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Key highlights to look out for

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The Grammy Awards also known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy to recognise outstanding achievements in the music industry.

They are regarded by many as the most prestigious and significant awards in the music industry worldwide. Grammys was originally called the Gramophone Awards, as the trophy depicts a gilded gramophone.

According to the Recording Academy, its mission is “to recognise excellence in the recording arts and sciences, cultivate the well-being of the music community, and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.”

As the 66th edition of the Grammy is billed for February 4, 2024, in Los Angeles, United States of America, below are part of what to keep an eye on:

1. Nigerians emergence

As the list of the nominees cut across different parts of the world, Nigerian artistes such as Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy; Olamide Adedeji (Olamide); Ahmed Ololade (Asake); David Adeleke (Davido); Oyinkansola Aderigbigbe (Ayra Starr), Temilade Openiyi (Tems) also earned nominations in the Best African Music Performance category.

While Burna Boy bagged nominations in three categories —‘Best Melodic Rap’, ‘Best Global Music Album’, and ‘Best Global Music Performance’; Ayra Starr was nominated for her hit ‘Rush’, on her debut studio album “19 & Dangerous”; Tems was nominated in the Best song written for Visual Media Category for her work on the song, ‘Lift Me Up’, which is a soundtrack for the film, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’’; Olamide and Asake bag nomination for their hit song ‘Amapiano’; while Davido bags nomination through his “Unavailable” song. He was also nominated for Best Global Album and Best Global Music Performance.

Meanwhile, in 2023, Burna Boy, Tems, Ayra Starr, Asake were for the BET award

2. Taylor eyes history, no Travis

Swift is up for six gramophones this year, including Album of the Year for her most recent new volume of work, “Midnights.”

If she wins the prestigious trophy, it would be her fourth – the most of any artiste, breaking the tie she is currently in with Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

Her high-profile relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is among the myriad reasons Swift’s name is headline catnip these days, but the NFL superstar is not set to attend Sunday’s gala with her.

Kelce will be busy preparing to play in next weekend’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas, in which the Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers.

“I wish I can go and support Taylor at the Grammys and watch her win every award that she is nominated for,” Kelce said in a recent interview.

3. The comeback of Tracy Chapman?

The Recording Academy hands out most of its dozens of awards before the more than three-hour, performance-heavy main broadcast, to air on US network CBS.

Expected on stage is Luke Combs, the country singer whose omission from the evening’s major prizes was a surprise.

Combs dropped a cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 classic “Fast Car” to resounding success, earning a single nod in the country categories.

It is rumoured that Combs’ performance will include Chapman herself, who rarely appears in public.

Viewers can also look forward to a set from Billy Joel, who just released a new single, his first original music in nearly two decades.

4. Joni takes the stage

Icon Joni Mitchell also will serenade the gala, her first Grammy performance ever despite a half-century relationship with the Academy.

The 80-year-old received a folk album nomination for her live record “Joni Mitchell at Newport,” when she delivered a set just years after an aneurysm led to fears she might never play again.

Mitchell isn’t the only OG up for a prize: two compilations from Bob Dylan and the late Lou Reed are in the running for Best Historical Album.

The winner of that prize will go to the albums’ producers and engineers, rather than the artist, but the name recognition could boost their chances.

The same goes for a music video set to “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles.

The Fab Four aren’t up for the award themselves, the video’s director and producers are; but their appearance on a shortlist that includes Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler Childers and Troye Sivan was a little far-out.

5. Barbie Girls

Women have more representation than ever at this year’s Grammys, with SZA earning nine nods followed closely by the likes of Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and supergroup boygenius.

But it’s  Barbie who raked in the most chances at Grammy gold, with 11.

The eclectic, star-powered soundtrack to the billion-dollar summer blockbuster earned nominations for songs performed by Eilish, Dua Lipa, Best New Artist favourite Ice Spice and the Oscar contender Ryan Gosling.

Eilish won a Golden Globe last month for her spare, wrenching ballad “What Was I Made For?” which earned her Grammy nominations for both Best Song and Best Record — and could also see her win an Oscar next month.

It’s a rare hit that wins both a Song of the Year Grammy and an Academy Award for Best Original Song: others to accomplish the feat are Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

6. Bernie’s second chance to win

Bernie Sanders has a second chance to win a Grammy in the audiobook and narration category.

The leftist senator’s reading of “It’s Ok to Be Angry About Capitalism” is up against efforts by Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, William Shatner and Rick Rubin in one of the night’s quirkier categories.

If former First Lady Obama wins, it would be her second audiobook victory; her husband Barack has two already.

Also in contention is Trevor Noah, the comedian hosting the gala for the fourth consecutive year.

Noah lost the Best Comedy Album honour in 2020 to Dave Chappelle, one year before he began his stint as Grammy master of ceremonies.

Speaking to People recently, Noah joked that his hosting gig is just a campaign to win: “It’s all been a long con.”

See the full list of 2024 Grammy nominees

AFP

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