NEW YORK (AP) – The Grammys are screaming â€œCuz I Love Youâ€ to Lizzo: The breakthrough singer-rapper scored a whopping eight nominations, including bids for the top four awards, making her the showâ€™s top-nominated act.
Lizzo picked up nominations for album of the year with her major-label debut, â€œCuz I Love Youâ€; song and record of the year with her anthemic No. 1 hit, â€œTruth Hurtsâ€; and best new artist.
Like Lizzo, other new artists dominated with Grammy nominations on Wednesday: Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X earned six nominations apiece.
Eilish also scored nominations in the top four categories, making the 17-year-old the youngest artist in the history of the Grammys to achieve the feat. Lil Nas X, 20, is up for three of the top four awards, including album and record of the year for â€œOld Town Road,â€ featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.
Lizzoâ€™s â€œCuz I Love You,â€ Eilishâ€™s â€œWhen We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?â€ and Lil Nas Xâ€™s â€œ7â€ – an 8-song EP – will compete for album of the year along with Ariana Grandeâ€™s â€œThank U, Next,â€ Bon Iverâ€™s â€œI,I,â€ Vampire Weekendâ€™s â€œFather of the Bride,â€ H.E.R.â€™s â€œI Used to Know Herâ€ and Lana Del Reyâ€™s â€œNorman (Expletive) Rockwell!â€
Nominees for record of the year include songs that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year, including â€œOld Town Road,â€ â€œTruth Hurts,â€ Eilishâ€™s â€œBad Guy,â€ Grandeâ€™s â€œ7 Ringsâ€ and Post Malone and Swae Leeâ€™s â€œSunflower.â€ H.E.R.â€™s â€œHard Place,â€ Bon Iverâ€™s â€œHey, Maâ€ and Khalidâ€™s â€œTalk,â€ which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100, round out the eight nominees.
While Taylor Swift was shut out of album of the year with â€œLover,â€ the albumâ€™s title track earned a nomination for song of the year, a songwriterâ€™s award. It will compete with â€œTruth Hurts,â€ â€œBad Guy,â€ â€œHard Place,â€ Lady Gagaâ€™s â€œAlways Remember Us This Wayâ€ from â€œA Star Is Born,â€ Lewis Capaldiâ€™s â€œSomeone You Loved,â€ Lana Del Reyâ€™s â€œNorman (Expletive) Rockwellâ€ and Tanya Tuckerâ€™s â€œBring My Flowers Now,â€ co-written by Brandi Carlile.
Swift earned three nominations, while BeyoncÃ© – who was shut out of the top three categories – scored four. While her groundbreaking â€œHomecomingâ€ documentary earned a nomination for best music film, its album version didnâ€™t pick up any nominations. Instead her â€œThe Lion King: The Giftâ€ project – which features songs inspired by â€œThe Lion King,â€ for which she voiced the character Nala – is up for best pop vocal album, competing with projects from Ed Sheeran, Swift, Eilish and Grande. BeyoncÃ©â€™s â€œSpirit,â€ from â€œThe Lion Kingâ€ which is being pushed for Oscar consideration, is up for best pop solo performance along with Swiftâ€™s â€œYou Need to Calm Down,â€ â€œTruth Hurts,â€ â€œBad Guyâ€ and â€œ7 Rings.â€
Overall, female acts out-performed their male counterparts in the top four categories: Five of the eight album-of-the-year contenders are women, while seven of the eight song-of-the-year nominees are by women. Female musicians also rule in the best new artist category, though record of the year is evenly split.
Grande, who won her first Grammy earlier this year, scored five nominations, as did H.E.R. and Finneas, Eilishâ€™s older brother who co-wrote, co-produced and engineered her debut album. Finneasâ€™ nominations include producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).
Several acts picked up four nominations, including J. Cole, Gary Clark Jr., Lucky Daye, Thom Yorke, Bob Ludwig and Tanya Tucker, who in August released her first album of new songs in 17 years.
British country-soul performer Yola also scored four bids, including best new artist, pitting her against Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Eilish, pop singer Maggie Rogers, New Orleans group Tank and the Bangas, the Austin-based duo Black Pumas and Spanish singer RosalÃa, who won album of the year at last weekâ€™s Latin Grammys.
Lizzoâ€™s road to the Grammys has been a long one: The 31-year-old, who performed with Prince on his â€œPlectrumelectrumâ€ album, grinded as an independent and touring artist for years before signing a major-label deal, releasing her first album in 2013. But this year marked her major breakthrough: Her song â€œTruth Hurtsâ€ topped the charts for seven weeks; sheâ€™s wowed audiences with her live performances – including her twerking while playing the flute. Sheâ€™s also graced several magazine covers, earning praise for promoting body positivity and denouncing fat shaming.
But Lizzo has also had her fair share of critics: Some felt she shouldnâ€™t qualify for best new artist at the Grammys since sheâ€™s been on the music scene for years. Others thought since â€œTruth Hurtsâ€ was originally released in 2017, it shouldnâ€™t qualify for the 2020 Grammys. The Recording Academy said “Truth Hurts” qualified because the song was never submitted for contention in the Grammys process and it appears on an album released during the eligibility period for the upcoming show.
â€œTruth Hurtsâ€ was co-written by Tele, Jesse Saint John and Ricky Reed, who is nominated for producer of the year (non-classical). Mina Lioness, the British singer who Lizzo gave writing credit to after using some of her viral tweet in the hit song, didnâ€™t appear on the list of writers nominated for song of the year for â€œTruth Hurts.â€ Lizzoâ€™s label, Atlantic Records, told The Associated Press last week it was in the process of adding Lioness to the songâ€™s credits.
Lizzoâ€™s other nominations include best urban contemporary album, best pop solo performance for â€œTruth Hurts,â€ best traditional R&B performance for â€œJeromeâ€ and best R&B performance for â€œExactly How I Am,â€ which features Gucci Mane and marks the rapperâ€™s first Grammy nomination.
Another first-time nominee: former first lady Michelle Obama, who is nominated for best spoken word album for â€œBecomingâ€ (Barack Obama has won two Grammys in the same category).
Nipsey Hussle, who died in March and was nominated for best rap album earlier this year, scored three nominations: His song â€œRacks In the Middleâ€ is up for best rap performance and best rap song, while â€œHigherâ€ – a collaboration with DJ Khaled and John Legend that was one of the last songs Hussle recorded – is nominated for best rap/sung performance.
The Cranberries picked up a nomination for best rock album for their eighth and final album, â€œIn the End,â€ which the surviving members of the Irish band created using unfinished vocals from singer Dolores O’Riordan, who died last year.
The 2020 Grammys will hand out awards in its 84 categories live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26. Nominees were selected from more than 20,000 submissions, and the final round of voting runs from Dec. 9 until Jan. 3.