From Bennett to Kanye and Batiste, Grammy noms cast wide net

LOS ANGELES – Jon Batiste led the Grammy nominations on Tuesday in a best album field that spanned rap to jazz music and embraced newcomers like teen sensation Olivia Rodrigo and veteran Tony Bennett alike.

Batiste and Justin Bieber will compete for the top prize - album of the year – along with Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, H.E.R, Kanye West, Bennett’s collaboration with Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Lil Nas X.

The Grammys, the highest honours in the music industry, will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Jan 31.

Nominees in each of the top three categories – album, song and record of the year – were increased to 10 from eight for the first time.

Eilish (Happier Than Ever), Rodrigo (Drivers License), Bieber (Peaches) and Batiste (Freedom) were among the 10 nominees for record of the year, along with Swedish band Abba’s new comeback single, I Still Have Faith In You.

Swift, an 11-time Grammy winner, snagged a best album nod for her best-selling Evermore but was shut out of the other races, disappointing fans who felt she had been snubbed.

“No problems today just champagne,” she tweeted. “So stoked Evermore has been honoured like this.”

Rodrigo, 18, who burst onto the US charts in January when her single Drivers License went viral, got seven nods, including best new artist and album (Sour).

But it’s Batiste – the jazz and R&B artist, television personality and bandleader on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert - who has the most chances at Grammy gold, snagging a leading 11 nominations across the board, ranging from classical composition and American roots to his music video Freedom and album We Are, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.

K-pop band BTS, which has yet to win a Grammy despite dominating the US music charts for almost two years, scored a single nod for the performance of its top-selling single Butter in the pop group field. - REUTERS