When the 2017 Grammy Awards are handed out on Feb. 12, Chicago artists will be among those vying for some of the music industry’s top prizes.
Kanye West has scored eight nominations this year (tied with Drake and Rihanna), including best rap album (“The Life of Pablo”). West also will compete with himself in three categories: best rap song, rap performance and rap/sung performance.
In the biggest breakthrough, Chance the Rapper scored seven nominations including best new artist, best rap performance, (“No Problem,” featuring Lil Wayne and 2Chainz), as a writer on Kanye’s “Famous” and “Ultralight Beam,” best rap/sung performance for “Ultralight Beam,” and in a history-making nod, best rap album for his streamed-only release of “Coloring Book.” Released in May, the 13-song project became the first streaming-only album to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart, with nearly 60 million streams in its first week. A rule change for the Grammys this year allowed streaming-only recordings — released on paid-subscription platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, but not for sale on iTunes — to be eligible for nominations. Chance took to Twitter to express his gratitude:
Glory be to God. I’m nominated for 7 #grammys. Thank you to everyone who worked on Coloring Book, I love you.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) December 6, 2016
BJ the Chicago Kid is nominated for best R&B performance for “Turnin’ Me Up,” best traditional R&B performance for “Woman’s World” and best R&B album for “In My Mind.”
The Broadway cast recording of “The Color Purple,” starring Chicago’s Jennifer Hudson is nominated for best musical theater album.
On the classical music front, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are featured on two nominated works by producer David Frost, the Schoenberg “Kol Nidre”/Shostakovich “Suite On Verses Of Michelangelo Buonarroti,” both conducted by Riccardo Muti. Third Coast Percussion’s “Steve Reich,” Spektral Quartet’s “Serious Business,” and Lincoln Trio’s “Trios From Our Homeland” albums are each nominated in the best chamber music/small ensemble performance category.
Chicago blues legend Lurrie Bell is nominated for best traditional blues album for “Can’t Shake This Feeling,” alongside longtime Chicago resident and Muddy Waters protegé Bobby Rush, nominated for his album, “Porcupine Meat.” Lalah Hathaway is nominated for best R&B album for her release “Lalah Hathaway Live” and best traditional R&B performance for “Angel.” Chicago folk music icon Robbie Fulks received two nominations, for best american roots song (“Alabama at Night”) and best folk album “Upland Stories.”
Chicago’s Alligator Records snagged two nominations for the album “God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson” — for best roots gospel album, and for the single “Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” (performed by The Blind Boys Of Alabama, with Jason Isbell on guitar) nominated in the best American roots performance category.
Pop superstar Beyonce leads the 2017 Grammys with nine nominations, including bids for album of the year with “Lemonade,” and song and record of the year with “Formation.” The singer, who already has 20 Grammys and is the most nominated woman in Grammy history with 62 nods over the course of her career, is also the first artist to earn nominations in the pop, rock, R&B and rap categories in the same year.
Like Beyonce, Adele is also nominated for album, record and song of the year. For album of the year, “Lemonade” and “25” — which has sold 10 million copies in a year — will compete against Drake’s multi-hit “Views,” Justin Bieber’s redemption album “Purpose” and surprise nominee “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” the third album from respected and rebellious country singer Sturgill Simpson.
Beyonce’s “Formation” and Adele’s “Hello” are up against Rihanna and Drake’s “Work,” twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out” and Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” for record of the year. “7 Years” is also up for song of the year — a songwriter’s award — battling Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” co-written with Ed Sheeran, Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill In Ibiza,” as well as Beyonce and Adele’s songs.
Beyonce’s nine nominations include best rock performance (“Don’t Hurt Yourself” with Jack White), pop solo performance (“Hold Up”), rap/sung performance (“Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar) and urban contemporary album (“Lemonade”).
David Bowie, who died from cancer in January, earned four nominations for his final album “Blackstar,” including best rock performance, rock song, alternative music album and engineered album, non-classical.
Lori McKenna, who won a Grammy this year for co-writing Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” is nominated for best country song for penning Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind.” She also scored nominations for best Americana album, American Roots performance and American Roots song for her own work.
Acts tying McKenna and Bowie for four nominations include Bieber, Morris, Kirk Franklin, engineer Tom Coyne, and producer-songwriters Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, Benny Blanco and Mike Dean. Tyler Joseph, the lead vocalist of twenty one pilots and the duo’s main songwriter, scored five nominations for “Stressed Out” (record of the year, pop duo/group performance) and “Heathens” (best rock song, rock performance and song written for visual media); twenty one pilots, which includes drummer Josh Dun, earned three nods.
Some well-known acts scored their first Grammy nominations Tuesday, including Solange, Blink-182 and Demi Lovato, who will compete against Adele, Bieber, Sia and Ariana Grande for best pop vocal album.
Amy Schumer earned two nominations, including best spoken word album and comedy album. Deceased nominees include Joey Feek of the duo Joey + Rory (best gospel roots album for “Hymns”).
Contributing: Associated Press