Yesterday morning, Alessia Cara, the first Canadian ever to win a Best New Artist US Grammy award, joined fellow Canuck Shawn Mendes, American singer Janelle Monae, and Apple Music host Zane Lowe to announce nominations for the 2019 installment of the annual gala. Californian rapper Kendrick Lamar leads with eight nods, while Canada’s Drake comes in second place with seven. Cara did not receive any nominations this year but Mendes was given a pair. Not having released any new music this year per se, Justin Bieber is not up for a trophy. Though his EP topped the US album chart and one of its tracks cracked the Top 5 there, The Weeknd was snubbed by the recording academy this season. Vocal jazz superstar Diana Krall, however, received two nominations for her collaborative efforts with New York’s Tony Bennett. Rising R&B star Daniel Caesar was given a thumbs up via his feature in H.E.R.’s “Best Part” (Best R&B Performance).
Several Canadians are up for awards in classical music: Marc-André Hamelin, James Ehnes, Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Gerald Finley, and Les Violons du Roy. Canada’s Boi-1da is up for the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical award and a couple of Canadian artist albums receive nominations for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical – discs from Bahamas and Chromeo.
Drake, who has already won three Grammy awards, was left off the slate last year because he did not submit album More Life for consideration stating in an interview that he was tired of being pigeonholed as a rapper. With his seven nominations this year, he has obviously patched things up with the American recording academy. The 2019 gala will determine whether he takes home the trophies for Best Rap Performance (“Nice for What” and, as a featured artist, “Sicko Mode”), Best Rap Song (“Sicko Mode” and “God’s Plan”), Record of the Year (“God’s Plan”), Song of the Year (“God’s Plan), and Album of the Year Scorpion.
Shawn Mendes’ nominations are for Song of the Year (“In My Blood”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (Shawn Mendes). Diana Krall (with Tony Bennett) receives the honours for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“S Wonderful”) and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Love Is Here to Stay).