Beyonce dominates surprise Grammy field, marked by snub for The Weeknd

FILE PHOTO: 50th NAACP Image Awards – Show – Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 30, 2019 – Beyonce reacts after winning the entertainer of the year award. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Beyonce dominated nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday in a field that mostly favored alternative artists over mainstream musicians, topped by a stunning snub for Canadian singer The Weeknd.

Beyonce’s leading nine nods made her the second most nominated Grammy artist in history, with 79 nominations, and came through projects that celebrated Black culture in a year of racial turmoil in the United States.

British singer Dua Lipa, pop star Taylor Swift and rapper Roddy Ricch followed with six nominations apiece.

Swift and Dua Lipa will compete for the top prize – album of the year – along with R&B singer Post Malone, British band Coldplay, female band Haim, avant-garde Briton Jacob Collier, American soul band Black Pumas and American alternative R&B singer Jhene Aiko.

Billboard called the nominations for album, record, song of the year and best new artist surprising for the range of “superstar nominees as well as out-of-nowhere newcomers.”

The biggest shutout was The Weeknd, who was widely expected to rack up several nominations for his critically acclaimed hit album “After Hours,” which has won multiple awards this year.

Variety described the omission of the R&B singer “the biggest snub in memory.”

The Grammys, the highest honors in the music industry, will be handed out in Los Angeles on Jan. 31 hosted by Trevor Noah.

Bob Dylan, 79, was also a no-show despite acclaim for his first album of new music in eight years, “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” while established artists like Katy Perry, Maren Morris, The Chicks, Halsey and the Jonas Brothers all got zero nominations.

Instead, K-pop sensation BTS got its first major Grammy nod, for single “Dynamite” in the best pop group performance field, in a breakthrough for a South Korean group.

The best new artist field included rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, as well as alternative artist Phoebe Bridgers and Noah Cyrus, the younger sister of Miley Cyrus.

Women, including Fiona Apple, Brittany Howard and newcomer Ingrid Andress, packed the rock and country music fields, while Britain’s Harry Styles got his first Grammy love with three nods for his work on album “Fine Line.”

Beyonce’s nominations came her song “Black Parade” and visual album “Black is King,” along with her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion on the single “Savage.” They were released during a summer of nationwide protests over police killings of Black people in the United States.

Swift’s coronavirus lockdown album “Folklore” brought her back to the album of the year contest, while her single “Cardigan” was among the song of the year entries.

The Recording Academy, whose members select the nominees and vote on the winners, in June announced tighter rules regarding potential conflicts of interest after claims that the selection process was open to rigging.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)



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