Rapper Kendrick Lamar, pop superstar Taylor Swift and Canadian R&B experimentalist the Weeknd led the field in the 2016 Grammy Award nominations, collectively taking 25 nods in this year’s industry-bestowed honors.
Lamar is well out in front of the field with 11 nominations, the bulk of them tied to his almost universally lauded third album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” but also including two for his collaboration with Swift on her hit “Bad Blood” and one for co-writing Kanye West’s nominated rap song “All Day.”
Lamar’s politically charged album is nominated in an especially diverse category alongside Swift’s blockbuster “1989,” the Weeknd’s breakthrough collection “Beauty Behind the Madness,” Alabama Shakes’ sonically adventurous “Sound & Color” and country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton’s powerfully reflective “Traveller.”
Swift (who, like the Weeknd, collected seven nominations) and British pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran scored in three of the top four general field categories: record, album and song, with Sheeran nominated in the album category not for his own album but for his participation on the Weeknd’s latest.
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Song nominees run from Lamar’s “Alright,” which touches on police brutality, to Swift’s tongue-in-cheek celebration of romantic fickleness, “Blank Space.” The other contenders are Little Big Town’s sly play on controversies over same-sex relations, “Girl Crush,” written by Nashville pros Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose; Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth’s hit from the “Furious 7” soundtrack, “See You Again,” written by Puth, Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks and Cameron Thomaz; and Sheeran’s vulnerable “Thinking Out Loud,” for which he collaborated with Amy Wadge.
The best new artist category singles out Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, British guitarist-singer James Bay, country singer-songwriter Sam Hunt, YouTube phenom Tori Kelly and pop singer Meghan Trainor.
Among this year’s other multiple Grammy nominees, producer-songwriter Max Martin, who was deeply involved in Swift’s “1989,” has six nominations, and five apiece go to Canadian rapper Drake and recording engineers Tom Coyne, Serban Ghenea and John Hanes, who are recognized for their work on record and album nominees.
Winners will be determined by about 13,000 voting members of the Recording Academy. There Grammys broadcast is Feb. 15.