Grammys 2020: Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Ariana Grande lead nominations

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Billie Eilish, Lizzo and Ariana Grande all have multiple nominations

Two years after the head of the Grammys said women need to “step up” if they wanted to be recognised, female artists are dominating the 2020 nominations.

Five of the eight album of the year nominees are women, Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey among the front-runners.

Meanwhile, Lizzo and Billie Eilish are shortlisted in all of the ceremony’s “big four” categories: best new artist, best song, best record and best album.

Only one artist, Christopher Cross, has won all four awards in a single year.

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has also been recognised, with Someone You Loved picking up a nomination for song of the year; while English singer Yola picked up a surprise mention in the best new artist category.

And Lil Nas X received multiple nominations for his country-rap crossover Old Town Road, which spent a record-breaking 19 weeks at number one in the US earlier this year.

The nominees for the main categories are:

Album of the year

  • I, I – Bon Iver
  • Norman Rockwell – Lana Del Rey
  • Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Billie Eilish
  • Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
  • I Used To Know Her – HER
  • 7 – Lil Nas X
  • Father Of The Bride – Vampire Weekend

Song of the year

  • Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga
  • Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
  • Bring My Flowers Now – Tanya Tucker
  • Hard Place – HER
  • Lover – Taylor Swift
  • Norman Rockwell – Lana Del Rey
  • Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
  • Truth Hurts – Lizzo

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Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved is nominated for song of the year

Record of the year

  • Hey Ma – Bon Iver
  • Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
  • 7 Rings – Ariana Grande
  • Hard Place – HER
  • Talk – Khalid
  • Old Town Road – Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Truth Hurts – Lizzo
  • Sunflower – Post Malone and Swae Lee

Best new artist

  • Black Pumas
  • Billie Eilish
  • Lizzo
  • Lil Nas X
  • Maggie Rogers
  • Rosalia
  • Tank and the Bangas
  • Yola

British nominees include Ed Sheeran, whose No. 6 Collaborations Project is up for best pop album; Ella Mai, whose debut record is nominated for best R&B album; and violinist Nicola Bendetti, who is recognised for a new concerto, written especially for her by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis.

The Chemical Brothers receive three nominations in the dance categories; while Thom Yorke and James Blake go up against each for best alternative album.

There are also posthumous nominations for The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, and murdered rap star Nipsey Hussle.

Lizzo was understandably excited to cap off her breakthrough year with so many nominations.

She tweeted: “This has been an incredible year for music and I’m just so thankful to even be part of it. “We are all winners.”

Lil Nas X posted a simple but explosive: “NO WAY” (with an expletive in between those two words).

Stepping up

The Grammys were mired in controversy in 2018, after only one woman, Alessia Cara, won an award during the televised ceremony.

Asked to respond to the lack of female representation, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said women needed “to step up because I think they would be welcome.

“I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us – us as an industry – to make the welcome mat very obvious.”

His comments sparked outrage, and this year’s ceremony rang the changes, with Kacey Musgraves’ space-age country album Golden Hour taking home the main prize, presented by a new female host, Alicia Keys.

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Bebe Rexha and Alicia Keys announced the nominations on Wednesday

As she picked up the best new artist trophy, British star Dua Lipa drove home the point, saying: “I guess this year we really stepped up.”

To be clear, the 2020 nominees all earned their place on merit. There’s no quota system in place. Instead, artists like Billie Eilish and electro-flamenco star Rosalía, have written some of the most forward-thinking, head-turning records of the last 12 months.

The Recording Academy’s new president, Deborah Dugan, commented on the phenomenon as she announced the shortlist for best pop solo performance in Los Angeles.

“Wow, that’s a lot of women,” she quipped. “Just sayin.'”

We’ll discover who wins when the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards take place on Sunday, 26 January 2020, hosted again by Alicia Keys.

The event takes place a month earlier than normal, after the Oscars moved their ceremony forward, taking the Grammys traditional slot.

That means the 2020 honours are based on a shortened, 11-month eligibility period.

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