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Jay-Z, other rap and R&B artists, lead Grammy nominations

02 December 2017

Come January 28, when the 60th Grammys take place in NY, it should hopefully be a showdown between Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar.

On Tuesday, the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards and this year's ceremony is set to be pretty diverse. The last artist with even tentative links to R&B to win album of the year was Whitney Houston, in 1994. Lamar has been nominated twice before and lost both times and Jay-Z, whose two-decade career has produced 14 number one albums, has also never won the award. Cardi's "Bodak Yellow" was a summer hit, dethroning Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" and making Cardi the first rapper to top the Billboard 100 since Lauryn Hill.

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Contenders for record of the year include Jay-Z for "The Story of O.J.", Kendrick Lamar for "HUMBLE.", Bruno Mars for "24K Magic", Childish Gambino for "Redbone", and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with Justin Bieber for "Despacito".

Jay-Z received eight nominations for his album "4:44", and Kendrick Lamar received seven for his album "DAMN".

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While the obvious Grammy prediction would be Bruno Mars, it would be a shame not to see a rap album win the award. The Rock and Alternative categories are completely dominated by men, while the Best New Artist category might be the strongest of the year in terms of representation with Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and SZA all nominated.

Among the nominees with Chicago ties, Lyric Opera music director Andrew Davis received a nod for best choral performance (Handel's "Messiah"), Justin Roberts received a nomination for best children's album ("Lemonade") and Austin-via-Chicago music writer Michael Corcoran was acknowledged for best album liner notes and best historical album ("Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams"). "I did it." Indeed, the musician picked up nods for Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, Best Urban Contemporary Album, and Song of the Year (he's featured on Logic's "1-800-273-8255" alongside Alessia Cara).

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Jay-Z, other rap and R&B artists, lead Grammy nominations