"I don't think you can say anyone is a front-runner", said Melinda Newman, West Coast editor of Billboard magazine. "And I am not hung up on what happens or doesn't happen", she said. Christian singer Lauren Daigle also won Grammys.
It's been an exceptionally tiring few months for the entertainment world, between fervent backlash to the Super Bowl halftime show lineup and the hullabaloo over who would host the Oscars (no one), how many nominations polarising films Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody would receive (five each), how many original song nominees would be performing live (all of them, apparently thanks to Lady Gaga) and, well. we could go on.
Fast forward 30 years, and the Grammys are still accused of mistreating hip-hop and R&B artists, who rarely take home awards in top categories.
Before this year, Carlile's only other nomination as an artist came in 2016 when her previous record, "The Firewatcher's Daughter", was up for best Americana album. The nominations are dominated by Drake and Kendrick Lamar, with eight and seven nods, respectively. This year's most nominated woman picked up her first three awards during the Grammy Premiere Ceremony, the nontelevised portion where the bulk of the awards are given out. Other performers include Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, H.E.R., Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dan + Shay. Women also have a strong presence in those top categories, including Lady Gaga, SZA, Maren Morris and Ella Mai. "I see you", Monae said.
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The lead-up to this year's Grammys has not been completely smooth, though.
This year's nominees mark a departure from the 2018 Grammys, where Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow was criticized when he said women need to "step up" when asked about the lack of women in the top categories.
Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich told the Associated Press that Grande, who is nominated for best pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album, declined to perform Sunday because she "felt it was too late for her to pull something together". Taylor Swift, who was snubbed and one scored one nomination, also won't be at the show. This year's award ceremony will be hosted by 15-time Grammy victor Alicia Keys and this will be her first time hosting the ceremony. A representative for the Grammys didn't return an email seeking clarification about the tribute.
E!'s red carpet coverage, hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, starts at 6 p.m.; CBS's special, hosted by Nancy O'Dell, Kevin Frazier, Keltie Knight and Eve, kicks off at 7 p.m. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day will honor the late Aretha Franklin with a performance.