Newcomers Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X lead Grammy nominations

Lizzo (left) led the Grammy nominations with eight nods, followed by Billie Eilish (centre) and Lil Nas X with six each
Lizzo (left) led the Grammy nominations with eight nods, followed by Billie Eilish (centre) and Lil Nas X with six eachPHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Pop newcomers Lizzo, Billie Eilish and country rapper Lil Nas X dominated Grammy nominations on Wednesday (Nov 20) in a list for the highest awards in the music industry that favoured diversity and women over established stars like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

Lizzo, the body-positive Truth Hurts and Juice singer, scored a leading eight nods, including in the top categories of album and record of the year and best new artist.

"Thank you,” tweeted Lizzo. “This has been an incredible year for music and I’m just so thankful to even be a part of it.” 

Eilish, the 17 year-old Los Angeles Bad Guy alt-pop sensation, got six nods, along with black, gay country rapper Lil Nas X, 20, whose catchy Old Town Road with Billy Ray Cyrus topped the Billboard singles charts for a record 19 weeks this year.

The trio will compete in the album of the year race with indie band Bon Iver, pop-rocker Lana del Rey, pop singer Ariana Grande, rockers Vampire Weekend and R&B artist H.E.R.

Grande got five nominations, including for her hit 7 Rings, while Beyonce scored four, mostly for the songs she wrote for the new version of animated film The Lion King and for the Homecoming concert film of her 2018 Coachella show.

Five of the eight album of the year nominees were women and four female artists will compete for record of the year, injecting new life into the Grammy Awards which has a tradition of rewarding the same artists.

Deborah Dugan, the new chief executive of the Recording Academy whose members select the nominees and winners, said the nominations marked a new era for the organization that “welcomes diversity, embraces creativity and champions young musicians on the rise.” 

That meant that 10-time Grammy winner Swift, whose new album Lover is one of the year’s biggest sellers, was omitted for a second straight year from the album and record of the year categories, along with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

Swift got three nods – song of the year for Lover, best pop vocal album and pop solo performance.

Other acts snubbed by the Grammys included K-Pop band BTS, which has a huge following in the United States but got no nominations on Wednesday; Bruce Springsteen, whose album Western Stars was well reviewed; the newly re-united Jonas Brothers who got just one nod, for single Sucker; and British singers Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi.

The Grammy Awards, the highest honours in the music industry, and will be handed out in Los Angeles on Jan 26 in a ceremony hosted by Alicia Keys.

Key nominations for the 2020 Grammy awards:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

I, I - Bon Iver

Norman F***ing Rockwell! - Lana Del Rey

When We All 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 (Deluxe) - Lizzo

Father of the Bride" - Vampire Weekend

RECORD OF THE YEAR

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 Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus

Truth Hurts - Lizzo

Sunflower - Post Malone & Swae Lee

SONG OF THE YEAR

Always Remember Us This Way - Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

Bad Guy - Billie Eilish O'Connell & Finneas O'Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

Bring My Flowers Now - Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)

Hard Place - Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris. H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)

Lover - Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)

Norman F***ing Rockwell - Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)

Someone You Loved - Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)

Truth Hurts - Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)

BEST NEW ARTIST

Black Pumas

Billie Eilish

Lil Nas X

Lizzo

Maggie Rogers

Rosalia Tank and the Bangas Yola

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

Spirit - Beyonce

Bad Guy - Billie Eilish

7 Rings - Ariana Grande

Truth Hurts - Lizzo

You Need to Calm Down - Taylor Swift

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

The Lion King: The Gift - Beyonce

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? - Billie Eilish

Thank u, next - Ariana Grande

No. 6 Collaborations Project - Ed Sheeran

Lover - Taylor Swift

BEST RAP ALBUM

Revenge Of The Dreamers III - Dreamville

Championships - Meek Mill

I Am I Was - 21 Savage

Igor - Tyler, The Creator

The Lost Boy - YBN Cordae

BEST R&B PERFORMANCE

Love Again - Daniel Caesar & Brandy

Could've Been - H.E.R. Featuring Bryson Tiller

Exactly How I Feel - Lizzo Featuring Gucci Mane

Roll Some Mo - Lucky Daye

Come Home - Anderson .Paak Featuring Andre 3000

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Desperate Man - Eric Church

Stronger Than Truth - Reba McEntire

Interstate Gospel - Pistol Annies

Center Point Road - Thomas Rhett

While I'm Livin - Tanya Tucker