As we predicted she would, Beyonce leads the Grammy nominations with nine, including a sweep of the general field with three bids in the top contests: Album of the Year (“Lemonade”), Record of the Year (“Formation”) and Song of the Year (“Formation”). Her AOTY bid for “Lemonade” follows two previous noms in that category for “I Am … Sasha Fierce” (2009) and “Beyonce” (2014). Though she is one of the most awarded artists of all time with 20 Grammy victories, only one of those has been in the general field: Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” (2009). Can she finally take those lemons and make “Lemonade”? Check out the complete list of nominations here.
Adele also picked up three bids in the general field, out of five nominations total: Album of the Year (“25”), Record of the Year (“Hello”) and Song of the Year (“Hello”). The last time she was nominated in those categories she won them all: in 2011 she claimed Album for “21” and Record and Song for her chart-topping hit “Rolling in the Deep.” In fact, Adele hasn’t lost a single Grammy contest since 2009, and she has only lost three nominations in her entire career, having won 10 out of 13 overall.
Joining Beyonce and Adele in the Album of the Year race is Drake for his chart-topping “Views.” This is the fourth AOTY nom for the Canadian rap artist, but it’s his first time nominated for his own album. He previously contended as a featured guest on Rihanna‘s “Loud” (2011), Kendrick Lamar‘s “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City” (2013) and Beyonce’s self-titled album (2014). Drake also contends with Rihanna for Record of the Year for their collaboration “Work.”
Drake has an impressive eight noms overall, which ties him with Rihanna and Kanye West as the second most nominated artist this year. Best New Artist contender Chance the Rapper is next in line with seven bids.
Justin Bieber surprised us with a nomination for Album of the Year for “Purpose,” his fourth studio album and his first to contend in the Grammys’ top category. He was nominated for Best New Artist back in 2010, but he didn’t win any category until 2015 when he claimed Best Dance Recording for “Where Are U Now.” He has four nominations, also including Song of the Year for “Love Yourself.”
Rounding out the Album of the Year contest is its biggest surprise, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson. His only other nomination this year is Best Country Album.
Recording academy president Neil Portnow said in a statement, “Just as we see emerging musicians experimenting, we’re also seeing established artists resisting what’s expected of them and, instead, embracing the creative freedom they’ve been afforded through their success, blurring the lines between music’s mainstream and artistic edge.”