Taylor Swift chases album of the year record at female-focused Grammys By Reuters


©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Taylor Swift attends the premiere of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 11, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni


By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Luminaries from the music world will gather on Sunday to present the annual Grammy Awards in a red carpet ceremony that could culminate with another record for Taylor Swift.

The 34-year-old pop superstar, in the midst of the world’s highest-grossing tour, is vying for an unprecedented trophy for fourth album of the year with “Midnights.”

No other artist in the Grammys’ 66-year history has claimed the coveted honor four times. Music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder won three each.

The awards will air live on CBS and stream on Paramount+ starting at 5pm PT (01am GMT). Comedian Trevor Noah returns for the fourth time to host the ceremony at the Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Heavy rain is expected to hit Southern California on Sunday. Grammy organizers said the pre-ceremony red carpet will be held under tents to protect nominees from the elements.

Swift is not a lock for the album award. Industry experts said she could go to R&B artist SZA’s “SOS,” which would be the first black woman since Lauryn Hill 25 years ago to win the category as lead artist. SZA, singer of the dark ballad “Kill Bill,” leads all Grammy nominees this year with nine nominations.

“It’s very torn between SZA for ‘SOS’ and Taylor for ‘Midnights,’” said Billboard Awards editor Paul Grein, who gave the edge to SZA. “I’m overdue for an R&B/hip-hop winner.”

Women figure prominently in the 2024 Grammy field. Only one man, Jon Batiste, made it out of the eight nominees for the album award. Other contenders include Olivia Rodrigo, Lana Del Rey and boygenius, the band made up of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.

Swift is also up for song of the year, a songwriting honor she has never won despite widespread recognition for her lyrics. “Anti-Hero,” her examination of self-doubt, faces competition from Miley Cyrus’ empowerment anthem “Flowers” and others.

The music from the blockbuster film “Barbie” received 12 nominations, including record of the year for Billie Eilish’s ballad “What Was I Made For?”

Among the contenders in the field of best emerging artists are rapper Ice Spice, country singer Jelly Roll, pop and R&B singer Victoria Monet, singer-songwriter Coco Jones and folk-pop singer Noah Kahan.

Artists scheduled to take the Grammy stage include SZA, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Dua Lipa, Luke Combs and Burna Boy. U2 will perform live from the Sphere in Las Vegas.

Winners were chosen by the musicians, producers, engineers and others who make up the Recording Academy. The group has worked to diversify its membership in recent years by inviting more women and people of color into its ranks.

Organizers also added a handful of new categories this year, including best African music performance.

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