The 61st Annual Grammy Awards will take place Feb. 10 with singer-songwriter Alicia Keys hosting the evening, making her the first woman to host since 2005. The ceremony returns to the Staples Center in Los Angeles after last year’s awards took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time since 2003.
This year, the Recording Academy expanded the four major categories from five nominees to eight, allowing for a wider range of artists and genres to be represented.
The Recording Academy claimed to have made an effort to reach out to women and people of color about becoming members in an attempt to diversify the voting body. This comes after the controversial ceremony last year where only one woman was nominated for the Album of the Year category and few women walked away with awards.
This year, five of the eight nominees for Album of the Year are women including Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae, H.E.R. and Kacey Musgraves. A number of women garnered multiple nominations with Brandi Carlile earning six, Cardi B, Lady Gaga, H.E.R. and Maren Morris earning five each and SZA and Kacey Musgraves both earning four nominations.
The films “Black Panther” and “A Star is Born” continue their award show presence with nominations at the Grammy Awards. “A Star is Born” standout hit “Shallow” received nominations in four categories including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. “Black Panther” received nominations for “All The Stars” in four categories including Record of the Year and Song of the Year as well.
Kendrick Lamar leads this year’s awards with eight nominations, all for his work on “Black Panther: The Album.” Ludwig Goransson earned “Black Panther” another nomination for his work on the film score and will enter the evening with four total nominations for his work on the film and as a producer for longtime collaborator Childish Gambino.
News struck before nominations were announced that Cardi B and Post Malone were ineligible for the Best New Artist category. This is a category that often confuses audiences with the eligibility rules especially with the 2018 winner being Alessia Cara, an artist who released her debut album in 2015.
The Recording Academy further deemed Post Malone ineligible for the rap categories, forcing the artist to compete in pop categories. Both Cardi B and Post Malone will compete in the major categories of Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
Cardi B will also compete in the Best Rap Album category along with Pusha T, Travis Scott, Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller. Mac Miller earned his first Grammy nomination posthumously with his final album “Swimming.” Miller’s parents will attend the ceremony in his memory and will accept the prize on his behalf should he win.
The ceremony will feature a star-studded lineup of performers including nominees Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay and Post Malone. Other performers include Miley Cyrus, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Diana Ross, who will perform in the Grammys’ celebration of her music career.
This year, some big names were left out of the major categories which struck many fans by surprise, especially with the expansion of nominees for this year’s awards. Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande received nominations in the pop categories but are not among the nominees for the major categories. This draws comparisons to last year’s ceremony with Ed Sheeran being snubbed despite the success of his global hit “Shape of You.” While Swift has had her fair share of Grammy success, viewers are used to her presence in the more prestigious awards of the evening.
The 2019 Grammys will air live on CBS Feb. 10 at 8 p.m.