Jay Z, Macklemore, and Kendrick Lamar Lead the Grammy Noms Pack


Somewhere in America, Shawn Corey Carter has much to celebrate: Roc Nation's leading force reigns as the most-nominated artist for the 2014 Grammy Awards with nine chances to take home the gold.

It wasn't long ago that Jay Z wrote new rules for the recording industry. On June 16, 2013, he announced the release of his 12th solo album during the NBA finals, just three weeks before its debut. He then trumped that revelation by offering 1 million Samsung users a free download of the anticipated work, Magna Carta Holy Grail, upon its July 4th release. That, in turn, prompted the Recording Industry Association of America to alter its rules regarding gold and platinum certification, the former of which Hov would have met regardless: it its first week, MCHG sold 528,208 units.

With power plays and great music to match, it's no wonder the Grammy odds are in Mr. Magna Carta's favor. The Brooklyn-to-Barneys emcee could walk away with Best Rap Performance for “Tom Ford,” Best Music Video for “Picasso Baby,” and a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for either “Holy Grail” featuring Justin Timberlake or “Part II (On the Run)” featuring his wife Beyoncé.

Surprisingly, he isn't up for the night's top three honors: Song, Record, and Album of the year. Those could very well end up in the hands of underdogs like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (7 nominations), who epitomize indie success; Lorde (4 nominations), who's sparked an anti-materialism movement; or Kendrick Lamar (7 nominations), whose debut has been heralded as an instant classic. There are also those whose mainstream appeal could garner The Academy's seal of approval; Drake or Taylor Swift could take home the same Best Rap Album or Best Country Album honors they respectively claimed in years past.

With a month until the biggest night in music arrives, start your predictions early with our ballot of notable nominations.

Album of the Year
Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
Taylor Swift, Red

Record of the Year
Daft Punk and Pharrell, “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Lorde, “Royals”
Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines”

Song of the Year
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Lorde, “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert, “Same Love”

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Solo Performance
Sara Bareilles, “Brave”
Lorde, “Royals”
Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Daft Punk and Pharrell, “Get Lucky”
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko, “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z, “Suit & Tie”

Best Pop Vocal Album
Lana Del Rey, Paradise
Lorde, Pure Heroine
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Disclosure, Seattle
Calvin Harris, Months
Kaskade, Atmosphere
Pretty Lights, A Color Map of the Sun

Best Rock Performance
Alabama Shakes, “Always Alright”
David Bowie, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir”
Queens of the Stone Age, “My God is the Sun”
Jack White, “I'm Shakin’”

Best Rock Album
Black Sabbath, 13
David Bowie, The Next Day
Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull
Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day
Queens of the Stone Age, …Like Clockwork
Neil Young With Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Best R&B Performance
Tamar Braxton, “Love and War”
Anthony Hamilton, “Best of Me”
Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip, “Nakamarra”
Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar, “How Many Drinks?”
Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway, “Something”

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Tamar Braxton, Love and War
Fantasia, Side Effects of You
Salaam Remi, One: In the Chamber
Rihanna, Unapologetic
Mack Wilds, New York: A Love Story

Best R&B Album
Faith Evans, R&B Divas
Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire
John Legend, Love in the Future
Chrisette Michele, Better
TGT, Three Kings

Best Rap Performance
Drake, “Started from the Bottom”
Eminem, “Berzerk”
Jay Z, “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
J. Cole feat. Miguel, “Power Trip”
Jay Z feat. Beyoncé, “Part II (On the Run)”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J. Blige, “Now or Never”
Wiz Khalifa feat. The Weeknd, “Remember You”

Best Rap Song
A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar, “F___ing Problems”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “Holy Grail”
Kanye West, “New Slaves”
Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Album
Drake, Nothing Was the Same
Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
Kanye West, Yeezus

Best Country Solo Performance
Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
Hunter Hayes, “I Want Crazy”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama's Broken Heart”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
Blake Shelton, “Mine Would Be You”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Civil Wars, “From This Valley”
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill, “Don't Rush”
Little Big Town, “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don't Care”
Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton, “You Can't Make Old Friends”

Best Country Song
Taylor Swift, “Begin Again”
Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama's Broken Heart”
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ’Round”
Blake Shelton, “Mine Would Be You”

Best Country Album
Jason Aldean, Night Train
Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
Taylor Swift, Red

For a full list of Grammy nominations, visit www.grammy.com.