Jon Batiste leads Grammy nominations with 11 bids across 6 fields

If you’d asked before Grammy nominations morning who the top contender would be, few would have guessed Jon Batiste would rack up a leading 11 bids across categories in myriad genres. But he did indeed dominate the field, from Album of the Year (“We Are”) all the way down to Best Improvised Jazz Solo (“Bigger Than  Us”). Check out the list of Grammy nominations here.

A recent Oscar winner for composing the “Soul” score with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (for which they’re also nominated here), Batiste’s nominations this year also include Record of the Year (“Freedom”), Best Traditional R&B Performance (“I Need You”), Best R&B Album (“We Are”), Best Jazz Instrumental Album (“Jazz Selections: Music from and Inspired by Soul”), Best American Roots Performance (“Cry”), Best American Roots Song (“Cry”), Best Contemporary Classical Composition (“Batiste: Movement 11”), and Best Music Video (“Freedom”) — whew! That much support from voters across genres might make him tough to beat in the top categories.

This was the first year in decades that the Grammys weren’t decided by secretive nomination review committees, in the hopes of creating a fairer, more transparent process, but it also might have led to the exclusion of less prominent albums and songs that weren’t massive hits. Not so here as “We Are” only peaked at number-86 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (though expect that to change), while the recording academy snubbed chart-toppers like Drake‘s “Certified Lover Boy” and Ariana Grande‘s “Positions” for Album of the Year And while Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” did earn an AOTY nomination, it was snubbed in every other category.

But the Grammys still nominated plenty of bestselling pop stars. Justin Bieber and Doja Cat scored eight nominations apiece, including Album of the Year for “Justice” and “Planet Her,” respectively. R&B favorite (and another recent Oscar winner) H.E.R. also has eight noms including Album of the Year for “Back of My Mind.” Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo scored seven bids apiece including Album of the Year for “Happier Than Ever” and “Sour,” respectively. Rounding out the Album of the Year lineup, which was expanded to 10 nominees this year in a surprise announcement, are “Love for Sale” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, “Montero,” by Lil Nas X, and “Donda” by Kanye West. What did you think of this year’s nominations?

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