LOS ANGELES – Veteran rapper Jay-Z topped nominees for the 2014 Grammys announced Friday with nine nods, while Taylor Swift and Daft Punk were also among those in the running in major categories.
But Jay-Z other major stars including Justin Timberlake failed to score any nominations in the major categories, which saw a mixture of rap and pop in the running for the top honors at music’s equivalent of the Oscars next month.
In second place with seven nods apiece were California hip hop star Kendrick Lamar and rapper Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, as well as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams, while rapper Drake scored five.
The nominees in key categories were announced during an hour-long concert at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, including video-link performances by Swift from Australia and Katy Perry live from Canada.
“This year’s nominations reflect the talented community of music makers who represent some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry of the year in their respective fields,” said Neil Portnow head of Grammys organizers The Recording Academy.
In the coveted Record of the Year category songstress Swift’s “Red” will compete with French electro duo Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist,” Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” and Sara Bareilles “The Blessed Unrest.”
Record Of The Year candidates are Daft Punk & Williams’ ubiquitous “Get Lucky,” New Zealand teenager Lorde’s “Royals,” “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, Hawaiian crooner Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” made infamous by Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the MTV Video Music Awards show.
Shortlisted for Song of the Year — for songwriters, as opposed to performers — were “Just Give Me A Reason” sung by Pink Featuring Nate Ruess; “Locked Out Of Heaven” sung by Bruno Mars; “Roar” sung by Katy Perry; “Royals” sung by Lorde, and “Same Love” sung by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was also nominated for Best New Artist, up against James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves and Ed Sheeran.
While big-hitters Jay-Z and Timberlake scored lots of nods, they were mostly in rap and pop/R &B categories respectively. Neither the rapper’s heavily marketed “Magna Carta .. Holy Grail,” nor Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” made it onto the Best Album shortlist.
The 56th annual Grammys show — music’s version of the Oscars — will be held on January 26 at the Staples Center.
Whereas in previous years megastars like Britain’s Adele have been nominated in most of the key categories — and went on to a clean sweep of six Grammys last year — there appears little likelihood of an all-conquering act next month.
Industry journal Variety said Friday’s nominations made “for a wide-open race with no clear favorite and few megastars in the running for top honors at the music biz’s January kudofest.”
In fact Adele did secure one nomination Friday: in the Best Song for Visual Media category, for “Skyfall,” the theme tune to the last James Bond movie.
Other Britons shortlisted included veteran icon David Bowie, who won a Best Rock Album nod for “The Next Day,” his surprise first release in a decade in March, triggering ecstasy among older fans and arguably showing some younger stars how to do it.