate major categories
Arts & Entertainment
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GRAMMYS 2018: Seattle acts Odesza and the late Chris Cornell land nominations; hip hop and R&B dominate major categories

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Okay, I admit it. I suck at predicting Grammy nominations. I didn't predict any of the five Best New Artist nominees and I only got two of the Album of the Year slots correct. But in my defense, there were 22,000 recordings that were eligible this year, so trying to pick the strongest contenders from a mountain of potential nominees was a tough task.

The biggest surprise of Tuesday morning, when nominations for the 60th Grammy Awards were posted online, was not who got in, but who was left out. Although they managed to score a couple of nods in the pop, R&B and rock fields, Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Lady GaGa, Imagine Dragons, Taylor Swift and Foo Fighters were shut out of the major categories. Not only that, usual contenders Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Rihanna were left off the list entirely.

For the time ever, three hip hop recordings are vying for Album of the Year, Kendrick Lamar's Damn., Jay Z's 4:44 and Childish Gambino's Awaken, My Love! All three artists are also going head-to-head for Record of the Year with Lamar's 'HUMBLE.,' Jay Z's 'The Story of O.J.' and Childish Gambino's 'Redbone.' Joining the trio for Album of the Year are Bruno Mars for 24K Magic and the lone female act, Lorde for Melodrama, who interestingly received no nominations in any other categories. The remaining two Record of the Year slots went to Luis Fonsi with 'Daddy Yankee' and Justin Bieber for 'Despacito' and Bruno Mars for '24K Magic,' the title track from his commercially successful 2016 album.

Competiting for Best New Artist are Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA. Sadly, this isn't an impressive lineup, as the Recording Academy overlooked better acts, such as James Arthur, Bryson Tiller and country upstart Brett Young. Speaking of country, this is the first time I can remember that the Nashville genre was also completely shut out in all major categories; not a single country artist is up for Album, Record and Song of Year, or Best New Artist. Overall, hip hop and R&B dominated the major races filling 11 of the 20 spots.

Song of the Year, awarded to the songwriter, includes 'Despacito,' 'That's What I Like,' 'Issues,' '4:44' and '1-800-273-8255,' which encourages kids to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline - the number is the actual song title - if they're contemplating ending their lives.

Two local artists received Grammy nods, electronic duo Odesza is nominated for Best Dance Recording ('Line of Sight' featuring WYNNE and Mansionair) and Best Dance/Electronic Album (A Moment Apart), while the late Chris Cornell scored a mention for his posthumous single 'The Promise' in the category of Best Rock Performance.

Cornell wasn't the only non-living musician to earn a Grammy nod. Leonard Cohen, Gregg Allman and Glen Campbell were all included on the list of nominees. Additionally, the late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher is in the running for Best Spoken Word Album.

The 60th Grammy Awards ceremony will be televised live on January 28 from New York City, returning to the Big Apple for the first time in 15 years.

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