By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Jay-Z’s soul-baring album on love, life and social fractures led the Grammy Award nominations on Tuesday with eight nods in a list that saw women sidelined in some major categories and Katy Perry excluded completely.
Jay-Z’s “4:44” album was nominated for album of the year, one of the top three Grammy accolades. The album’s title track and “The Story of O.J.” songs were nominated in song and record of the year.
“4:44” will compete for album of the year against R&B star Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” New Zealand pop singer Lorde’s “Melodrama,” hip hop artists Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn.”
Lamar landed seven nominations overall, Mars got six including the top three categories and Childish Gambino, the alter-ego of actor Donald Glover, scored five nominations.
“Despacito,” the hit from Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee landed three nominations including record and song of the year.
The 60th Grammy Awards, music’s biggest night honoring the year’s achievements across more than 80 categories, are scheduled for Jan. 28 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Music released between October 2016 and September 2017 qualified for this year’s awards and will be voted for by members of the Recording Academy, made up of music industry professionals.
Newcomer R&B singer SZA was the most-nominated female artist with five nods including best new artist, in which she will face singers Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara, Khalid and rapper Lil Uzi Vert.
Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” album will not be eligible this year due to its November release, but she garnered two nominations including writing country group Little Big Town’s “Better Man.”
The most notable ommission from Tuesday’s Grammy nominations was Canadian hip hop artist Drake, whose “More Life” album dominated streaming, charts and radio play since its March release.
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, whose “Divide” album topped charts around the world, garnered two nominations in the pop categories. Lady Gaga and Kesha landed two nods each in the same categories as Sheeran.
Pop star Katy Perry, who is yet to win a Grammy award, did not score a single nomination for her “Witness” album.
The absence of some of the biggest female artists marked a stark contrast with the 2017 awards, when Beyonce led the nominations and Britain’s Adele swept the top awards. Neither released new music this year.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy)