The long-awaited, hotly debated 59th Annual Grammy Award nominees are in, and we must admit that the top contenders are impressive.
Meghan Trainor, last year’s Best New Artist of the Year title-holder, helped unveil the list on CBS This Morning on Tuesday (Dec. 6) with the announcement of the “The Big Four”: the worthiest of the gold-plated gramophone accolade.
Spiking nine categories with her ceremonial Lemonade, Beyoncé sits in royalty as the most nominated woman in Grammy's history. The sixth solo album from Queen Bey was nominated for Album of the Year, as well as Record of the Year and Song of the Year for the album’s lead single “Formation.” And not to mention Queen Bey’s most thriving, infectious tracks “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Hold Up” and “Freedom” are also nominated in the Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Rock Performance (!!!) and Best Rap/Sung Performance categories. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow also gave Lemonade his blessing, praising Bey for her bold, unnerved versatility in the album's genre-crossing elements.
Portnow lauds that she is the "poster child for that kind of diversification and for stepping out and doing whatever she feels comfortable to do. It’s great to see that fans are open-minded and want to embrace all of that.”
And the moment every millennial has waited for has finally done hip-hop and R&B justice for the 2017 Grammys, as Chance the Rapper joins Queen Bey in Grammys history-making. As the first artist to turn necks (and ears) with a mixtape that singlehandedly turned streams into a Billboard 200 spot, Chicago’s hip-hop wunderkind is now a Grammy Award pioneer. As the catalyst behind the Grammy’s newest reform to allow nominations for streaming-only projects, Chance has racked up seven Grammy nods, including Best Rap Album and Best New Artist.
Other notables include Drake, who just hit the big Dirty 30 and has given more weight to his Future-featuring “Grammys” song as he clinches a nomination for Album of the Year next to Adele, Beyoncé and Justin Bieber with Views. His assist on Rihanna’s dancehall anthem “Work” was also nominated for Record of the Year. Rihanna and Kanye West also received eight nominations each, while Solange earned her first Grammy nomination ever for Best R&B Performance for "Cranes in the Sky."
It looks like 2017 is shaping up to be another incredible year for hip-hop and R&B, indeed. Peep the full list of Grammys nods here.
(Photo from left: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com, Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Take-Two Interactive )