The trio of top vote-getters for the 2020 Grammy Awards – Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Atlanta’s Lil Nas X – have roared a statement: a new generation is here.
All are first-time nominees and with eight nods for Lizzo and six each decorating the resumes of Eilish and Lil Nas X, the 62nd Grammy Awards will be saturated in freshness when they air live from Los Angeles on Jan. 26.
Lil Nas X, the 20-year-old from Lithia Springs born Montero Lamar Hill, defined ubiquity this year with his earworm, “Old Town Road.” Numerous remixes of the song – primarily one with Billy Ray Cyrus – catapulted “Old Town Road (Remix)” to the top of the Billboard 100, where it didn’t budge for 19 record-breaking weeks.
Now, it will vie for record of the year against the song that finally disrupted its chart reign, Eilish’s “Bad Guy” (along with Bon Iver’s “Hey Ma,” Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings,” H.E.R’s “Hard Place,” Khalid’s “Talk,” Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and Post Malone with sometime-Atlantan Swae Lee’s “Sunflower”).
Lil Nas X, who just scored a Country Music Association Award with Cyrus, also earned attention for his debut album, “7” (album of the year), best new artist, best rap/sung performance (for his follow-up single, “Panini) and best pop duo/group performance and best music video (with Cyrus).
The trio of top nominees will bump into each other in several categories. Eilish’s genre-defying “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” and Lizzo’s robust “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe),” will also compete for album of the year, alongside Bon Iver’s “I, I,” Lana Del Rey’s “Norman (Expletive) Rockwell!,” Grande’s “Thank U, Next,” H.E.R.’s “I Used to Know Her” and Vampire Weekend’s “Father of the Bride.”
One familiar name expected in that lineup – Taylor Swift. But her “Lover” was instead relegated to a nod for best pop vocal album, while “You Need to Calm Down” picked up a nomination for best pop solo performance.
Swift’s title track will compete for song of the year (an award bestowed on the songwriters), along with Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts,” Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Love,” Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way” (from “A Star is Born”), H.E.R.’s “Hard Place,” Del Rey’s “Norman (Expletive) Rockwell” and, in a nod to heritage, Tanya Tucker’s “Bring My Flowers Now” (co-written with Brandi Carlile).
Lil Nas X will again face off with Lizzo and Eilish for best new artist, along with Black Pumas, Maggie Rogers, Rosalia, Tank and the Bangas and Yola.
The 2020 awards will mark the inaugural ceremony for Deborah Dugan, the new president of the Recording Academy, which produces the show. Dugan, the first female president in the history of the organization, replaced Neil Portnow in August, who helmed the Academy for 17 years.
Grammy Awards nominations in 84 categories are based on recordings released between Oct. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019. Alicia Keys will return as host for the ceremony.
Here are some other Georgia artists who will compete for a gramophone:
Andre 3000: The Outkast legend is up for best R&B performance with Anderson. Paak (“Come Home”)
Gucci Mane: The Atlanta rapper paired with Lizzo will also contend for best R&B performance (“Exactly How I Feel”)
Offset: The Migos member paired with wife Cardi B for best rap performance (“Clout”)
Lil Baby and Gunna: Atlanta and College Park are represented for best rap/sung performance (“Drip Too Hard”)
Young Thug: The Atlanta rapper is also vying for best rap/sung performance (“The London”)
21 Savage: A roller coaster year continues for the Atlanta rapper as he earns praise for best rap album (“I Am>I Was”). He’s also nominated as a writer and performer with J. Cole for best rap song (“A Lot”)
Young Nudy: 21 Savage’s cousin is a feature on best rap performance nominee (“Down Bad”)
Larkin Poe: The dazzling sibling duo of Rebecca and Megan Lovell contend for best contemporary blues album (“Venom & Faith”)
Little Big Town: Sure, they live in Nashville, but Atlanta will continue to claim Georgia originals Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild, who compete with the band for best country duo/group performance (“The Daughters”)
Thomas Rhett: Valdosta nice guy lands in the best country album category (“Center Point Road”)
Crowder: The Atlanta transplant is experiencing a soaring year and is nominated for best contemporary Christian music album (“I Know a Ghost”)
Tasha Cobbs Leonard: The Jesup native and longtime Atlanta worship leader (she recently moved to South Carolina) is up for best gospel performance/song (“This Is A Movie [Live]”)
Casting Crowns: The Stockbridge-based group led by Mark Hall will compete for best contemporary Christian music performance/song (“Only Jesus”)
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