Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations

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The music of “Black Panther,” with Kendrick Lamar in its starring role, officially owns the 2019 Grammy Awards, where women are heavily represented in the major four categories following a year where their presence was barely felt.

The Recording Academy announced Friday that Lamar is the top contender with eight nominations, including seven for his musical companion to the Marvel Studios juggernaut starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.

“Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By” is up for album of the year, a category where women make up five of the eight nominees.

Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monae, H.E.R. and Brandi Carlile also are up for the top prize, along with Drake and Post Malone.

The upcoming Grammys is the first where the academy extended its top four categories from five nominees to eight.

The “Panther” nomination would give Lamar a chance to win album of the year after losing three times.

His most recently loss was in February when his critically acclaimed “DAMN” fell short to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” though Lamar’s project would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for music two months later, making him the first non-classical or jazz artist to win the prestigious honour.