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Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X Lead 2020 Grammy Nominees

Breakout stars all nominated for Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist

Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone Nov 21, 2019

Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X topped the 2020 Grammy nominations, with each securing looks for Album and Record of the Year. Photos: imageSPACE/Shutterstock; Olly Stabler/Shutterstock; Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

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By Jon Blistein and Elias Leight

Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and Lil Nas X scored the most nominations for the 62nd Grammy Awards, with all three notching nods for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist.

Lizzo led the pack, with eight nominations, including “Truth Hurts” for Record and Song of the Year, and Cuz I Love You for Album of the Year. Eilish, who garnered six nominations, was also nominated in those three categories: “Bad Guy” for Record and Song of the Year and When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? for Album of the Year. And Lil Nas X, also up for six awards, scored a Record of the Year look for his smash “Old Town Road” remix with Billy Ray Cyrus, while his debut EP was nominated for Album of the Year.

Lizzo, Eilish, and Lil Nas X will face off against a variety of more experienced acts in the Album of the Year category, which also features Bon Iver’s i, i, Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, H.E.R.’s I Used to Know Her, and Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride.

The Record of the Year category boasts Bon Iver for “Hey, Ma,” Grande for “7 Rings,” H.E.R. for “Hard Place,” Khalid for “Talk,” and Post Malone and Swae Lee for “Sunflower.” And Song of the Year features Lady Gaga’s other A Star Is Born hit, “Always Remember Us This Way,” Tanya Tucker’s “Bring My Flowers Now,” H.E.R.’s “Hard Place,” Taylor Swift’s “Lover,” Lana Del Rey’s “Norman Fucking Rockwell,” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Truth Hurts.”

Along with Lizzo, Eilish, and Lil Nas X, the Best New Artist category features several other breakout performers including Maggie Rogers, Rosalía, Tank and the Bangas, Yola, and Black Pumas. The awards will take place on January 26th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

In recent years, the Recording Academy has been slammed for failing to properly recognize and reward groundbreaking work from black performers — including Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé — and women. At the 2018 ceremony, just one woman was presented an award during the televised broadcast. Following that ceremony, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow made his now infamous comment that women need “to step up.”

Following that disaster, the Grammys have taken a series of steps in an attempt to increase voter diversity, inviting 900 new members to the organization, changing parts of the voting membership process, and appointing the first female CEO of the Recording Academy, Deborah Dugan. “We’re proud to present music’s only peer-recognized award and to embrace music makers from all genres, all generations, all genders with all its fluidity,” Dugan said at a press conference in New York on Wednesday to announce the nominees. “What happens this year on the Grammy stage will be unexpected and unapologetically authentic — and an expression of brilliance, of energy, of creativity that is music today.”

Perhaps as a result of these changes, or due to increased scrutiny, this year’s coveted general categories are carefully balanced by gender. (Although this is less true in some of the genre categories, like hip-hop.) And while the Grammys have frequently rewarded long-established performers at the expense of vital young acts, voters this year seemed particularly attuned to 2019’s fast-rising stars. “I think they’re all bringing something fresh, something unique and new,” Alicia Keys said at the press conference of the Best New Artist category. Keys, who won the award in 2002, will be hosting the event for the second year in a row. “I’m so excited that we’re at this place in music where we can really experience a diversity that’s encouraged.”

Like other major award shows, the Grammys have also faced a decline in live viewership this decade, especially in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic. The Grammys tend to reward commercially successful singles, but this year they were especially mindful of songs that grabbed both voracious streamers and more passive listeners.

Take Record of the Year: The singles by Grande, Post Malone, Eilish, Khalid, and Lizzo all reached Number One on Top 40 radio. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is one of the most successful singles in history, and H.E.R. actually performed her Grammy-nominated single “Hard Place” live at the 2019 ceremony — it has already been road-tested. The only song in the category that seems like an outlier is Bon Iver’s “Hey, Ma,” but even Bon Iver is a pretty safe choice for the Recording Academy — he has been nominated for five Grammys and won two.

Other top Grammy nominees for 2020 include Beyoncé, who notched four nods for her work on her Lion King soundtrack, The Gift, and Tucker, who nabbed three more nods to accompany her Song of the Year look, including Best Country Album for her comeback LP, While I’m Livin’ (Tucker has been nominated for 10 Grammys since 1973, but has yet to win one).

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke also picked up four nominations, including Best Alternative Album for Anima, as did British newcomer, Yolawho bolstered her Best New Artist look with several nominations in the Americana categories, including Best Americana Album for Walk Through the Fire.

Album of the Year
I, I — Bon Iver
Norman Fucking Rockwell! — Lana Del Rey
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish
Thank U, Next — Ariana Grande
I Used To Know Her — H.E.R.
7 — Lil Nas X
Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) — Lizzo
Father Of The Bride — Vampire Weekend

Record of the Year
“Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Hard Place” — H.E.R.
“Talk” — Khalid
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“Sunflower” — Post Malone and Swae Lee

Song of the Year
“Always Remember Us This Way” — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey, and Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth, and Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
“Hard Place” — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris. H.E.R., and Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)
“Lover” — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
“Norman Fucking Rockwell” — Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
“Someone You Loved” — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pere Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn, and Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)
“Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson, and Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)

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Best New Artist
Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Maggie Rogers
Rosalía
Tank and the Bangas
Yola

Best Pop Solo Performance
“Spirit” — Beyoncé
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“You Need To Calm Down” — Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Boyfriend” — Ariana Grande and Social House
“Sucker” — Jonas Brothers
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus
“Señorita” — Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

Best Pop Vocal Album
The Lion King: The Gift — Beyoncé
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish
Thank U, Next — Ariana Grande
No. 6 Collaborations Project — Ed Sheeran
Lover  — Taylor Swift

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
 — Andrea Bocelli
Love (Deluxe Edition) — Michael Bublé
Look Now — Elvis Costello and the Imposters
A Legendary Christmas — John Legend
Walls — Barbra Streisand

Best Dance Album
LP5 – Apparat
No Geography – The Chemical Brothers
Hi This Is Flume – Flume
Refs Du Sol – Solace
Weather – Tyco

Best Dance Recording
“Linked” — Bonobo
“Got to Keep On” — The Chemical Brothers
“Piece of Your Heart” — Meduza and Goodboys
“Underwater” — Rüfüs Du Sol
“Midnight Hour” — Skrillex and Boys Noize with Ty Dolla $ign

Best Rock Album
Amo — Bring Me The Horizon
Social Cues — Cage the Elephant
In the End — The Cranberries
Trauma — I Prevail
Feral Roots — Rival Sons

Best Rock Song
“Fear Inoculum” — Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones, and Maynard James Keenan, songwriters (Tool)
“Give Yourself a Try” — George Daniel, Adam Hann, Matthew Healy, and Ross Macdonald, songwriters (The 1975)
“Harmony Hall” — Ezra Koenig, songwriter (Vampire Weekend)
“History Repeats” — Brittany Howard, songwriter (Brittany Howard)
“This Land” — Gary Clark Jr., songwriter (Gary Clark Jr.)

Best Rock Performance
“Pretty Waste” — Bones UK
“This Land” — Gary Clark Jr.
“History Repeats” — Brittany Howard
“Woman” — Karen O and Danger Mouse
“Too Bad” — Rival Sons

Best Metal Performance
“Astorolus – The Great Octopus” — Candlemass feat. Tony Iommi
“Humanicide” — Death Angel
“Bow Down” — I Prevail
“Unleashed” — Killswitch Engage
“7empest” — Tool

Best Rap Album
Revenge of the Dreamers III — Dreamville
Championships — Meek Mill
I Am > I Was — 21 Savage
Igor — Tyler, the Creator
The Lost Boy — YBN Cordae

Best Rap Performance
“Middle Child” — J. Cole
“Suge” — DaBaby
“Down Bad” — Dreamville feat. J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, Earthgang, and Young Nudy
“Racks in the Middle” — Nipsey Hussle feat. Roddy Ricch and Hit-boy
“Clout” — Offset ft. Cardi B

Best Rap/Sung Performance
“Higher” — DJ Khaled feat. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend
“Drip Too Hard” — Lil Baby and Funna
“Panini” — Lil Nas X
“Ballin” — Mustard feat. Roddy Ricch
“The London” — Young Thug feat. J. Cole and Travis Scott

Best Rap Song
“Bad Idea” — Chancelor Bennett, Cordae Dunston, Uforo Ebong, and Daniel Hackett, songwriters (Ybn Cordae feat. Chance the Rapper)
“Gold Roses” — Noel Cadastre, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Khristopher Riddick-tynes, William Leonard Roberts II, Joshua Quinton Scruggs, Leon Thomas III, and Ozan Yildirim, songwriters (Rick Ross feat. Drake)
“A Lot” — Jermaine Cole, Dacoury Natche, 21 Savage, and Anthony White, songwriters (21 Savage feat. J. Cole)
“Racks in the Middle” — Ermias Asghedom, Dustin James Corbett, Greg Allen Davis, Chauncey Hollis Jr., and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Nipsey Hussle feat. Roddy Ricch and Hit-boy)
“Suge” — DaBaby, Jetsonmade, and Pooh Beatz, songwriters (DaBaby)

Best Alternative Album
U.F.O.F. — Big Thief
Assume Form — James Blake
I, I — Bon Iver
Father of the Bride — Vampire Weekend
Anima — Thom Yorke

Best Country Album
Desperate Man — Eric Church
Stronger than the Truth — Reba McEntire
Interstate Gospel — Pistol Annies
Center Point Road — Thomas Rhett
While I’m Livin’ — Tanya Tucker

Best Country Solo Performance
“All Your’n” — Tyler Childers
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” — Ashley McBryde
“Ride Me Back Home” — Willie Nelson
“God’s Country” — Blake Shelton
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Tanya Tucker

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Brand New Man” — Brooks and Dunn with Luke Combs
“I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” — Brothers Osborne
“Speechless” — Dan and Shay
“The Daughters” — Little Big Town
“Common” — Maren Morris feat. Brandi Carlile

Best Country Song
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth, and Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” — Jeremy Bussey and Ashley Mcbryde, songwriters (Ashley Mcbryde)
“It All Comes Out in the Wash” — Miranda Lambert, Hillary Lindsey, Lori Mckenna, and Liz Rose, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“Some of It” — Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde, and Bobby Pinson, songwriters (Eric Church)
“Speechless” — Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers, and Laura Veltz, songwriters (Dan and Shay)

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
X 100PRE — Bad Bunny
Oasis — J Balvin and Bad Bunny
Indestructible — Flor De Toloache
Almadura — iLe
El Mal Querer — Rosalía

Best Latin Pop Album
Vida — Luis Fonsi
11:11 — Maluma
Montaner — Ricardo Montaner
#ELDISCO — Alejandro Sanz
Fantasía — Sebastian Yatra

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Caminando — Joss Favela
Percepción — Intocable
Poco A Poco — La Energia Norteña
20 Aniversario — Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea
De Ayer Para Siempre — Mariachi Los Camperos

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Best Tropical Latin Album
Opus — Marc Anthony
Tiempo Al Tiempo — Luis Enrique and C4 Trio
Candela — Vicente García
Literal — Juan Luis Guerra 4.40
A Journey Through Cuban Music — Aymée Nuviola

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Apollo XXI — Steve Lacy
Cuz I Love You — Lizzo
Overload — Georgia Anne Muldrow
Saturn — NAO
Being Human in Public — Jessie Reyez

Best R&B Album
1123 — BJ the Chicago Kid
Painted — Lucky Daye
Ella Mai — Ella Mai
Paul — PJ Morton
Ventura — Anderson .Paak

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Apollo XXI — Steve Lacy
Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) — Lizzo
Overload — Georgia Anne Muldrow
Saturn — Nao
Being Human in Public — Jessie Reyez

Best R&B Performance
“Love Again” — Daniel Caesar and Brandy
“Could’ve Been” — H.E.R. and Bryson Tiller
“Exactly How I Feel” — Lizzo and Gucci Mane
“Roll Some Mo” — Lucky Daye
“Come Home” — Anderson .Paak and André 3000

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Time Today” — BJ the Chicago Kid
“Steady Love” — India.Arie
“Jerome” — Lizzo
“Real Games” — Lucky Daye
“Built for Love” — PJ Morton and Jazmine Sullivan

Best R&B Song
“Could’ve Been” — Dernst Emile II, David “Swagg R’celious” Harris, H.E.R., and Hue “Soundzfire” Strother, songwriters (H.E.R. feat. Bryson Tiller)
“Look at Me Now” — Emily King and Jeremy Most, songwriters (Emily King)
“No Guidance” — Chris Brown, Tyler James Bryant, Nija Charles, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Michee Patrick Lebrun, Joshua Lewis, Noah Shebib, and Teddy Walton, songwriters (Chris Brown feat. Drake)
“Roll Some Mo” — David Brown, Dernst Emile II, and Peter Lee Johnson, songwriters (Lucky Daye)
“Say So” — PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton feat. JoJo)

Best American Roots Performance
“Saint Honesty” — Sara Bareilles
“Father Mountain” — Calexico with Iron & Wine
“I’m On My Way” — Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
“Call My Name” — I’m With Her
“Faraway Look” — Yola

Best American Roots Song
“Black Myself” — Amythyst Kiah, songwriter (Our Native Daughters)
“Call My Name” — Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’donovan, and Sara Watkins, songwriters (I’m With Her)
“Crossing to Jerusalem” — Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal, songwriters (Rosanne Cash)
“Faraway Look” — Dan Auerbach, Yola Carter, and Pat McLaughlin, songwriters (Yola)
“I Don’t Wanna Ride the Rails No More” — Vince Gill, songwriter (Vince Gill)

Best Americana Album
Years to Burn — Calexico and Iron & Wine
Who Are You Now — Madison Cunningham
Oklahoma — Keb’ Mo’
Tales of America — J.S. Ondara
Walk Through Fire — Yola

Best Bluegrass Album
Tall Fiddler — Michael Cleveland
Live in Prague, Czech Republic — Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
Toil, Tears & Trouble — The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
Royal Traveller — Missy Raines
If You Can’t Stand the Heat — Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen

Best Traditional Blues Album
Kingfish — Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Tall, Dark & Handsome — Delbert McClinton and Self-Made Men
Sitting on Top of the Blues — Bobby Rush
Baby, Please Come Home — Jimmie Vaughan
Spectacular Class — Jontavious Willis

Best Contemporary Blues Album
This Land — Gary Clark Jr.
Venom & Faith — Larkin Poe
Brighter Days — Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Somebody Save Me — Sugaray Rayford
Keep On — Southern Avenue

Best Folk Album
My Finest Work Yet — Andrew Bird
Rearrange My Heart — Che Apalache
Patty Griffin — Patty Griffin
Evening Machines — Gregory Alan Isakov
Front Porch — Joy Williams

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Kalawai’anui — Amy Hānaiali’i
When It’s Cold – Cree Round Dance Songs — Northern Cree
Good Time — Ranky Tanky
Recorded Live at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — Rebirth Brass Band
Hawaiian Lullaby (Various Artists) — Imua Garza and Kimié Miner, producers

Best Reggae Album
Rapture — Koffee
As I Am — Julian Marley
The Final Battle: Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics — Sly & Robbie and Roots Radics
Mass Manipulation — Steel Pulse
More Work to Be Done — Third World

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books, and Storytelling)
Beastie Boys Book (Various Artists) — Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Scott Sherratt, and Dan Zitt, producers
Becoming — Michelle Obama
I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor — Eric Alexandrakis
Mr. Know-It-All — John Waters
Sekou Andrews & the String Theory — Sekou Andrews and the String Theory

Best Comedy Album
Quality Time — Jim Gaffigan
Relatable — Ellen Degeneres
Right Now — Aziz Ansari
Son of Patricia — Trevor Noah
Sticks & Stones — Dave Chappelle

Best Music Video
“We’ve Got To Try” — The Chemical Brothers; Ellie Fry, video director; Ninian Doff, video producer
“This Land” — Gary Clark Jr.; Savanah Leaf, video director; Alicia Martinez, video producer
“Cellophane” — FKA twigs; Andrew Thomas Huang, video director; Alex Chamberlain, video producer
“Old Town Road (Official Movie)” — Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus; Calmatic, video director; Candice Dragonas, Melissa Larsen, and Saul Levitz, video producers
“Glad He’s Gone” — Tove Lo;  Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia, video directors; Natan Schottenfels, video producer

Best Music Film
Homecoming — Beyoncé; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Ed Burke, video directors; Dora Melissa Vargas, video producer
Remember My Name — David Crosby; A.J. Eaton, video director; Cameron Crowe, Michele Farinola, and Greg Mariotti, video producers
Birth of the Cool — Miles Davis; Stanley Nelson, video director; Nicole London, video producer
Shangri-La — Various Artists; Morgan Neville, video director; Emma Baiada, video producer
Anima — Thom Yorke; Paul Thomas Anderson, video director; Paul Thomas Anderson, Erica Frauman, and Sara Murphy, video producers

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Jack Antonoff
Dan Auerbach
John Hill
Finneas
Ricky Reed

Additional reporting by Angie Martoccio

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