Rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake may lead the nominations, but Sunday’s Grammy Awards looks set to be a showcase for girl power.
Outspoken rapper Cardi B (pictured), whose music and personal life has dominated pop culture for the past two years, leads the charge on music’s biggest night with a live performance and five Grammy nominations, including for album and record of the year.
R&B singer Alicia Keys will host the Grammys for the first time, while Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monae, Camila Cabello and Kacey Musgraves are also among the performers at the Los Angeles ceremony.
Adding to the star power, Motown legend Diana Ross will take the stage to mark her 75th birthday in March, and hopes are high that Lady Gaga will perform her Grammy and Oscar-nominated song “Shallow” from the movie “A Star is Born.”
Yet Cardi B is likely to grab most of the attention. The 26 year-old New York artist is one of only a handful of female rappers and has captured attention with her message of female empowerment, on and off marriage to rapper Offset, and a string of hit records and collaborations, including “I Like It,” “Girls Like You” and “Taki Taki.”
“Cardi B is a very strong woman, who is in control of her career. She is really talented and has something to say and she is just fun. She is like a breath of fresh air,” said Melinda Newman, West Coast editor for Billboard magazine.
“Between Alicia Keys and all the female nominees, I think we will have a very female-leading show. That’s not necessarily by design, that’s just how it’s shaking out this year,” Newman added.
This year five of the eight nominees for the coveted album of the year award are women - Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer”, folk singer Brandi Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You,” country artist Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” and R&B newcomer H.E.R.’s self-titled “H.E.R.”
The Grammy Awards take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.