Tag: INDUSTRY NEWS

2019 Grammy Nominations: Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Women Lead the Way

The rap stars Kendrick Lamar and Drake lead the list of nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards announced Friday, but right behind them is a crop of young and less heralded artists, notably women, after years of friction about diversity, including a major dust-up over gender representation after the last ceremony.

The Instagram star turned rapper Cardi B, the folk singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, the left-of-center country singer Kacey Musgraves, and the R&B artists H.E.R. and Janelle Monáe are among the women who will compete for album of the year against some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Lamar received eight nominations — including his fourth for album of the year — for his role as executive producer of the soundtrack to Marvel’s “Black Panther,” and Drake was nominated seven times in connection with his blockbuster double album “Scorpion” and guest appearances. Rounding out the category is “Beerbongs & Bentleys” by the 23-year-old rapper and singer Post Malone.

But each of the big four general field categories — record of the year, song of the year, album of the year and best new artist — is dominated by women, including six out of eight acts up for best new artist: Chloe x Halle, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith. (The others are the country singer Luke Combs and the retro-rock band Greta Van Fleet.)

[Who got snubbed, and whose nomination was a big surprise? See the round table.]

Neil Portnow, the president and chief executive of the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, said in a statement that “reflection, re-evaluation and implementation” were the “driving forces” behind recent changes to the show’s processes, and therefore its nominations. Portnow, who will step down in 2019, drew ire from prominent women in music, some of whom called for his resignation, after the 60th annual Grammy ceremony in January, when he told reporters backstage that women in music needed to “step up” if they wanted recognition in the industry.
Amid the backdrop of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements against harassment and professional inequality, only one woman, Alessia Cara, won a major award in one of the televised categories this year and Lorde, the only female nominee for album of the year, was not offered a solo performance slot. A report published before the show found that of the 899 people nominated in the last six Grammy Awards, just 9 percent were women. (Portnow later said he regretted his wording, and that his comments had been taken out of context.)

READ MORE:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/arts/music/grammys-2019.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

BRANDY CELEBRATES 18 YEARS OF “I WANNA BE DOWN”

It’s been nearly two decades since Brandy stepped onto the music scene with a sultry voice, young swag and box braids. During her concert in Washington DC at the Howard Theater, the “Wildest Dreams” singer celebrated the 18-year anniversary of her first single “I Wanna Be Down” with a special cake onstage. She reflected on the video and her career after the show:

“You know celebrating 18 years of ‘I Wanna Be Down’ going number 1 today to kind of feel like I’m in that same space, it’s so crazy being out there on the mic and being in front of the car with all of my friends…like those were my real life friends that were in the video,” the VIBE Vixen cover girl recalls. “It was so crazy to do the video because it was always so close but yet so far away. I would almost get in the door and then something would happen and then finally, I got in that door with Atlantic.”

After recently dropping her sixth studio effort Two Eleven, the R&B veteran says she has no fear in being the person and artists she wants to be. “I’m not afraid no more. I’m not scared,” she says. “I wasn’t scared 18 years ago and I went through a phase of being afraid and now I’m just not afraid. I’m humble but I’m not scared.”