Cardi B goes for first Grammy win; Ariana Grande, Drake among no-shows

Cardi B goes for first Grammy win; Ariana Grande, Drake among no-shows

Grammy organizers this year expanded the top four categories - album, record, song of the year, and best new artist - to eight nominees from five in a bid to diversify the contest.

Music's biggest night is nearly here, as the 61st Annual Grammy Awards air live on CBS this Sunday. All three rappers are nominated for several of the evening's biggest awards, though it's unclear whether they'll even attend the show.

Ariana Grande, with two nominations in the pop field, pulled out of the show late last week after a dispute with producers over which songs she would perform.

"There's great respect that is deserved to women and you will see that live embodied on Sunday".

Brandi Carlile, the folk singer nominated for six Grammys including album, song and record of the year, looked to Monae and said: "Girl, I would vote you into presidency". Critics may carp about the Grammy Awards themselves going to bland, middle-of-the-road acts instead of trailblazers, but Grammy red carpet fashion is usually wilder and more fun to gawk at then the self-consciously chic finery stars sport to the Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys and more.

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. "This is just the beginning of moving to a more inclusive future".

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Rapper Kendrick Lamar - who won a Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN. but has yet to snare a Grammy for Album of the Year - earned eight nods while Canadian rapper Drake snagged seven.

Grande responded to the statements on Twitter saying, "I've kept my mouth shut but now you're lying about me. Know that I support you - win or lose", Monae said.

For a list of the complete nominations, visit the Grammys' site. "It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more".

Despite seemingly never caring if the right nominees go home with trophies, the Grammys care deeply about winning their own race to the bottom of the awards show barrel. Taylor Swift, who was snubbed and one scored one nomination, also won't be at the show.

Others set to perform Sunday include Cardi B, Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga, Travis Scott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, J Balvin, Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Little Big Town, Post Malone and Chloe x Halle.

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