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Grammy Nominations Name Kendrick Lamar, Luis Fonsi, Kesha In Top Categories

Kendrick Lamar performing at Coachella on April 23, 2017.
Kevin Winter
Getty Images for Coachella
Kendrick Lamar performing at Coachella on April 23, 2017.

Hailed as music's biggest night, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards will return to New York City, taking place at Madison Square Garden Jan. 28.

Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's crossover smash "Despacito" was well-received by the Academy; after taking home four awards at the 18th Annual Latin Grammys held earlier this month, the track has been nominated in three categories — record of the year, song of the year and best pop performance by a duo/group. If the song wins either record of the year or song of the year, it will mark the first time a Spanish-language track has won in those general categories.

Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso earns their first nomination in the category of best dance/electronic album for What Now,while Kesha's tale of redemption and return to the spotlight earned her two nominations.

After winning the lifetime achievement award in 2014, German electronic band Kraftwerk is recognized again this year in the category of best surround sound album for 3-D The Catalogue.

Proving that hip-hop is the dominant sound of pop, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar once again secured top nominations, pulling in seven — counting his co-directing credit as The Little Homies (the pair of Lamar and Dave Free) for the "Humble." video and co-writing credit on that same single — for his album DAMN.and songs from it. Lamar was two behind one of his worthiest rap rivals, Jay-Z, whose 4:44 earned the most nominations this year, with eight.

Drake, notably, did not submit his More Life project for consideration, which explains why his name is absent from this year's ballot despite being one of rap's largest current stars.

Though her 2017 album Reputation missed the cut-off date for consideration, Taylor Swift did earn two nominations as a songwriter, for best country song on Little Big Town's "Better Man" and for best song written for visual media behind "I Don't Want to Live Forever" from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.

P. Diddy and son Justin at the Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in 2003, the last time the event was held in New York.
Evan Agostini / Getty Images
Getty Images
P. Diddy and son Justin at the Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in 2003, the last time the event was held in New York.

Childish Gambino and Bruno Mars, who both dropped their albums in late 2016, were not forgotten in the milieu of 2017 releases. Mars earned seven nods while Gambino scored five, most notably being categorized in the R&B category instead of the rap field, where he first started musically.

The Academy announced that the ceremony would return to the East Coast for the first time since 2003 back in May with an elaborate tribute video to the city directed by Spike Lee. That year, Norah Jones swept the awards by winning album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist. While there's no chance of a four-way sweep at the upcoming ceremony, the playing field gives a nod to some surprising cross-genre contenders.

Check out the full list of major-category nominees below.

Record Of The Year

"Redbone," Childish Gambino

"Despacito," Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber

"The Story of O.J.," Jay-Z

"Humble.," Kendrick Lamar

"24K Magic," Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year

Awaken, My Love, Childish Gambino

4:44, Jay-Z

DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama, Lorde

24K Magic, Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year

"Despacito," Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (performed by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber)

"4:44," Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (performed by Jay-Z)

"Issues," Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (performed by Julia Michaels)

"1-800-273-8255," Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (performed by Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)

"That's What I Like," Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (performed by Bruno Mars), from24K Magic

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara

Lil Uzi Vert


Julia Michaels


Best Pop Solo Performance

"Love So Soft," Kelly Clarkson

"Praying," Kesha, fromRainbow

"Million Reasons," Lady Gaga, fromJoanne

"What About Us," P!nk

"Shape Of You," Ed Sheeran, from ÷ (Divide)

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

"Something Just Like This," The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, from Memories...Do Not Open

"Despacito," Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

"Thunder," Imagine Dragons, fromEvolve

"Feel It Still," Portugal. The Man, from Woodstock

"Stay," Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Nobody But Me (Deluxe Version), Michael Bublé

Triplicate, Bob Dylan

In Full Swing, Seth MacFarlane

Wonderland, Sarah McLachlan

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, (Various Artists), Dae Bennett, Producer

Best Pop Vocal Album

Kaleidoscope EP, Coldplay

Lust For Life, Lana Del Rey

Evolve, Imagine Dragons

Rainbow, Kesha

Joanne, Lady Gaga

÷ (Divide), Ed Sheeran

Best Latin Pop Album

Lo Único Constante, Alex Cuba

Mis Planes Son Amarte, Juanes

Amar Y Vivir En Vivo Desde La Ciudad De México, 2017, La Santa Cecilia

Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos), Natalia Lafourcade

El Dorado, Shakira

Best Country Song

"Better Man," Taylor Swift, songwriter (performed by Little Big Town), fromThe Breaker

"Body Like A Back Road," Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (performed by Sam Hunt)

"Broken Halos," Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (performed by Chris Stapleton), fromFrom A Room: Volume 1

"Drinkin' Problem," Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Mark Wystrach, songwriters (performed by Midland)

"Tin Man," Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, songwriters (performed by Miranda Lambert), from The Weight Of These Wings

Best Country Album

Cosmic Hallelujah, Kenny Chesney

Heart Break, Lady Antebellum

The Breaker, Little Big Town

Life Changes, Thomas Rhett

From A Room: Volume 1, Chris Stapleton

Best Americana Album

Southern Blood, Gregg Allman

Shine On Rainy Day, Brent Cobb

Beast Epic, Iron & Wine

The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Brand New Day, The Mavericks

Best Dance Recording

"Bambro Koyo Ganda," Bonobo featuring Innov Gnawa, Bonobo, producer; Bonobo, mixer, from Migration

"Cola, Camelphat & Elderbrook," Mike Di Scala, Elderbrook & David Whelan, producers; Mike Di Scala, Elderbrook & David Whelan, mixers

"Andromeda," Gorillaz Featuring DRAM, Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett, Remi Kabaka & Anthony Khan, producers; Stephen Sedgwick, mixer, from Humanz

"Tonite," LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy, producer; James Murphy, mixer, fromAmerican Dream

"Line Of Sight," Odesza featuring WYNNE & Mansionair, Clayton Knight & Harrison Mills, producers; Eric J Dubowsky, mixer, from A Moment Apart

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Migration, Bonobo

3-D The Catalogue, Kraftwerk

Mura Masa, Mura Masa

A Moment Apart, Odesza

What Now, Sylvan Esso

Best Remixed Recording

"Can't Let You Go (Louie Vega Roots Mix)," Louie Vega, remixer (performed by Loleatta Holloway)

"Funk O' De Funk (SMLE Remix)," SMLE, remixers (performed by Bobby Rush)

"Undercover (Adventure Club Remix)," Leighton James & Christian Srigley, remixers (performed by Kehlani)

"A Violent Noise (Four Tet Remix)," Four Tet, remixer (performed by The xx)

"You Move (Latroit Remix)," Dennis White, remixer (performed by Depeche Mode)

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Calvin Harris

Greg Kurstin

Blake Mills

No I.D.

The Stereotypes

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Uptown, Downtown, Bill Charlap Trio

Rebirth, Billy Childs

Project Freedom, Joey DeFrancesco & The People

Open Book, Fred Hersch

The Dreamer Is The Dream, Chris Potter

Best American Roots Performance

"Killer Diller Blues," Alabama Shakes (Alabama Shakes), from The American Epic Sessions (Deluxe)

"Let My Mother Live," Blind Boys Of Alabama (Blind Boys Of Alabama), from Almost Home

"Arkansas Farmboy," Glen Campbell (Glen Campbell), from Adiós

"Steer Your Way," Leonard Cohen (Leonard Cohen), from You Want It Darker

"I Never Cared For You," Alison Krauss (Alison Krauss), from Windy City

Best Bluegrass Album

Fiddler's Dream, Michael Cleveland

Laws Of Gravity, The Infamous Stringdusters

Original, Bobby Osborne

Universal Favorite, Noam Pikelny

All The Rage - In Concert Volume One [Live], Rhonda Vincent And The Rage

Best Folk Album

Mental Illness, Aimee Mann

Semper Femina, Laura Marling

The Queen Of Hearts, Offa Rex

You Don't Own Me Anymore, The Secret Sisters

The Laughing Apple, Yusuf / Cat Stevens

Best New Age Album

Reflection, Brian Eno

SongVersation: Medicine, India.Arie

Dancing On Water, Peter Kater

Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 5, Kitaro

Spiral Revelation, Steve Roach

Best World Music Album

Memoria De Los Sentidos, Vicente Amigo

Para Mi, Buika

Rosa Dos Ventos, Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro

Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration, Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Elwan, Tinariwen

Best Instrumental Composition

"Alkaline," Pascal Le Boeuf, composer (Le Boeuf Brothers & JACK Quartet), from Imaginist

"Choros #3," Vince Mendoza, composer (Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne), fromHomecoming

"Home Free (For Peter Joe)," Nate Smith, composer (Nate Smith), from Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere

"Three Revolutions," Arturo O'Farrill, composer (Arturo O'Farrill & Chucho Valdés), from Familia: Tribute To Bebo & Chico

"Warped Cowboy," Chuck Owen, composer (Chuck Owen And The Jazz Surge), from Whispers On The Wind

Best Historical Album

Bobo Yeye: Belle Epoque In Upper Volta, Jon Kirby, Florent Mazzoleni, Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)

The Goldberg Variations - The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions June 1955, Robert Russ, compilation producer; Matthias Erb, Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Glenn Gould)

Leonard Bernstein - The Composer, Robert Russ, compilation producer; Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Leonard Bernstein)

Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes From The Horn Of Africa, Nicolas Sheikholeslami & Vik Sohonie, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Various Artists)

Washington Phillips And His Manzarene Dreams, Michael Corcoran, April G. Ledbetter & Steven Lance Ledbetter, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Washington Phillips)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Baby Driver,(Various Artists)

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2, (Various Artists)

Hidden Figures: The Album,(Various Artists)

La La Land, (Various Artists)

Moana: The Songs,(Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media

Arrival, Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer

Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer, composer

Game Of Thrones: Season 7, Ramin Djawadi, composer

Hidden Figures, Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams & Hans Zimmer, composers

La La Land, Justin Hurwitz, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media

"City Of Stars," Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (performed by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone), from La La Land

"How Far I'll Go," Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (performed by Auli'i Cravalho), from Moana: The Songs

"I Don't Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)," Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (performed by ZAYN & Taylor Swift), from Fifty Shades Darker

"Never Give Up," Sia Furler & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (performed by Sia), from Lion

"Stand Up For Something," Common & Diane Warren, songwriters (performed by Andra Day Featuring Common), from Marshall

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.