Janelle Monáe leads strong showing of Grammy’s Atlanta nominees

The list of local artists nominated include Killer Mike, Summer Walker, 6lack, Metro Boomin and 21 Savage.

The 66th Grammy Awards might feel like an Atlanta affair.

The Recording Academy shared the list of nominees Friday in advance of its upcoming award ceremony. Several artists from Atlanta are being recognized as potential future owners of a shiny piece of hardware deemed music’s highest honor, which means there could be a lot of gold coming back to the Peach State.

For “The Age of Pleasure,” her first release in five years, Janelle Monáe is nominated for the night’s biggest prize, album of the year. It won’t be Monae’s first time vying for the top prize. Her 2018 release, “Dirty Computer” was also nominated in that category. Monáe’s sensually liberating album, “Age of Pleasure,” is up against Jon Batiste (”World Music Radio”), boygenius (”the record”), Miley Cyrus (“Endless Summer Vacation), Lana Del Rey (”Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”), Olivia Rodrigo (”GUTS”), Taylor Swift (”Midnights”), and SZA (”SOS”). “The Age of Pleasure” is also nominated for best progressive r&b album.

Other local nominated singers include Summer Walker who is nominated for best r&b album with “Clear 2: Soft Life EP.” Walker’s Love Renaissance labelmate, 6lack, is a nominee for Best Progressive R&B Album with “Since I Have a Lover.” Walker said “Clear 2″ was a the “happy” follow-up to its more “sad” predecessor. She took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to rejoice, thanking all her “lover girls/boys”.

Metro Boomin is up for producer of the year, non-classical with a catalogue that includes “Oh U Went” featuring Young Thug and Drake. Metro Boomin is also up for best rap album for “Heroes and Villains.” He’ll be taking on fellow hometown artists 21 Savage (”Her Loss” with Drake) and Killer Mike (“Michael”).

It was a big day for “Michael,” picking up three nominations. The rapper’s first solo effort in 11 years also got nods for best rap performance and best rap song, both for ”Scientists and Engineers,” which includes yet another out-the-blue, yet memorable verse from Andre 3000.

In addition to getting a best rap album nomination, 21 Savage is up for best rap performance (”Rich Flex” featuring Drake), and best melodic rap performance (featured on Burna Boy’s ”Sittin’ On Top of the World,” “Spin Bout U” featuring Drake).

Theron Thomas, known for being one-half of the duo R. City, was nominated in the songwriter of the year, non-classical category. The longtime Atlanta resident’s writing credits include “Told Ya” by Chloe and Missy Elliott, “All My Life” (Lil Durk, J. Cole), and “Pretty Girls Walk” (Big Boss Vette).

There is also some local representation in the Christian and Gospel categories.

Lecrae and Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s “Your Power” duet is up for best contemporary Christian music performance/song. Jesup, Georgia-born Leonard, is nominated for best gospel album with “Hymns (Live).” Longtime Atlanta resident Lecrae is also up for best contemporary Christian music album, “Church Clothes 4.”

Atlanta-raised, Nashville-based rockers Larkin Poe’s “Blood Harmony” is a nominee for best contemporary blues album.

This year’s awards includes three new categories: best African music performance, best alternative jazz album, and best pop dance recording. It also marks the first time the producer and songwriter of the year categories are included in the general field, which allows Grammy voters to vote in non-genre specific categories.

The 66th Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS, Sun., Feb. 4. The show will air 8-11:30 p.m. EST, and be available for streaming on Paramount+.