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.

Read more: 100 days of Trump: Jay Z's 'Race' and other documentaries you need to watch

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)


Adele sweeps top awards

After opening the ceremony with a spotless performance of "Hello" - which also won the song of the year award - Adele stopped during her tribute to George Michael, cursed, and asked to restart the song. "I'm sorry. I can't mess this up for him," she said. "Can we start again?" The big winner of the evening also picked up the two top Grammys: album and record of the year.


Pregnant Beyonce shines

For her first stage appearance since announcing she was pregnant with twins, Beyonce wore a glittering gown and crown, performing an elaborate ode to motherhood. "Lemonade" won the Grammy for best urban contemporary album. She accepted the prize saying she hoped children could grow up in a beautiful, intelligent world - qualities that should be reflected in institutions such as the White House.


Adele shares her Grammy with Beyonce

Beyonce actually had the most nominations - nine - but won only two awards. Many found it unfair that Adele beat out Beyonce in the two top categories - including Adele herself. "I can't possibly accept this award," she said, expressing her admiration to Beyonce. Adele later broke off the top of her Grammy to give half of it to Beyonce.


Chance the Rapper wins big

It was the Chicago rapper's big night: He won in the categories best new artist, best rap performance and best rap album for "The Coloring Book" - beating out other top performers, including Drake and Kanye West. Picking up the last award, he said he hadn't prepared anything to say, as he hadn't expected to win - but his acceptance speech was just as exhuberant as the previous ones.


Lady Gaga and Metallica perform together

A non-working mic had Metallica's singer James Hetfield screaming into Lady Gaga's instead at the beginning of their performance together. They sang "Moth Into Flame" from Metallica's "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct." Nominated for best rock song, the heavy metal band lost to David Bowie's "Blackstar."


Posthumous awards for David Bowie

His final album, "Blackstar," was released just days before his death on January 10, 2016. The album won all four categories for which it was nominated, including best alternative music album. The awards ceremony was filled with tributes to the music greats who passed away in 2016.


Bruno Mars channels Prince

Mars offered an electrifying tribute to Prince with the song "Let's Go Crazy," celebrating the pop icon who died in April 2016 at the age of 57. The singer-songwriter and record producer also won a Grammy on Sunday night, for his production work on Adele's album.


Katy Perry persists

She was the first artist of the evening to turn the event into a political showcase. Wearing a Hillary Clinton-inspired white pantsuit, Katy Perry took the stage to perform her newest song, "Chained to the Rhythm," which has lyrics like "We think we're free." Her act ended with a projection of the US Constitution.


James Corden raps

Shortly before, the host of the evening launched the ceremony with his own comedic acknowledgment of the political changes in the country: "Live it all up, because this is the best / and with President Trump we don't know what comes next," rapped the British comedian and host of "Carpool Karaoke."


A Tribe Called Quest resists

Although most artists avoided mentioning President Trump in their acceptance speeches, the hip hop group went head on when it took the stage. Busta Rhymes referred several times to Donald Trump as "President Agent Orange." The rappers chanted "We the people" throughout their performance and ended it with the rallying cry: "Resist! Resist! Resist!"

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