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After Adele's album of the year win, Grammys change tune

After Adele's album of the year win, Grammys change tune
From CBC - January 28, 2018

Though Adele's win for album of the year at last year's Grammys was not a complete surprise, it marked another loss for Beyonc in the show's major category.

The Recording Academy was heavily criticized for not rewardingLemonade,an album that moved the needle and dominated pop culture in different ways than Adele's colossal sales. Critics felt the Academy failed to recognize the creative and artistic elements of an R&B-based album, in the same ways they have passed over albums byKanyeWest, Eminem andMariahCarey in past years in favour ofprojects by rock, country and jazz artists.

But the Grammys are almost guaranteeing that this year is different. Four of the five album of the year nominees are rap and R&B-based albums from black or Latino artists. The other big awards of the nightsong and record of the yearalso are dominated by hip-hop, R&B and Latin music.

Jay-Z is the star of Sunday's show, leading with eight nominations, including album ofthe year for his revealing 4:44,song of the year for the title track and record of the year for The Story of O.J. Bruno Mars also is nominated for the big three; Despacito,by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, is up for record and song of the year; and both Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino are nominated for album and record of the year.

"What you see in nominations is a reflection of the voting membership of the Academy. You have to remember that this is a peer award and it's unique in that way. It's not about sales or charts or popularity or fan votes or whatever, it's the professionals in the industry who are making the judgment," Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said in an interview with the Associated Press.

"So when you look at the work that's been done, and Jay would be one example, and there's that level of excellence, we have a very sophisticated voting membership that is able to recognize that. And that's how we want it to be."

No rapper has ever won song or record of the year, and only two rap-based albums have won album of the year, giving Jay-Z and Lamar a chance to have a historic night.

Kendrick Lamar, Rihannato perform

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