The biggest night in music returns in 2019 and this year more than any other there is a presence of urban music.
It should come as no surprise after a year heavily dominated by Cardi B, Drake, and Post Malone. R&B and Hip-hop music will take centerstage in all major categories in a way that they have never done so before, specifically in the big four categories of Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Below are a few standouts who have made a name for themselves in music and now find themselves nominated for the four biggest awards on music’s biggest night.
Kendrick Lamar (8 nominations total): A big favorite at the Grammy Awards, Kung-fu Kenny has been receiving critical acclaim since making it big on the music scene. This year around, a lot of his recognition comes in the form of being an executive producer. In the big four categories, Mr. Lamar finds himself with three noms. ‘The Black Panther’ Soundtrack is nominated for Album of the Year. The album’s lead single, the mega-collaboration with SZA, “All The Stars” finds itself nominated for both Record and Song of the Year. Song of the Year is an awards for songwriters, while Record of the Year is more so for the producers.
Drake (7 nominations total): It should come as no surprise to find Drake as a headliner at this year’s ceremony. After three consecutive monumental #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of the biggest albums of this year, it only seems right that arguably the biggest name in music (yes even bigger now than Taylor Swift and Beyonce) rightfully be nominated for Album of the Year (‘Scorpion’), and both Song and Record of the Year for ‘God’s Plan’. He has four other nominations in the rap categories, including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song, for “Nice for What”.
Cardi B (5 nominations total): As synonymous as Drake has been with airwaves in 2018, so has the young emcee that is Cardi B. Last year she officially debuted in the Grammy Awards making waves with her breakthrough debut single, “Bodak Yellow”. This year, it’s parent album and follow up singles are coming to collect gold. Summer bangers and former #1 single, “I Like It”, is nominated for Record of the Year, meanwhile it’s parent album, ‘Invasion of Privacy’, is nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Rap Album.
Childish Gambino (5 nominations total): No stranger to the Grammy Awards himself, Childish Gambino also finds himself a frequent flyer for the Grammy Awards nomination circle. His megabit, “This is America” has received nominations in not just the Rap category, but also for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
H.E.R. (5 nominations total): What a year it has been for the formerly lesser known H.E.R. It was expected she may find some nominations in the urban categories, but it has been a pleasant surprise for the big nominations she has received. Her self titled album is nominated for Album of the Year, meanwhile she herself is nominated for Best New Artist.
Post Malone (4 nominations total): A major player in music over the last few years, Post Malone was widely considered to be a favorite going into several categories for the Grammy Awards. Amongst them, his monstrous #1 hit single, “Rockstar”, is nominated for Record of the Year. The parent album, ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys’, is nominated for Album of the Year.
SZA (2 nominations total): While officially getting her foot through the door at last year’s Grammy Awards, this year SZA finds herself nominated alongside Kendrick Lamar for Song and Record of the Year nominees, “All The Stars”. Being a contributor the Album of the Year nominated Black Panther soundtrack ain’t too shabby either.
Janelle Monae: A wildcard entrant into the Album of the Year category, many were not expecting Monae to be a considered for any top prizes. Though her album, ‘Dirty Computer’, was critically acclaimed, it was overlooked — perhaps due to its commercial underperformance. Despite this, the album did receive a nomination for Album of the Year, a first for her career.
Elle Mai (2 nominations total): Best New Artist nominee last year, Elle Mai’s star shot out bright this year with the success of “Boo’d Up”. The Billboard hit single is nominated for Best R&B Song and Song of the Year. Her album was released after the deadline for submission, but will likely find itself nominated for Best R&B Album next year.
Who do you think deserves the big awards on music’s biggest night?