Grammy nominations 2018

Liam Jackson, entertainment writer

photo courtesy of Google under the Creative Commons license.

After a year of new music, chart-topping singles and 22,000 submissions to the Recording Academy, the highly anticipated 2018 Grammy nominations have been announced. This year’s nominees are extremely diverse, with hip-hop dominating in an award ceremony that is known for often overlooking the genre. Jay-Z leads with eight nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar with seven. The St. Louis native SZA earned five nominations and is the most nominated woman this year. The winners will be announced on January 28.

Album of the Year

4:44 – Jay-Z

The rapper’s 13th album, released June 2017, earned him his first Album of the year nomination as a lead artist and his third nomination as a featured artist, previously being nominated for Beyoncé’s self-titled album and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III.” On 4:44, he addresses topics such as racism, stereotypes and rumors of infidelity that began after his wife released her critically acclaimed album, “Lemonade.” “4:44” has received widespread acclaim from critics and is a major contender to win the biggest award in music.


DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar

On the follow-up to 2015’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,”Lamar came back with the year’s best album, according to Rolling Stone. He previously won Album of the Year in 2014 for “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,and was nominated in 2016 for “To Pimp a Butterfly.” His fourth studio album gained him widespread praise, and it may also gain him his second Album of the year win.


Childish Gambino – “Awaken, my Love!”

The most surprising nomination in this category, Donald Glover’s third studio album was not expected to be nominated for Album of the Year, but it has received generally positive reviews since its release last December and it possibly it could win. Awaken, my Love!is also nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and Childish Gambino also received additional nominations for Best R&B Song, Best Traditional R&B performance and Record of the Year.


Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

On Bruno Mars’ follow-up to his successful second album, the singer came back with an album that produced the hits “That’s What I Like” and the title track, “24K Magic.” It also earned him six Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year. He has won multiple Grammys in the past, the most recent being “Uptown Funk,” which won Record of the Year. If he does win, it would be his second consecutive win in this category, as he was a producer on the last years winning album, Adele’s 25.


Lorde – Melodrama

The youngest nominee in this category and the only woman, Lorde’s sophomore LP “Melodrama” earned her only one Grammy nomination overall, but it proves to be a major contender, as it was the year’s most critically acclaimed female album.  At 21, she would be the second youngest person to ever win Album of the Year. She has previously won Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her 2013 hit “Royals,” as well as being nominated for Record of the Year for “Royals” and Best Pop Vocal Album for “Pure Heroine.”


While some nominations were predictable, such as “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar, and others were surprises, like “Awaken, my Love!” by Childish Gambino, some artists who were expected to dominate are notably absent from the major awards. Ed Sheeran, whose studio album “÷” was a major commercial success, is only nominated for two awards, despite predictions that he would dominate this year. Another snub is Kesha’s widely-praised album “Rainbow,” which she worked on during treatment for bulimia and was released during her still ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke, in which she alleges he sexually assaulted and emotionally abused her. The album is not nominated for Album of the Year and the lead single, “Praying,” is not nominated for Record or Song of the Year, but she did score two nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. Other major albums that are absent include Harry Styles’ self-titled debut solo album and Katy Perry’s “Witness.” Both artists did not receive any nominations and they both have yet to win a Grammy.


Record of the Year

Redbone – Childish Gambino

Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Biebe

The Story of O.J. – Jay-Z

HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar

24K Magic – Bruno Mars


Song of the Year (awarded to songwriters)

Despacito – Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton

4:44 – Shawn Carter and Dion Wilson

1-800-273-8255 – Alessia Cara, Logic, Arjun Ivatury & 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


Best New Artist

Alessia Cara


Lil Uzi Vert

Julia Michaels


Best Pop Solo Performance

Love So Soft – Kelly Clarkson

Million Reasons – Lady Gaga

Praying – Kesha

What About Us – P!nk

Shape of You – Ed Sheeran


Best Pop Vocal Album

Kaleidoscope EP – Coldplay

Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey

÷ – Ed Sheeran

Joanne – Lady Gaga

Rainbow – Kesha


Best Urban Contemporary Album

Free 6LACK – 6LACK

“Awaken, My Love!” – Childish Gambino

Starboy – The Weeknd

American Teen – Khalid

Ctrl – SZA


Best Rap Performance

Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

Bounce Back – Big Sean

4:44 – Jay-Z

HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar

Bad and Boujee – Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Full list of nominees