From acclaimed producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams to pop-country prodigy Kacey Musgraves, the 2019 Grammy Award nominations featured a broad array of Global Citizens and reflected the changing dynamics of the music industry, which has been criticized in the past for its lack of inclusivity and biased standards.
Kendrick Lamar, who performed at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in New York, dominated the field with six nominations, including for record of the year and song of the year. The 12-time Grammy Winner is being celebrated for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack, a movie that was praised for its breakthrough recognition of black talent.
Cardi B followed with five nominations, including for album of the year and record of the year. Earlier in the year, Cardi became the first female rapper to earn two Billboard number 1 songs and she carried this momentum into the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York, where she urged audience members to help in the fight to end extreme poverty.
Both the album of the year and record of the year categories were crowded with female artists, including Kacey Musgraves and Janelle Monáe.
Musgraves is being recognized for her album “The Golden Hour,” which she performed songs from at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg. The singer-songwriter was nominated for four awards, including best country song for "Space Cowboy."
Kacey Musgraves performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Monáe, meanwhile, is being honored for her album “Dirty Computer,” which is a bold exploration of political issues close to the singer. At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York, Monáe showed her support for survivors of sexual assault and called for gender equality.
“LGBTQI community, minorities, immigrants, disabled people, poor folks, women, and all those who have been pushed to the margins of society, my hope is that this country can work for all of us,” she said on the stage.
Janelle Monae performs at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Sept. 29, 2018.
In total, more than a dozen global citizens were nominated for Grammys. That includes the power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who were nominated for three Grammys for their collaborative album “The Carters.”
JAY-Z has a chance to win his first Grammy after rapping on the song Apeshit about being insulted by his current 0-8 record at the award ceremony. The Carters recently came to Johannesburg for the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, where they performed a show-stopping set.
Another long-time Global Citizen, Pharrell Williams, was recognized for his prowess for shaping sounds after receiving a nomination for producer of the year. The 11-time Grammy winner recently collaborated on the first-ever Global Citizen EP 1, which features Cassper Nyovest, Stormzy, Tiwa Savage, and several other global artists, and is available for download here.
Pharrell Williams performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After weeks spent in the spotlight for her redemptive single “Thank U, Next,” Ariana Grande earned two nominations for her album “God is a Woman.” The pop icon performed at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Shawn Mendes, who advocated for education at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York, garnered two nominations as well, including one for best song of the year for “In My Blood.”
Other Global Citizens nominated include Charlie Puth for best remixed recording, Diplo for his work as part of the DJ duo Silk City and also for best remixed recording, and Dave Chappelle for best comedy album. The Soweto Gospel Choir, which performed at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, was also nominated for best world music album for "Freedom."
Soweto Gospel Choir perform during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The 61st annual awards will be aired in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10.