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Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, the Weeknd lead Grammy nominees

Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Weeknd lead Grammy nominations

Kendrick Lamar leads the way into the Grammy Awards on Feb. 15 with 11 nominations, and Taylor Swift and the Weeknd each have seven.

The nominations, announced Monday by the Recording Academy, cover 83 musical categories, including album of the year, for which Lamar (“To Pimp a Butterfly”), Swift (“1989”) and the Weeknd (“Beauty Behind the Madness”) all received a nod. Other album-of-the-year nominees are Alabama Shakes for “Sound & Color” and veteran country songwriter Chris Stapleton for his debut album, “Traveller.”

In the other major categories, Lamar, Swift and the Weeknd also fared well, though Swift was the only performer to be nominated for album, song and record of the year.

Nominees for record of the year, which honors the artist and the production team, include Swift (“Blank Space”) and the Weeknd (“Can’t Feel My Face”), as well as D’Angelo (“Really Love”), Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars (“Uptown Funk”) and Ed Sheeran (“Thinking Out Loud”).

For song of the year, a songwriters award, Lamar got a nod for “Alright” and Swift for “Blank Space,” while Little Big Town scored for “Girl Crush,” Wiz Khalifa with Charlie Puth for “See You Again” and Sheeran for “Thinking Out Loud.”

The best new artist nominees include Australian rocker Courtney Barnett, singer-songwriters James Bay and Tori Kelly, country hit-maker Sam Hunt and pop singer Meghan Trainor.

Also scoring big was rapper Drake, with five nominations, and a handful of producers, engineers and songwriters: Max Martin with six nominations, and Tom Coyne, Serban Ghenea and John Hanes with five.

Notably bypassed in this year’s nominations was British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, which received eight nominations and won a Grammy in 2013 for album of the year for “Babel.” But the academy ignored the band’s latest release, “Wilder Mind,” even though it topped the Billboard album chart.

The awards cover recordings released between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015, which means that Adele’s recent multimillion-selling album, “25,” isn’t eligible.

Among the nominees with Chicago-area connections are Wilco, for best alternative album (“Star Wars”); Common (with John Legend) for best rap/sung collaboration, rap song and song written for visual media (“Glory”); Buddy Guy for best American roots performance and blues album (“Born to Play Guitar”); Shemekia Copeland for best blues album (“Outskirts of Love”); and Mavis Staples for best American roots performance (“See That My Grave is Kept Clean”).

Chicago's Cedille label received three nominations in classical categories: "Filament," an album of new music played by the Chicago-based ensemble eighth blackbird, was nominated for best chamber music performance; pianist Ursula Oppens' disc of Frederic Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!," for best classical instrumental solo; and the New Budapest Orpheum Society's "As Dreams Fall Apart — The Golden Age of Jewish Stage and Film Music, 1925-1955," for best classical compendium.

Among Kanye West’s four nominations are two (best rap performance, rap song) for “All Day,” which means that one of its featured performers — Paul McCartney — is in line for his first rap Grammy.

greg@gregkot.com
Twitter @gregkot

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