Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar and Adele dominate Grammy Award nominations

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Adele and BeyoncéImage source, Getty Images

By Mark Savage

BBC Music Correspondent

Beyoncé and Adele are the stars to beat at the 2023 Grammy Awards, and will go head-to-head for all the major prizes.

Both artists have been nominated for album of the year - Adele for her sumptuous fourth album 30, and Beyoncé for her dancefloor opus Renaissance.

Adele's single Easy On Me and Beyonce's Break My Soul are each up for song and record of the year.

British stars Harry Styles and Coldplay are also in the running for best album, alongside Swedish pop icons Abba.

The quartet have received their first ever album of the year nomination for last year's Voyage - which saw them emerge from a 39-year hibernation.

The nominations were announced on Tuesday, and Beyoncé leads the pack with nine overall. She is now tied with her husband Jay-Z as the most-nominated artist in Grammy history, with a total of 88, overtaking Sir Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones.

However, the star has not won a prize in any of the three biggest categories (album, record and song of the year) since Single Ladies was named song of the year in 2010.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Kendrick Lamar is the first rapper to be nominated for album of the year for four consecutive albums

Kendrick Lamar is this year's second biggest nominee, with eight nods for his fourth album Mr Morale and the Big Steppers - a pensive rumination on the state of the world and his own moral failings - and the freestyle The Heart Part 5.

Taylor Swift has received multiple nominations for her epic re-recording of 2012's All Too Well, but her latest album, Midnights was released to late for inclusion in this year's awards.

And Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny has made history by landing the first ever album of the year nomination for a Spanish language album.

His record, Un Verano Sin Ti (A Summer Without You), dominated the US Billboard charts this summer, racking up 13 weeks at number one.

Albums withheld

Drake and The Weeknd, who would have been likely frontrunners in the main categories, withheld their latest albums from consideration. Both artists have long maintained, with some justification, that the Grammys sideline black artists to genre-based categories.

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, whose side project Silk Sonic won both record of the year and song of the year in 2022, also declined to submit their album.

Last year, Jon Batiste won album of the year for the handsome soul record We Are - a choice that reinforced the perception that Grammy voters cared more about tradition and musical dexterity than chart hits.

This year, nearly 2,000 new members joined the voting organisation, 44% of whom come "from traditionally underrepresented communities," according to the Recording Academy. "And almost 50% are under the age of 40," noted chief executive, Harvey Mason Jr.

The nominees were announced in a livestream from the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles by former winners including Olivia Rodrigo, Cyndi Lauper and John Legend.

Here's a rundown of the biggest categories, and who might stand to win at the ceremony on 5 February, 2023.

Album of the year

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Abba - VoyageAdele - 30Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin TiBeyoncé - RenaissanceMary J Blige - Good Morning GorgeousBrandi Carlile - In These Silent DaysLizzo - SpecialColdplay - Music of the SpheresKendrick Lamar - Mr Morale & The Big SteppersHarry Styles - Harry's House

The headline here is the repeat of 2017's best album race, in which Adele's 25 controversially beat Beyoncé's Lemonade.

On stage, Adele said: "I can't possibly accept this award. I'm very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my life is Beyoncé." In the end, she held on to the trophy - but when it arrived in the mail it was broken in two. That's symbolism.

So who will take top honours this time? Beyoncé's Renaissance is undoubtedly the better album - a bold blast of dancefloor catharsis, which champions the black and queer roots of house music. But Grammy voters often play it safe, choosing "traditional" songcraft over innovation.

The academy's membership has been revamped since the upset of 2017, potentially tipping the balance in Beyoncé's favour. But Adele has won all 13 Grammys she's been nominated for since 2012.

Song of the year

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Gayle - ABCDEFULizzo - About Damn TimeTaylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute Version)Harry Styles - As It WasSteve Lacy - Bad HabitBeyoncé - Break My SoulAdele - Easy On MeDJ Khaled - God DidKendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5Bonnie Raitt - Just Like That

This is Taylor Swift's sixth song of the year nomination - meaning she now ties with Sir Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie as the category's most-nominated writer. The recognition comes for All To Well, a break-up ballad that originally appeared on her 2012 album Red, but was re-recorded with extra verses (and extra juicy details) last year.

However, Swift has never won best song - and her competition this year is especially tough.

Adele's comeback Easy On Me is the presumed frontrunner: A big blustery ballad, it sold more in the US than her previous song of the year winner, Hello, and spent 10 weeks at number one.

Harry Styles can beat that, though. As It Was, a pop song whose nimble melody disguises lyrics about loneliness and doubt, enjoyed 15 weeks atop the US charts earlier this year.

Record of the year

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Abba - Don't Shut Me DownAdele - Easy On MeBeyoncé - Break My SoulMary J Blige - Good MorningBrandi Carlile ft Lucius - You And Me On The RockDoja Cat - WomanSteve Lacy - Bad HabitKendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5Lizzo - About Damn TimeHarry Styles - As It Was

While the song of the year award recognises music and lyrics, record of the year looks at the finished product - the actual sound recording.

However, there's significant crossover between the categories, with Adele, Beyoncé, Lizzo and Styles all picking up duplicate nominations.

Once again, Adele is the frontrunner, but Lizzo's outrageously charismatic About Damn Time could be a contender.

Meanwhile, Swedish pop legends Abba have gained a surprise nomination for Don't Shut Me Down, taken from their comeback album Voyage.

Best new artist

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AnittaOmar ApolloDomi and JD BeckMuni LongSamara JoyLattoManeskinTobe NwigweMolly TuttleWet Leg

Most years provide a breakout star whose victory in the best new artist category seems nailed on. Last year it was Olivia Rodrigo. This year, it's an entirely open field.

The smart money is on Atlanta rapper Latto, thanks to her breakout hit Big Energy, for which she bagged a guest appearance from Grammy legend Mariah Carey.

But Eurovision winners Maneskin have made huge inroads in the US, and British indie duo Wet Leg are building a sizeable audience for quirky hits like Chaise Longue and Ur Mum.

There's also a big opportunity for Brazilian star Anitta - who has had a breakthrough year in the States.

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