Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar dominate Grammy nominations

African-American and rap artists are set to sweep the Grammys in 2018 after the nominations were announced on Tuesday. The winners will be revealed at the New York gala on January 28.

Hip-hop artists are set to reign at the Grammy Awards in 2018, with rappers Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar receiving eight and seven nominations respectively.

Jay-Z, who had never before been nominated in a major category as a solo artist, is up for Album of the Year for his "4:44," as well as for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

After years focused on business ventures, Jay-Z has made a stunning return to music with "4:44."  The album features a vulnerable and contrite Jay-Z acknowledging his infidelity to wife Beyonce, exploring his mother's closeted life as a lesbian, and tackling racial discrimination in the US.

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Funk revivalist Bruno Mars also fared well with six nominations including Album of the Year for "24K Magic."

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar was nominated for seven Grammys

"Despacito," the viral hit that tied for the most weeks ever on top of the US singles chart despite being in Spanish, was nominated both for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The Recording Academy, which consists of more than 13,000 music professionals, will vote to decide the winners who will be unveiled at the annual Grammys gala on January 28.

Hip-hop's emergence as a major force at the Grammys comes after years of criticism about the music industry's failure to recognize African-American artists.

In the past, only two rap-dominated albums have won Album of the Year.

Two years ago, Kendrick Lamar's widely acclaimed album, "To Pimp a Butterfly" — which featured an unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement — controversially lost to Taylor Swift's "1989."

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And last year, Adele expressed embarrassment over winning Album of the Year over Beyonce's experimental and narrative-rich "Lemonade."

USA Los Angeles - Beyonce, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony

Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar (center, l. and r.) are up for a slew of Grammys this year after Beyonce (left) was snubbed in 2017

This time, Swift was only nominated in minor categories, although her chart-topping new album "Reputation" came out too late for consideration for Album of the Year.

Ed Sheeran, another favorite for Grammy glory, was also shut out in the major categories.

The 60th ceremony of the coveted music awards will take place on January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York. It's the first time for 15 years that the Grammys won't be held in Los Angeles.

sb/eg (AFP, dpa)

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