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One year after the Grammy Awards show was criticized for only one female artist winning in a major category, a 15-time Grammy winner will take the stage as its host – Alicia Keys.

The modern-day Renaissance woman, a singer, songwriter, producer, actress, activist and entrepreneur is thrilled with the responsibility of wrangling the distribution of 84 awards and too-many-to-mention live performances.

“I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I’m going to bring that vibe and energy,” said Keys. “I’m so excited to be the master of ceremonies on the biggest night in music and celebrate the creativity, power and, magic. I’m especially excited for all the incredible women nominated this year.”

Check any number of the best sportsbooks and place wagers on who will take home the top awards at 8 p.m., Feb. 10 on CBS.

This year, the Academy expanded the awards’ biggest categories — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist – from five nominees to eight in an effort to reflect the diversity of the music industry.

And it apparently worked with five of the eight nominees for Album of the Year being female artists: Cardi B (“Invasion of Privacy”) Brandi Carlile (“By the Way, I Forgive You”), H.E.R (“H.E.R.”), Janelle Monae (“Dirty Computer”) and Kacey Musgraves (“Golden Hour”).

Also in contention, Drake (“Scorpion”), Post Malone (“Beerbongs & Bentleys”) and the “Black Panther” soundtrack, curated by Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar actually received the most nominations this year with eight, followed by Drake with seven nominations and Boi-1da and Brandi Carlile, both with six apiece.  Several artists received five nominations: Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino, Maren Morris, H.E.R and producer Sounwave.

Taylor Swift, who has highest-grossing concert tour, for her album “Reputation,” at $266.1 million, got a single nomination. Pfffft.

Also mostly snubbed in major categories and are Beyonce and Jay-Z, Chris Stapleton, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Ariana Grande, who has just been announced as the headliner at Lollapalooza. You’ll get ‘em next year, guys and gals.

The Grammys trophy

Here are the major category nominations and our picks to win:

Record Of The Year: “I Like It”— Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin; “The Joke”— Brandi Carlile; “This Is America”— Childish Gambino; “God’s Plan”— Drake; “Shallow”— Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper; “All The Stars”— Kendrick Lamar & SZA; “Rockstar”— Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage’; “The Middle”— Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Our pick: “This is America” by Childish Gambino. Visually interesting with social commentary and culture significance … sounds like a winner to us.

Album Of The Year: “Invasion Of Privacy”— Cardi B; “By The Way, I Forgive You”  — Brandi Carlile; “Scorpion”— Drake; “H.E.R.”— H.E.R.; “Beerbongs & Bentleys”— Post Malone; “Dirty Computer”— Janelle Monáe; “Golden Hour”— Kacey Musgraves; “Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By” Various Artists

The Pick: This is a toughie, and we admit we waffle on this one frequently. Today, we’re going with Cardi B.

Song Of The Year: “All The Stars”— Kendrick Lamar & SZA;  “Boo’d Up”—Ella Mai; “God’s Plan”— Drake; “In My Blood” — Shawn Mendes; “The Joke”— Brandi Carlile; “The Middle”— Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey; “Shallow”— Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper; “This Is America”— Childish Gambino

The Pick: “Shallow” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper. Hard to deny “The Star is Born” headliners. If they don’t win, don’t lament, they’ll get the Oscar later in the month.

Best New Artist: Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha, and  Jorja Smith.

Pick: The edge goes to H.E.R. with the double nomination for Album of the Year. Dua Lipa will be on H.E.R. heels.

The Grammys stage

Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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