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Grammys 2017: Beyonce, Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West Lead Nominees

‘Lemonade’ generates nine nominations for Beyonce while Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West all score eight nods.

Beyoncé leads this year’s field of Grammy hopefuls with nine nominations, with Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West each garnering eight nods apiece. The awards show will air live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on February 12th (U.S. PST)

In the prestigious Album of the Year category, Beyoncé’s Lemonade will face off against Adele‘s 25, Drake’s Views, Justin Bieber‘s Purpose and Sturgill Simpson‘s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.

Although 25 and Purpose were released in 2015, they arrived after the cut-off for this year’s ceremony and thus became eligible for the 2017 awards.

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, sees the major nominations as a reflection of musicians embracing new forms of expression. “Artists seem to be exercising their creativity and creative freedom with less expectation on creating music that fits in a box with a nice little bow on it,” he tells Rolling Stone. “People are perhaps feeling a little more freedom and liberation to follow their muse wherever that might take you.”

Beyoncé and Adele were the only artists to grab nominations in all three major categories – Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year – as the singles “Formation” and “Hello” scored nominations in the latter two. For Song of the Year, “Formation” and “Hello” will face Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” and Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.”

For Record of the Year, “Formation,” “Hello” and “7 Years” will compete against Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out” and Rihanna’s “Work” featuring Drake.

As a testament to Lemonade‘s wide-ranging appeal, Beyoncé is also nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Hold Up”), Best Urban Contemporary Album (Lemonade), Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar) and Best Rock Performance (“Don’t Hurt Yourself” with Jack White).

“I usually don’t shout out artists, but if you look at Beyoncé, you see a rock performance, a rap-sung performance, a music film, a video, urban contemporary, song of the year,” Portnow says. “That’s a very, very broad musical palate to paint on that she’s chosen. We applaud artists who have the guts to do that.”

The Best New Artist category finds two rappers (Chance the Rapper, Anderson .Paak) facing off against two country upstarts (Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini) and dance pop duo the Chainsmokers.

In total, Chance the Rapper nabbed seven nominations: “No Problem” scored nods for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, Coloring Book is up for Best Rap Album and Chance the Rapper’s appearance on West’s “Ultralight Beam” earned additional nominations for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song.

In the Best Rap Album category, Coloring Book meets Views as well as West’s The Life of Pablo, De La Soul’s And The Anonymous Nobody, Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP and DJ Khaled’s Major Key.

The Academy changed its rules this year to recognise streaming-only releases, a move that benefitted Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book.

Portnow says the shift speaks to the Academy’s Awards Nominations Committee considering and reacting to the way music is released. “Looking at the world of streaming, it’s become very attractive and important to the consumer and music fan in a big way,” he says. “It’s started to make a different contribution to the economics of our industry, which of course is very important to us as an Academy. And while we have some issues perhaps on the advocacy side – making sure we get paid fairly and appropriately – streaming is nevertheless part of the future of the business.” Chance’s album is the first such release to get recognition.

David Bowie‘s triumphant swan song Blackstar netted four nominations for the late icon, most notably for Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance (“Blackstar”) and Best Alternative Music Album. In the latter category, Blackstar is nominated alongside Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, Iggy Pop’s Post Pop Depression and P.J. Harvey’s The Hope Six Demolition Project.

Meanwhile, Australians are represented, with ARIA-dominating Flume up for Best Dance/Electronic Album for Skin. Sia’s This Is Acting nominated in the Best Pop Vocal Album category and Keith Urban up for a pair of country music awards. Other nominations of note include Bob Dylan’s Fallen Angels in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, two nods for Amy Schumer (Best Spoken Word Album and Best Comedy Album), Jack White’s “City Lights” up for Best American Roots Song and a Best R&B Performance nomination for Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky.”

The Academy will now begin to plan its awards ceremony, which will be hosted by James Corden and feature a “very different look and feel” from previous shows, according to Portnow. “Unlike most of the shows on TV, which are basically entertainment specials – maybe there’s some process and some voting and some rules and regulations, but nothing like ours – so we take it very seriously,” Portnow says. “The core of the show gets booked based on nominations. We’re just getting the results today. So the bulk of what we’re going to be working with in nominations is being revealed and absorbed by us now. Frankly, we won’t finish it until the week of the show.”

Album Of The Year

25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Record Of The Year

“Hello” — Adele
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Song Of The Year

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Best Pop Vocal Album

25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Cinema – Andrea Bocelli
Fallen Angels – Bob Dylan
Stages Live – Josh Groban
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin – Willie Nelson
Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway – Barbra Streisand

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Skin — Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine — Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch — Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future — Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega

Best Rock Performance

“Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” – Alabama Shakes
“Don’t Hurt Yourself” – Beyoncé Featuring Jack White
“Blackstar” – David Bowie
“The Sound Of Silence (Live On Conan)” – Disturbed
“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots

Best Metal Performance

“Shock Me” – Baroness
“Silvera” – Gojira
“Rotting In Vain” – Korn
“Dystopia” – Megadeth
“The Price Is Wrong” – Periphery

Best Rock Song

“Blackstar” – David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
“Burn The Witch” – Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
“Hardwired” – James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)
“Heathens” – Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
“My Name Is Human” – Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

Best Rock Album

California — Blink-182
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant
Magma — Gojira
Death Of A Bachelor — Panic! At The Disco
Weezer — Weezer

Best Alternative Music Album

22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Best Rap Album

Coloring Book – Chance The Rapper
And The Anonymous Nobody – De La Soul
Major Key – DJ Khaled
Views – Drake
Blank Face LP – ScHoolboy Q
The Life Of Pablo – Kanye West

Best Rap Performance

“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Panda” —Desiigner
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

Best Rap Song

“All The Way Up” – Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“Famous” – Kanye West Featuring Rihanna
“Hotline Bling” – Drake
“No Problem – Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Ultralight Beam” – Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream

Best Rap/Sung Performance

“Freedom” – Beyoncé Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Hotline Bling” – Drake
“Broccoli” – D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty
“Ultralight Beam” – Kanye West Featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
“Famous” – Kanye West Featuring Rihanna

Best Country Album

Big Day In A Small Town – Brandy Clark
Full Circle – Loretta Lynn
Hero – Maren Morris
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – Sturgill Simpson
Ripcord – Keith Urban

Best Country Solo Performance

“Love Can Go To Hell” — Brandy Clark
“Vice” — Miranda Lambert
“My Church” — Maren Morris
“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

Best American Roots Performance

“Ain’t No Man” — The Avett Brothers
“Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” — Blind Boys Of Alabama
“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens
“House Of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz
“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)

The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo — Amy Schumer
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox — Carol Burnett
M Train — Patti Smith
Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) — (Various Artists)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink — Elvis Costello

Best Comedy Album

…America…Great… – David Cross
American Myth – Margaret Cho
Boyish Girl Interrupted – Tig Notaro
Live At The Apollo – Amy Schumer
Talking For Clapping – Patton Oswalt

Best Song Written For Visual Media

“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls
“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Just Like Fire” — Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass
“Purple Lamborghini” — Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Try Everything” — Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia
“The Veil” — Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden

Best Music Video

“Formation” — Beyoncé
“River” — Leon Bridges
“Up & Up” — Coldplay
“Gosh” — Jamie XX
“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Ricky Reed