Women top Grammys noms

2019 Grammys marked by drama and drop-outs

2019 Grammys marked by drama and drop-outs

At a pre-Grammy brunch honoring Janelle Monae, a few hundred music industry players and performers packed tightly in a room to hear the singer speak passionately about women being the backbone of the music industry and dominating in nominations at Sunday's show. Critics may carp about the Grammy Awards themselves going to bland, middle-of-the-road acts instead of trailblazers, but Grammy red carpet fashion is usually wilder and more fun to gawk at then the self-consciously chic finery stars sport to the Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys and more. "I'm especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year!"

This year, Academy voters did pass on nominating perennial favourites like Taylor Swift for the top three prizes of Album, Record and Song of the Year, relegating pop stars who reigned in years prior to lesser categories.

Keys told CBS news this year's greater representation from women was "far overdue". Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile and H.E.R. also in contention. "As much as I'm nominated, I would not be anything without the village of women who are walking into their truth", she said.

The main performers for this year includes Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Dua Lipa, St. Vincent, Chloe x Halle and Travis Scott. The event also highlighted her organization Fem the Future, which empowers women in music to take on roles as engineers, producers, music video directors and more.

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When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to "step up". Despite being heavily advertised as part of the show, Grande is not performing nor even attending the Sunday ceremony, after she felt producers "insulted" her by asserting too much control over her song choices.

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"It was when my creativity & self-expression was stifled by you that i decided not to attend. I hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more", she continued.

Carlile told the AP she stands behind Grande's "decision to stand up for herself and her art".

Grande is nominated for two awards and could miss the chance of giving a speech onstage if she wins.

As for the awards, Lamar leads this year's nominations with a total of eight nods, including album of the year for the "Black Panther" soundtrack followed closely by Drake who scored seven nominations.

Drama has also surrounded the Grammys around its Motown Records tribute: Some people complained when a promo aired on CBS showing Jennifer Lopez as the act set to honor the legendary record label, which launched the careers of Jackson 5, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more.

A performance honouring the legacy of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is also expected.

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