Youth and diversity are the hallmarks of the Grammy Awards this year, which have often been the target of criticism in the past for their lack of diversity. Black American jazzman Jon Batiste, Canadian megastar Justin Bieber and singers Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo dominate the nominations for the American Music Industry Awards, which will be presented in late January.

With 11 nominations, Jon Batiste, 35-year-old African-American artist, jazz pianist and R&B musician, also known thanks to television, is well ahead of Justin Bieber, a 27-year-old Canadian singer who won for his part eight nominations.

26-year-old American rapper Doja Cat and H.E.R. (real name Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson), 27-year-old R&B singer, also collect eight. Billie Eilish, the 19-year-old new face of American song, takes seven nominations, tied with Olivia Rodrigo, the 18-year-old American singer and actress.

“These nominations reflect the beauty of today’s diverse and diverse musical landscape,” said Harvey Mason, president of the academy of the American music industry which bestows the awards, in a statement.

To respond to recurring criticism of the lack of diversity in nominations, the professionals added two prestigious categories to the eight of the previous years.

Jon Batiste’s numerous appointments are well in line with this shift announced by the Academy. Music director since 2015 of the very popular television show The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, originally from Louisiana and living in New York, he campaigns for more social and racial justice, in particular in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He will measure himself against his peers at the Grammy with his album We Are and his single Freedom.

Also author of the soundtrack of the animated film Soul by Pixar Walt Disney, he will face him the very big budget machines that are Justin Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo, especially in the queen categories of the album and the record of the year.

It’s not just going to be kids at the Grammys. 95-year-old crooner Tony Bennett will accompany American singer and actress Lady Gaga, 35, to Los Angeles in late January with six nominations for their album Love For Sale. The current edition will also mark a record for the American rapper Jay-Z, 51, who does not like the Grammy Academy, but who now has no less than 83 nominations, surpassing the legendary producer Quincy Jones (80) .

Finally, the 44-year-old rapper Kanye West – who has just taken the name “Ye” – also collects several nominations, especially in the category of best album. He’ll take on well-established song star Taylor Swift, 31, who has just one nomination for the Jan. 31 ceremony.

The winners will be announced on January 31, 2022 in Los Angeles during the 64th Grammy Awards. The gala will be broadcast on CBS, one of the five major national television networks in the United States, and on the Internet.

Ref: https://www.ledevoir.com