Entertainment & Arts

Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations

Kendrick Lamar Image copyright AP
Image caption Lamar is nominated for album of the year prize for To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar has emerged as the front-runner for next year's Grammy Awards, with 11 nominations in total.

The hip-hop star is up for album of the year for To Pimp A Butterfly, a dense, detailed trawl of black music, US politics and his personal demons.

His competition comes from Taylor Swift, whose pop smash 1989 is finally nominated, a year after its release.

It came out too late to be eligible for last year's awards, a fate which has befallen Adele's 25 this time around.

Swift ties with R&B star The Weeknd for second place, with seven nominations apiece, while Ed Sheeran and James Bay represent the UK.

Sheeran is up for two of the major prizes - song of the year and record of the year - for his emotive ballad Thinking Out Loud.

The former award goes to the writers (in this case Sheeran and Amy Wadge), while the record of the year category takes into account the performance and production of a hit song.

Other nominees for song of the year include The Weeknd's breakthrough hit Can't Feel My Face and Mark Ronson's global smash Uptown Funk.

Swift is nominated for the tongue-in-cheek single Blank Space, as is Lamar for Alright, the hope-filled centrepiece of his album.

Image copyright AP / Getty
Image caption The Weeknd and Taylor Swift each have seven nominations

The shortlist for the four main categories is as follows:

Best album

  • Alabama Shakes - Sound + Color
  • Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
  • Chris Stapleton - Traveller
  • Taylor Swift - 1989
  • The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness

Song of the Year

  • Wiz Khalifa - See You Again (ft. Charlie Puth)
  • Kendrick Lamar - Alright
  • Little Big Town - Girl Crush
  • Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
  • Taylor Swift - Blank Space

Record of the Year

  • D'Angelo & The Vanguard - Really Love
  • Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk (ft. Bruno Mars)
  • Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
  • Taylor Swift - Blank Space
  • The Weeknd - Can't Feel My Face

Best new artist

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • Sam Hunt
  • Tori Kelly
  • Meghan Trainor

See the full list on Grammy.com

Lamar's domination of the shortlist is "a testimony to his artistry," said Neil Portnow, head of the Recording Academy.

"He's someone that's very serious about his art and about his craft, and has been working it for quite some time. And this is one of those instances where the work pays off."

The hip-hop artist's other nominations include best rap album and best pop duo/group performance for Bad Blood - a remix of one of the tracks on Swift's 1989.

He is also shortlisted twice for best rap song, including Kanye West's All Day, which he co-wrote - along with 18 other credited performers, which could make an interesting moment on stage if West wins.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Amy Winehouse is up for her second posthumous Grammy award

Among the most prestigious awards in music, the Grammys feature an exhaustive 83 categories in 30 genres, including the likes of best tropical Latin album and best jazz improvisation.

Outside the main categories, the late Amy Winehouse is up for her seventh Grammy thanks to Asif Kapadia's revealing documentary on her life; while a deluxe reissue of The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers is up for best box set.

Justin Bieber, who had been considered a contender for some of the main prizes, only gets one nomination, for best dance recording; while Rihanna also misses out, despite her Paul McCartney duet FourFiveSeconds being tipped as a nomine for song of the year.

British acts Disclosure, Jamie xx and The Chemical Brothers are all in contention for best dance album; and Florence + The Machine have four nominations in categories as varied as best pop album and best packaging.

The awards will be handed out on 15 February, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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