Beyoncé’s latest album is a mix of several genres and was rewarded as such throughout the 2017 Grammy Awards nominations.  The hit album is leading with nine nods including album of the year.  Adele’s 25, Drake’s Views, Justin Bieber’s Purpose and Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth all join her in the category.

In addition to record and song of the year nominations for rebellious lead single Formation, Beyoncé is also recognized across a variety of song categories.  Hold Up is nominated for best pop solo performance, Don’t Hurt Yourself (featuring Jack White) is up for best rock performance and Freedom (with Kendrick Lamar) is competing for best rap/sung performance.  Beyoncé unveiled Lemonade during a one-hour HBO special this spring, and now it is also nominated for best music video.

With her 2017 nominations adding to her extensive list, Beyoncé continues her run as the most-nominated female artist in Grammys history, racking up 62 nominations and 20 wins.  If she wins eight of the nine categories in which she’s nominated, she’ll pass Alison Krauss (with 27 Grammy Awards) as the winningest female in the history of the awards.

Lemonade‘s multi-genre nominations are a broader “indication that artists today have greater creative freedom,” says Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. “They are willing to take chances and are feeling very empowered — and frankly, courageous — to follow their own muse, wherever that takes them.” Beyoncé, in particular, “is the poster child for that kind of diversification and for stepping out and doing whatever she feels comfortable to do. It’s great to see that fans are open-minded and want to embrace all of that.”

Drake, Kanye West, and Rihanna are all tied for second-most nods with eight nominations each, including collaborations they’ve done together.  Rihanna’s hit single Work featuring Drake is up for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance, while Drake’s Pop Style with West and Jay Z is competing for best rap performance, although that version of the song is not on the official album.  Rihanna is also nominated for album of the year as a featured artist on Drake’s Views, but her well-received album Anti missed the top category.

With eight nominations this year and 68 nods total, West is the second-most nominated male artist in Grammys history, exceeded only by Quincy Jones who has 79.  Although Kanye’s The Life of Pablo  was passed over in top categories including album of the year, his controversial single Famous and gospel-infused Ultralight Beam were each nominated for best rap song and best rap/sung performance.

Chance the Rapper is nominated as both a songwriter and featured artist on West’s Ultralight Beam and benefited from the Recording Academy’s new amendment which allows streaming-only releases to be eligible for nominations.  The multitalented artist received seven nods total, including best rap album for Coloring Book and best new artist.  Chance is joined in the latter category by country singers Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini, and dance duo The Chainsmokers, and rising hip-hop artist Anderson Paak.

Rounding out the top honors, Adele, who received five nominations, is competing for record and song of the year for her comeback single Hello.  Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself and Mike Posner’s I Took a Pill in Ibiza are both up for song of the year as well.

The Grammys are voted on by approximately 13,000 Recording Academy members, who are comprised of artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers. More than 21,700 recordings were submitted for Grammys consideration this year. For 2017 awards, music must have been released between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, in order to be eligible.

The 59th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Feb. 12, 2017 (CBS, 8 p.m. ET/PT).

Source: usatoday.com