Jay Z leads with 9 Grammy nominations, but newcomers vie for top honors

Sat Dec 7, 2013 1:32am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Jay Z led all artists with nine Grammy nominations on Friday, but newcomers Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis edged out industry heavyweights for nods in the top categories of the annual music awards.

Jay Z picked up nominations in nine categories across pop and rap, including best pop duo performance for "Suit & Tie" with Justin Timberlake, and best rap album for his July release, "Magna Carta...Holy Grail."

But the 44-year-old Brooklyn, New York-born rapper failed to land solo nods in the top Grammy categories for record, song, and album of the year, scoring only one as a producer on Lamar's "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" record, nominated in the album of the year category.

Lamar's album will face off against Sara Barielles' "The Blessed Unrest," French electro-dance duo Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," Taylor Swift's "Red" and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "The Heist" for album of the year.

Seattle rapper-producer duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis capped their stellar rise over the past year from the independent music scene into mainstream pop with seven nominations, including song of the year for "Same Love," featuring Mary Lambert, and the coveted best new artist category.

"It feels very, very, very surreal. I don't think it's ever going to feel normal. ... It's something that we never ever thought was possible when we were making this album," Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, said backstage.

The duo will be facing off with Lamar, country music singer Kasey Musgraves and British singers James Blake and Ed Sheeran for the best new artist accolade, which has been won by Adele and FUN. in recent years.

California rapper Lamar, 26, also picked up five nominations in the R&B and rap categories. Singer-producer Pharrell scored seven nods, including for album, record and song of the year for his work as a featured artist on Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."   Continued...

Robin Thicke (R) performs "Blurred Lines" with Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire at The Grammy Nominations Concert Live - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night event at Nokia theatre in Los Angeles December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni