Entertainment
USA | Nov 23, 2021

From Tony Bennett to Kanye and Jon Batiste, Grammys cast wide net

Ategie Edwards

Ategie Edwards / Our Today

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Jon Batiste performs at the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. (Photo: Caitlin Ochs/REUTERS)

(Reuters)

Jon Batiste led the Grammy nominations on Tuesday in a best album field that spanned rap to jazz music and embraced newcomers like teen sensation Olivia Rodrigo and veteran Tony Bennett alike.

Batiste and Justin Bieber will compete for the top prize – album of the year – along with Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, R&B artiste Doja Cat, singer-songwriter H.E.R., rapper Kanye West, Bennett’s collaboration with Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and rapper Lil Nas X.

The Grammys, the highest honours in the music industry, will be handed out during a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 31.

Nominees in the top three categories – album, song and record of the year – were increased to 10 from eight for the first time.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala – Met Gala – In America: A Lexicon of Fashion – Arrivals – New York City, U.S. – September 13, 2021. Justin Bieber in La Maison Drew. (Photo: Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS)

“Adding more nominees is a way to cast a wider net for more music, more artistes and more genres,” Recording Academy chief executive Harvey Mason Jr said, announcing the change today (November 23).

Eilish (Happier Than Ever), Rodrigo (Drivers License), Bieber (Peaches) and Batiste (Freedom) were also among the 10 nominees for record of the year, along with Swedish band Abba’s new comeback single, I Still Have Faith in You.

Singer Billie Eilish performs onstage at the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. (Photo: Caitlin Ochs/REUTERS)

Swift, an 11-time Grammy winner, snagged a best album nod for her best-selling Evermore but was shut out of the other races.

Rodrigo, 18, who burst onto the US charts in January when her single Driver’s License went viral, got seven nods, including best new artiste and album, Sour.

Rodrigo

Batiste, who also leads the band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, scored nominations across the board, ranging from classical composition and American roots to his music video Freedom and album We Are, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.

“WOW!! Thank you God!! I love EVERYBODY! I’m so grateful to my collaborators and to my ancestors,” Batiste wrote on Twitter.

Rapper Jay-Z became the most Grammy-nominated artiste of all time when he took his total to 83, surpassing the previous record held by music producer Quincy Jones. Paul McCartney added two nods to take second place with 81.

Jay-Z

The Recording Academy earlier this year changed the way nominations and winners are chosen after allegations that the process was open to rigging, and Canadian artist The Weeknd received zero nods.

Nominees this time were selected by all 11,000 voting members of the Recording Academy, instead of smaller committees whose names were not revealed. Winners are also chosen by the musicians, producers and songwriters who belong to the academy.

K-pop band BTS, who have yet to win a Grammy despite dominating the US music charts for almost two years, scored a single nod on Tuesday (November 23), for their performance of their top-selling single Butter in the pop group field.

K-Pop band BTS

West, who’s had a contentious relationship with the Grammys, got five nods from his hit album, Donda, which was dedicated to his late mother.

Kanye West on stage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. (Photo: Lucas Jackson/REUTERS)

Bennett, 95, who has Alzheimer’s disease, and Gaga got five nods for their Cole Porter duets album Love for Sale, which is expected to be Bennett’s last.

The eligibility period for the Grammys ran from September 2020 to September 2021, meaning the new album by Adele will have to wait until next time.

READ MORE: Jay-Z becomes single most nominated artiste in Grammys history

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