• Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019
Longeretta, Schultz team to launch Waterman Sound
James Longeretta
TOLUCA LAKE, Calif. -- 

James Longeretta, owner of global postproduction solutions provider Vortechs, has teamed with veteran supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Joe Schultz (Amazing Stories for Apple TV, Lost) to launch Waterman Sound. The state-of-the-art sound facility offers sound editorial, sound design, mixing, and ADR from its newly built studio in Toluca Lake, Calif. The company has hired ADR mixer Marilyn Morris (Captain Marvel, Miss Sloane), formerly of Skywalker Sound and Dubbing Brothers, to helm its ADR stage.

Waterman Sound will target scripted and unscripted television series and independent features. It has aligned itself with Vortechs and nearby post-finishing facility The Foundation to provide productions all-inclusive post service packages. Waterman Sound already has several projects to its credit, including  ADR for NBC’s The Good Place, Warner Bros.’ Castle Rock, ABC Studios’ black-ish, Fox’s What We Do in the Shadows and the feature films Charlie’s Angels and JoJo Rabbit . It also provided mixing services for Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, Facebook’s Queen America and ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Upcoming projects include HBO Max’s Made for Love and Amazon’s Them:Covenant.

The company’s location, Toluca Lake, is in the same postproduction complex as Vortechs and just a few blocks from The Foundation, making it attractive to productions seeking to consolidate post work flows. “An entire postproduction ecosystem is within easy reach,” said Longeretta. “Vortechs has 40 cutting rooms upstairs. Clients can post their sound and picture editing in one location, then walk up the street for their finishing.” He added that Waterman is just minutes away from Warner Bros., Universal, CBS Radford, Disney/ABC, and many independent producers.

Waterman Sound’s technical resources include a 17’ by 31’ mix stage with a dual operator Avid S6 console, multiple Pro Tools HDX systems, JBL 7.1 monitoring and a vast arsenal of plugins. It also features a sizable ADR stage capable of accommodating up to eight voice actors comfortably and two Pro Tools equipped sound editorial rooms. A producers room, a kitchen, and complimentary onsite valet parking complete the personalized experience. The company is currently working to secure Dolby Atmos Home Theater certification for its mix stage with acoustics designed by Jerry Steckling.

A three-time Emmy nominee for his work on Lost, Schultz has more than two dozen credits across television and features. He has a long association with Walt Disney Pictures/ABC Television. A former musician and luthier, he began his career in sound in 2002 with Sound Dogs under the tutelage of Bob Grieve and Greg King.  Other notable credits include Amazing Stories, Queen America, Roadies, Flashforward, and Christmas with the Kranks.

Morris most recently served as a dubbing mixer at Dubbing Brothers, Burbank, where she helmed dubbing sessions for foreign television series and features. Prior to Dubbing Brothers, she spent two years as a mix technician and in sound editorial roles at Skywalker Sound. She began her audio post career at Bell Sound Studios, Hollywood, where she became an ADR mixer and associate chief engineer.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019
John Clifford named head of BMG Production Music
John Clifford
LONDON -- 

BMG has appointed London-based John Clifford to head its worldwide production music business. BMG Production Music (BMGPM) provides one-stop, pre-cleared and custom production music services to the global broadcast, film/trailer, games and advertising industries. Clifford reports to BMG CFO Maximilian Dressendoerfer who continues to oversee the segment. 

A native Australian, Clifford joined BMGPM in 2017 as MD UK and SVP global sales, marketing & repertoire. He has 25 years’ experience in production music, including running the former BMG Zomba in Australia and then later at Universal Production Music where he held the roles of MD UK, head of media rights management for Europe, and previously, GM Australia/NZ. 

As MD UK and SVP global sales, marketing & repertoire, Clifford has contributed to the growth of BMGPM, with the integration of UK acquisitions Altitude and Deep East Music, the worldwide relaunch of the BMGPM brand, and the development of business with new clients including Ninja Tune and Red Bull. He succeeds Geert-Willem (“GW”) Koolhof, who has decided to stand down following the completion of BMGPM’s initial build phase. Koolhof joined BMG in 2015 as finance and commercial director of Benelux where he led the business integration of Talpa Music with its subsidiary Music Director, and the investment in and integration of 8ball Music. In 2017, he served as interim executive overseeing the BMG Talpa publishing and recordings businesses and, subsequently, assumed responsibility for the production music segment as SVP International.  

Clifford’s appointment means London will succeed Berlin the worldwide headquarters of BMG Production Music. Together with catalog recordings, master licensing and sub-publishing, it brings to four the number of BMG’s global hubs now based in the UK capital. 
 

  • Monday, Dec. 9, 2019
With "Joker," composer Hildur Guðnadóttir could make history
This Sept. 15, 2019 photo shows composer Hildur Guðnadóttir posing in the press room with the award for outstanding music composition for a limited series, movie or special for "Chernobyl" at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, Guðnadóttir was nominated for a Golden Globe for best original score for her work on "Joker." She is the only female nominee in this category. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

This is no laughing matter: "Joker" composer Hildur Guðnadóttir could be the first woman in 19 years to win the Golden Globe for best original score.

Guðnadóttir earned the nomination Monday and is the sole female nominee in the category. And she could become just the second woman to win the prize — Lisa Gerrard made history in 2001 when she won best original score for "Gladiator," which she shared with Hans Zimmer.

"It feels really wonderful," Guðnadóttir said in a phone interview from Berlin. "I think one of the best ways to empower young women and girls to see (composing) as an option, to even get into this line of work is for more women to be more visible in the industry. And it's just a huge honor to be a part of that visibility and hopefully send a message to both the industry and most importantly, the girls that are starting out, that's it's an actually possibility. They can also do this line of work."

The classically trained cellist from Iceland has had an exceptional year: She won an Emmy in September for scoring the HBO series "Chernobyl," and her work on the show also earned her a Grammy nomination for best score soundtrack for visual media (the 2020 Grammys are on Jan. 26).

The 37-year-old Guðnadóttir's score for "Joker" won at last month's Hollywood Music in Media Awards and is a nominee at the Critics' Choice Movies Awards.

"I was so fascinated with the script because it was focusing so much on the personal journey that this character is going through, and I thought it was such an interesting take on a character that we've been living with for so long," she said. "I started writing music before they started shooting and they were able to use some parts of the music as they were shooting, so that was a really wonderful process for me as a composer."

"Joker" scored four Globe nominations, including best motion picture — drama, best actor in a drama for Joaquin Phoenix and best director for Todd Phillips.

Guðnadóttir said she was recommended to Phillips for the job by "Joker" executive music producer Jason Ruder.

"I know that (Jason) knew about my work and he worked with Todd for 10 years I think, and he approached him and said, 'I know you want music to come in very early and this is the person that you want to hire for the job,'" Guðnadóttir recalled. "That was really, really wonderful. And a film I just scored, "Sicario 2," was just in the cinema at the time and Todd went to the cinema to see the film and he said, 'Yes, this is the person I need.'"

At the Globes, Guðnadóttir will compete with Alexandre Desplat ("Little Women"), Thomas Newman ("1917"), Daniel Pemberton ("Motherless Brooklyn") and Randy Newman, who scored the seventh Globe nomination of his career with "Marriage Story."

"I am pretty blown away," Guðnadóttir said, adding with a laugh that she learned of the nomination while writing a piece for an art installation for a cello-playing robot. "Such an incredible last few weeks. It has exploded. I'm in a bit of shock."

She's the first woman to be nominated for best original score in 10 years, when Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was nominated for "Where the Wild Things Are" (shared with Carter Burwell) at the 2010 Globes. In the year Gerrard won, more women were nominated, including Rachel Portman ("Chocolat") and Kristin Wilkinson ("All the Pretty Horses").

"There's been a lot of awareness about the lack of the presence of women in the industry ... and as a result of all this awareness that's happening, it's wonderful to be a part of that visibility for younger women," she said.

  • Monday, Dec. 9, 2019
Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Elton John, J. Lo up for Globes
This Nov. 24, 2019 file photo shows Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. A documentary on Swift will kickoff the next Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Golden Globes are looking more like the Grammy Awards: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Elton John are competing for best original song at the ceremony.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced nominees for the 2020 show on Monday. Others up for the music prize include the Oscar-winning wife-husband songwriting team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez ("Into the Unknown" from "Frozen II") and Cynthia Erivo ("Stand Up") from the film "Harriet."

Erivo also scored an acting nomination for her role as Harriet Tubman. If Erivo earns an Oscar nomination — as an actress or co-writer of "Stand Up" — it would get her closer to EGOT status since she's already won an Emmy, Grammy and Tony for her work on Broadway's "The Color Purple." Erivo shares her music nomination with co-writer Joshuah Brian Campbell.

Beyoncé scored the fourth Golden Globe nomination of her career — she's up for co-writing the song "Spirit" from "The Lion King," where she voiced the character Nala. She shares the nomination with co-writers Labrinth and Ilya Salmanzadeh. Swift is nominated for her third Globe with "Beautiful Ghosts" from "Cats," a song she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

John — who won a Globe for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from the original 1994 "The Lion King" — picked up a nomination for "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from his "Rocketman" biopic. He shares his nomination with longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin. "Rocketman" also picked up a nod for best motion picture, musical or comedy, while Taron Egerton is up for best performance by an actor in a motion picture — musical or comedy for portraying John.

Jennifer Lopez, who earned her first and only Globe nomination in the '90s for her starring role in "Selena," is competing for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in any motion picture thanks to her well-received role in the film "Hustlers," which includes appearances by Cardi B and Lizzo.

His seventh nomination may be his lucky one: Randy Newman, who was previously nominated for six Globes with no wins, is up for best original score with "Marriage Story." Other nominees include Alexandre Desplat ("Little Women"), Hildur Guđnadóttir ("Joker"), Thomas Newman ("1917") and Daniel Pemberton ("Motherless Brooklyn").

The 2020 Golden Globes will air live from Beverly Hills, California, on NBC on Jan. 5 

  • Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019
Rapper Juice WRLD dies after medical emergency in Chicago
In this May 1, 2019 file photo, Juice WRLD accepts the award for top new artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Chicago-area rapper, whose real name is Jarad A. Higgins, was pronounced dead Sunday, Dec. 8 after a "medical emergency'' at Chicago's Midway International Airport, according to authorities. Chicago police said they're conducting a death investigation. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
CHICAGO (AP) -- 

Rapper Juice WRLD, who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming juggernaut and rose to the top of the charts with the Sting-sampled hit "Lucid Dreams," died early  Sunday after a "medical emergency" at Chicago's Midway International Airport.

The rapper, whose legal name was Jarad A. Higgins, was 21. Authorities have not released details about his cause of death.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital around 3:15 a.m. and taken to the Cook County medical examiner's office several hours later, according to office spokeswoman Natalia Derevyanny, who said an autopsy would take place Monday. 

Chicago police launched a death investigation after a 21-year-old male experiencing a "medical emergency" was transported from Midway to an area hospital. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the man experienced cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital from a small hangar at Midway, away from the main terminal, where private planes land. 

The artist, who was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May, livedin the Chicago suburb of Homewood where he stood out as a musician early on. 

Juice WRLD turned 21 only days earlier. He was only two years out of high school. 

Like a good number of young hip-hop performers, Juice WRLD blended rapping and singing on his songs, sometimes mumbling words and focusing more on melody. His hit "Lucid Dreams," which heavily samples Sting's 1993 song "Shape of My Heart," was a six-times platinum success and reached No. 2 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart. It reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts.

"I was very impressed by what he put on top of (my version)," Sting told The Associated Press this year. "It's a really good song."

Juice WRLD got his start on the music sharing platform SoundCloud before signing to a record label and finding major success on streaming services. His major-label debut album, "Goodbye & Good Riddance," was a platinum success. It featured the hit "All Girls Are the Same," which gained platinum status, alongside seven more platinum hits including "Armed & Dangerous," "Robbery," "Fine China" and "Legends," which features the lyrics: "What's the 27 Club?/We ain't making it past 21."

He's had 10 songs reach gold status and also had success with 2018's "Wrld on Drugs," a collaborative album with rapper-singer-producer Future.

His second album, "Death Race for Love," debuted on top of the Billboard charts this year and his most recent single, "Bandit" with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, reached the Top 10 of the pop charts in October.

Juice WRLD graduated in 2017 from Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School outside Chicago, where he gained a reputation as a talented musician among the nearly 3,000 students. School officials said Sunday that they would offer counseling services for students affected by his death. 

"He is remembered by his teachers and staff as being a brilliant and creative student. Jared was extraordinarily talented in music and played many instruments," said school spokeswoman Jodi Bryant. "He was a caring and outgoing person who always tried to reach out to others while at the same time he was introspective and had a great sense of humor."

Fekadu reported from New York. 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019
Iconic Southern rock recording studio is revived in Georgia
This undated file photo, shows members of the Allman Brothers Band, from left, Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Gregg Allman and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson, eating at the H&H Restaurant in downtown Macon, Ga. Capricorn Sound Studios, the Macon, Ga., music studio that fused blues, country and other sounds into Southern rock is being reborn. The historic Studio A is reopening this month, after years of work by Mercer University and other supporters to restore and equip it with state-of-the-art technology. The studio helped propel the Allman Brothers Band and other groups to stardom in the 1970s. (The Macon Telegraph via AP, File)
ATLANTA (AP) -- 

The Georgia music studio that fused blues, country and other sounds into Southern rock is being reborn.

Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon helped propel the Allman Brothers Band and other groups to stardom in the 1970s.

Capricorn's historic Studio A is reopening this month, after years of work by Mercer University and other supporters to restore and equip it with state-of-the-art technology.

"It's a place that spawned a decade of remarkable creative activity," Mercer president William Underwood said in an interview.

It also helped make Macon one of the nation's music capitals. Underwood hopes the renovated studio will help preserve Macon's place among cities that forged the music history of the United States — places like Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee, Muscle Shoals in Alabama and Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans.

Macon's civic leaders view Southern rock through a far different lens these days than in the 1970s.

Southern rockers and Southern Baptists traveled in different orbits back then. The Capricorn music scene — part of the drug-infused counterculture movement of the time — was not always welcome in conservative Middle Georgia.

Now, Capricorn and Southern rock are officially sanctioned by today's leaders, many of whom were fans in their younger days. Underwood, for instance, grew up listening to Southern rock and considers The Allman Brothers Band "the greatest jam band ever."

In planning the new music complex, Underwood and others visited music hubs including Nashville, where Elvis Presley and others recorded their hits in RCA's Studio B — now among that city's most popular tourist destinations.

"There are people all over the world who travel to see these restored studios," said Larry Brumley, a senior vice president at Mercer.

Macon-area officials hope the restoration — funded with help from two charitable foundations and other private donors — will help spur downtown redevelopment.

The restored Macon studio is part of Mercer Music at Capricorn, a 20,000-square-foot (1,860-square-meter) complex that will include a museum. Among its goals: To train and inspire new musicians. To that end, the Capricorn Music Incubator will provide 12 rehearsal rooms for musicians to hone their craft.

The idea is "to be a place to bring talented, creative people together and have them interact and engage with one another," Underwood said.

"One day hopefully the next Otis Redding will come out of that incubator," he said.

Redding's voice became emblematic of Macon music six decades ago, after Mercer University student Phil Walden discovered his vocal talents while booking local bands for fraternity parties.

Walden began Capricorn Records in 1969 with guidance from producer Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records. The name was selected because both men shared the same zodiac sign. Walden, his brother Alan Walden and Frank Fenter discovered new artists who went on to create what became Southern rock.

The Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie and others recorded songs inside the studio that was built for the Capricorn record label.

The Allman Brothers Band became so popular that they helped a former Georgia governor named Jimmy Carter win the 1976 presidential election by performing at campaign events, Carter has said. Carter told Mercer graduates at their 2016 commencement that he might not have been elected if the band hadn't "adopted" him.

"Gregg Allman was better known than I was at that time," Carter said in 2017. "The band got the campaign political attention and raised much needed funds."

When Underwood became Mercer's president, the vacant offices that once housed Capricorn were a shambles, with one exception.

"The studio itself — that magical place where this great music was made — was still intact," Underwood recalled. "It was kind of a miracle."

A second venue, Studio B, will be used for larger-scale recordings and to host concerts and other special events. Film scores could be recorded there, tying into Georgia's booming movie industry, Underwood said.

The studio will also feature a custom-built, 40-channel analog sound board that was created by the Maryland-based company API, he said.

Wes Griffith, who now manages the newly restored studio, recalls the first time he stepped inside.

"I was in awe, standing there where all these great things happened, all this great music was made," Griffith said. "It's just a dream come true for me to be the steward of that place and share that history and start a new beginning."

  • Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019
Eilish, Lizzo, Lil Nas X named 1st Apple Music Award winners
This Nov. 2, 2019 file photo shows Billie Eilish at the 2019 LACMA Art and Film Gala in Los Angeles. Eilish will be the first recipient of the Apple Music Award for global artist of the year, one of three honors for the pop singer. Apple announced Monday that Eilish’s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” has been named album of the year. Eilish and her brother Finneas will also receive songwriter of the year honors. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Billie Eilish will be the first recipient of the Apple Music Award for global artist of the year, one of three honors for the pop singer.

Apple announced Monday that Eilish's "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" has been named album of the year. Eilish and her brother Finneas will also receive songwriter of the year honors.

Eilish will perform a live-streamed concert from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's campus in Cupertino, California, beginning at 6:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday.

Lizzo has been named the breakthrough artist of the year.

Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" is the company's pick for song of the year.

The company says its album and song of the year honors are determined by streams on its Apple Music service. Other awards are determined by Apple Music's editorial team.

  • Monday, Nov. 25, 2019
Swift moonwalks past Michael Jackson's record at AMA Awards
Taylor Swift, winner of the artist of the decade award, performs a medley at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Taylor Swift has moonwalked past Michael Jackson's record at the 2019 American Music Awards, taking home six honors including artist of the year and artist of the decade.

The pop star, who walked into Sunday night's show with 23 AMAs, surpassed the King of Pop's 24 wins at the fan-voted show. She rambled onstage as she won the final award of the night — artist of the year — and repeatedly thanked her fans for always showing up — during both the good and bad times.

"This year has been a lot of good, a lot of really complicated, so behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and caring," said Swift, who now has 29 AMAs.

It was a family affair at the AMAs: Swift's father and teary-eyed mom sang along as the singer performed a medley of her hit songs — a performance Swift said in a Nov. 15 social media post was put in jeopardy by Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, the owners of her master recordings.

She didn't mention the men during her acceptance speeches at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, but this did thank her new label for allowing her to freely express herself as an artist.

"This album really felt like a new beginning, and I also really love my record label, Universal and Republic. Monte Lipman, Lucian Grainge, thank you for being so generous to me and allowing me to make whatever music I want to make," Swift said after winning favorite pop/rock album for "Lover," her first album not released on Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group. "As a songwriter it's so thrilling to me that I get to keep doing that."

Swift's other wins include favorite female pop/rock artist, favorite adult contemporary artist and favorite music video for "You Need to Calm Down."

Other big winners at the AMAs included Khalid and BTS — neither act attended the show but won three prizes.

Billie Eilish picked up two awards — new artist of the year and favorite alternative artist. She also took the stage — surrounded by fire — to perform her song, "All the Good Girls Go to Hell."

Lizzo, who was nominated for three honors but walked away empty handed, screamed at the top of her lungs while performing the ballad "Jerome," one of several songs from her album that earned her a leading eight Grammy nominations.

Christina Aguilera was a vocal powerhouse when she took the stage alongside A Great Big World and rock icon Ozzy Osbourne — who has been recovering from a bad fall that took place earlier this year — was a highlight as he performed with Post Malone and Travis Scott.

Shania Twain closed the night with a memorable performance. Other nostalgic performances included Toni Braxton and Green Day.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello heated up the stage as they stood close together while singing "Senorita," staring in each other's eyes as they sang from one microphone at times. They even rubbed noses at the end.

The pair won collaboration of the year for their No. 1 hit song. Other winners included Dan + Shay, Halsey and Lil Nas X. Top nominee Post Malone took home favorite rap/hip-hip album for "Hollywood's Bleeding" and Carrie Underwood was appropriately teary-eyed as she won favorite country album for "Cry Pretty."

"It's been a wonderful year," Underwood said.

Selena Gomez kicked off the AMAs as Swift and Halsey got out of their seats to cheer their pal on. R&B singer Ciara hosted the show, which aired live on ABC.

Here's a list of the winners at the 2019 American Music Awards:

— Artist of the year: Taylor Swift
— New artist of the year: Billie Eilish
— Collaboration of the year: Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, "Senorita"
— Favorite pop/rock female artist: Taylor Swift
— Favorite pop/rock male artist: Khalid
— Favorite pop/rock duo or group: BTS
— Favorite pop/rock song: Halsey, "Without Me"
— Favorite pop/rock album: Taylor Swift, "Lover"
— Favorite rap/hip-hop artist: Cardi B
— Favorite rap/hip-hop song: Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, "Old Town Road"
— Favorite rap/hip-hop album: Post Malone, "Hollywood's Bleeding"
— Favorite soul/R&B female artist: Beyoncé
— Favorite soul/R&B male artist: Bruno Mars
— Favorite soul/R&B song: Khalid, "Talk"
— Favorite soul/R&B album: Khalid, "Free Spirit"
— Favorite country female artist: Carrie Underwood
— Favorite country male artist: Kane Brown
— Favorite country duo or group: Dan + Shay
— Favorite country song: Dan + Shay, "Speechless"
— Favorite country album: Carrie Underwood, "Cry Pretty"
— Favorite alternative rock artist: Billie Eilish
— Favorite adult contemporary artist: Taylor Swift
— Favorite Latin artist: J Balvin
— Favorite contemporary inspirational artist: Lauren Daigle
— Favorite electronic dance music artist: Marshmello
— Favorite social artist: BTS
— Favorite music video: Taylor Swift, "You Need to Calm Down"
— Artist of the decade: Taylor Swift
— Tour of the year: BTS
— Favorite soundtrack: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
New acts rule Grammys as Lizzo, Lil Nas, Eilish lead in noms
This June 23, 2019 file photo shows Lizzo performing at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles. Singer-rapper Lizzo earned eight Grammy Award nominations, Wednesday, Nov. 20, making her the show’s top-nominated act. The 62nd Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Grammys are screaming "Cuz I Love You" to Lizzo: The breakthrough singer-rapper scored a whopping eight nominations, including bids for the top four awards, making her the show's top-nominated act.

Lizzo picked up nominations for album of the year with her major-label debut, "Cuz I Love You"; song and record of the year with her anthemic No. 1 hit, "Truth Hurts"; and best new artist.

Like Lizzo, other new artists dominated with Grammy nominations on Wednesday: Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X earned six nominations apiece.

Eilish also scored nominations in the top four categories, making the 17-year-old the youngest artist in the history of the Grammys to achieve the feat. Lil Nas X, 20, is up for three of the top four awards, including album and record of the year for "Old Town Road," featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

Lizzo's "Cuz I Love You," Eilish's "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" and Lil Nas X's "7" — an 8-song EP — will compete for album of the year along with Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next," Bon Iver's "I,I," Vampire Weekend's "Father of the Bride," H.E.R.'s "I Used to Know Her" and Lana Del Rey's "Norman (Expletive) Rockwell!"

Nominees for record of the year include songs that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year, including "Old Town Road," "Truth Hurts," Eilish's "Bad Guy," Grande's "7 Rings" and Post Malone and Swae Lee's "Sunflower." H.E.R.'s "Hard Place," Bon Iver's "Hey, Ma" and Khalid's "Talk," which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100, round out the eight nominees.

While Taylor Swift was shut out of album of the year with "Lover," the album's title track earned a nomination for song of the year, a songwriter's award. It will compete with "Truth Hurts," "Bad Guy," "Hard Place," Lady Gaga's "Always Remember Us This Way" from "A Star Is Born," Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," Lana Del Rey's "Norman (Expletive) Rockwell" and Tanya Tucker's "Bring My Flowers Now," co-written by Brandi Carlile.

Swift earned three nominations, while Beyoncé — who was shut out of the top three categories — scored four. While her groundbreaking "Homecoming" documentary earned a nomination for best music film, its album version didn't pick up any nominations. Instead her "The Lion King: The Gift" project — which features songs inspired by "The Lion King," for which she voiced the character Nala — is up for best pop vocal album, competing with projects from Ed Sheeran, Swift, Eilish and Grande. Beyoncé's "Spirit," from "The Lion King" which is being pushed for Oscar consideration, is up for best pop solo performance along with Swift's "You Need to Calm Down," "Truth Hurts," "Bad Guy" and "7 Rings."

Overall, female acts out-performed their male counterparts in the top four categories: Five of the eight album-of-the-year contenders are women, while seven of the eight song-of-the-year nominees are by women. Female musicians also rule in the best new artist category, though record of the year is evenly split.

Grande, who won her first Grammy earlier this year, scored five nominations, as did H.E.R. and Finneas, Eilish's older brother who co-wrote, co-produced and engineered her debut album. Finneas' nominations include producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).

Several acts picked up four nominations, including J. Cole, Gary Clark Jr., Lucky Daye, Thom Yorke, Bob Ludwig and Tanya Tucker, who in August released her first album of new songs in 17 years.

British country-soul performer Yola also scored four bids, including best new artist, pitting her against Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Eilish, pop singer Maggie Rogers, New Orleans group Tank and the Bangas, the Austin-based duo Black Pumas and Spanish singer Rosalía, who won album of the year at last week's Latin Grammys.

Lizzo's road to the Grammys has been a long one: The 31-year-old, who performed with Prince on his "Plectrumelectrum" album, grinded as an independent and touring artist for years before signing a major-label deal, releasing her first album in 2013. But this year marked her major breakthrough: Her song "Truth Hurts" topped the charts for seven weeks; she's wowed audiences with her live performances — including her twerking while playing the flute. She's also graced several magazine covers, earning praise for promoting body positivity and denouncing fat shaming.

But Lizzo has also had her fair share of critics: Some felt she shouldn't qualify for best new artist at the Grammys since she's been on the music scene for years. Others thought since "Truth Hurts" was originally released in 2017, it shouldn't qualify for the 2020 Grammys. The Recording Academy said "Truth Hurts" qualified because the song was never submitted for contention in the Grammys process and it appears on an album released during the eligibility period for the upcoming show.

"Truth Hurts" was co-written by Tele, Jesse Saint John and Ricky Reed, who is nominated for producer of the year (non-classical). Mina Lioness, the British singer who Lizzo gave writing credit to after using some of her viral tweet in the hit song, didn't appear on the list of writers nominated for song of the year for "Truth Hurts." Lizzo's label, Atlantic Records, told The Associated Press last week it was in the process of adding Lioness to the song's credits.

Lizzo's other nominations include best urban contemporary album, best pop solo performance for "Truth Hurts," best traditional R&B performance for "Jerome" and best R&B performance for "Exactly How I Am," which features Gucci Mane and marks the rapper's first Grammy nomination.

Another first-time nominee: former first lady Michelle Obama, who is nominated for best spoken word album for "Becoming" (Barack Obama has won two Grammys in the same category).

Nipsey Hussle, who died in March and was nominated for best rap album earlier this year, scored three nominations: His song "Racks In the Middle" is up for best rap performance and best rap song, while "Higher" — a collaboration with DJ Khaled and John Legend that was one of the last songs Hussle recorded — is nominated for best rap/sung performance.

The Cranberries picked up a nomination for best rock album for their eighth and final album, "In the End," which the surviving members of the Irish band created using unfinished vocals from singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died last year.

The 2020 Grammys will hand out awards in its 84 categories live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26. Nominees were selected from more than 20,000 submissions, and the final round of voting runs from Dec. 9 until Jan. 3.

Top categories
Here's a list of nominees in the top categories at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards:

— Album of the year: "I,I," Bon Iver; "Norman (Expletive) Rockwell!," Lana Del Rey; "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?," Billie Eilish; "Thank U, Next," Ariana Grande; "I Used to Know Her," H.E.R.; "7," Lil Nas X; "Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)," Lizzo; "Father of the Bride," Vampire Weekend.

— Record of the year: "Hey, Ma," Bon Iver; "Bad Guy," Billie Eilish; "7 Rings," Ariana Grande; "Hard Place," H.E.R.; "Talk," Khalid; "Old Town Road," Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus; "Truth Hurts," Lizzo; "Sunflower," Post Malone and Swae Lee.

— Song of the year (songwriter's award): "Always Remember Us This Way," Lady Gaga, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna; "Bad Guy," Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell; "Bring My Flowers Now," Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth; "Hard Place," H.E.R., Rodney Jerkins, Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth and D. Arcelious Harris; "Lover," Taylor Swift; "Norman (Expletive) Rockwell," Lana Del Rey and Jack Antonoff; "Someone You Loved," Lewis Capaldi, Tom Barnes, Pere Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn and Sam Roman; "Truth Hurts," Lizzo, Ricky Reed, Tele and Jesse Saint John.

— Best new artist: Black Pumas; Billie Eilish; Lil Nas X; Lizzo; Maggie Rogers; Rosalía; Tank and the Bangas; Yola.

— Best pop solo performance: "Spirit," Beyoncé; "Bad Guy," Billie Eilish; "7 Rings," Ariana Grande; "Truth Hurts," Lizzo; "You Need to Calm Down," Taylor Swift.

— Best pop duo/group performance: "Boyfriend," Ariana Grande and Social House; "Sucker," Jonas Brothers; "Old Town Road," Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus; "Sunflower," Post Malone and Swae Lee; "Senorita," Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

— Best pop vocal album: "The Lion King: The Gift," Beyoncé; "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?," Billie Eilish; "Thank U, Next," Ariana Grande; "No. 6 Collaborations Project," Ed Sheeran; "Lover," Taylor Swift.

— Best traditional pop vocal album: "Si," Andrea Bocelli; "Love (Deluxe Edition)," Michael Bublé; "Look Now," Elvis Costello & The Imposters; "A Legendary Christmas," John Legend; "Walls," Barbra Streisand.

— Best dance/electronic album: "LP5," Apparat; "No Geography," The Chemical Brothers; "Hi This Is Flume (Mixtape)," Flume; "Solace," Rüfüs Du Sol; "Weather," Tycho.

— Best rock album: "Amo," Bring Me the Horizon," "Social Cues," Cage the Elephant; "In the End," The Cranberries; "Trauma," I Prevail; "Feral Roots," Rival Sons.

— Best alternative music album: "U.F.O.F.," Big Thief; "Assume Form," James Blake; "I,I," Bon Iver; "Father of the Bride," Vampire Weekend; "Anima," Thom Yorke.

— Best urban contemporary album: "Apollo XXI," Steve Lacy; "Cuz I Love You (Deluxe Edition)," Lizzo; "Overload," Georgia Anne Muldrow; "Saturn," NAO; "Being Human In Public," Jessie Reyez.

— Best R&B album: "1123," BJ the Chicago Kid; "Painted," Lucky Daye; "Ella Mai," Ella Mai; "Paul," PJ Morton; "Ventura," Anderson .Paak.

— Best rap album: "Revenge of the Dreamers III," Various artists; "Championships," Meek Mill; "I Am  I Was," 21 Savage; "Igor," Tyler, The Creator; "The Lost Boy," YBN Cordae.

— Best country album: "Desperate Man," Eric Church; "Stronger Than the Truth," Reba McEntire; "Interstate Gospel," Pistol Annies; "Center Point Road," Thomas Rhett; "While I'm Livin'," Tanya Tucker.

— Best jazz vocal album: "Thirsty Ghost," Sara Gazarek; "Love & Liberation," Jazzmeia Horn; "Alone Together," Catherine Russell; "12 Little Spells," Esperanza Spalding; "Screenplay," The Tierney Sutton Band.

— Best jazz instrumental album: "In the Key of the Universe," Joey DeFrancesco; "The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul," Branford Marsalis Quartet; "Christian McBride's New Jawn," Christian McBride; "Finding Gabriel," Brad Mehldau; "Come What May," Joshua Redman Quartet.

— Best gospel album: "Long Live Love," Kirk Franklin; "Goshen," Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers; "Tunnel Vision," Gene Moore; "Settle Here," William Murphy; "Something's Happening! A Christmas Album," CeCe Winans.

— Best Latin pop album: "Vida," Luis Fonsi; "11:11," Maluma; "Montaner," Ricardo Montaner; "#Eldisco," Alejandro Sanz; "Fantasia," Sebastian Yatra

— Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album: "X 100PRE," Bad Bunny; "Oasis," J Balvin and Bad Bunny; "Indestructible," Flor De Toloache; "Almadura," iLe; "El Mal Querer," Rosalía.

— Best comedy album: "Quality Time," Jim Gaffigan; "Relatable," Ellen DeGeneres; "Right Now," Aziz Ansari; "Son of Patricia," Trevor Noah; "Sticks & Stones," Dave Chappelle.

— Best compilation soundtrack for visual media: "The Lion King: The Songs"; "Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"; "Rocketman"; "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"; "A Star Is Born."

— Producer of the year, non-classical: Jack Antonoff; Dan Auerbach; John Hill; Finneas; Ricky Reed.

— Best music video: "We've Got to Try," The Chemical Brothers; "This Land," Gary Clark Jr. "Cellophane," FKA twigs; "Old Town Road (Official Movie)," Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus; "Glad He's Gone," Tove Lo.

— Best music film: "Homecoming," Beyoncé; "Remember My Name," David Crosby; "Birth of the Cool," Miles Davis; "Shangri-La," Various artists; "Anima," Thom Yorke.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019
Paul McCartney to headline Glastonbury festival
In this Monday, July 10, 2017 file photo, Paul McCartney performs at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette, file)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Paul McCartney has snagged the coveted Saturday night headline slot at Glastonbury next year as the British music festival celebrates its 50th birthday.

Festival organizers confirmed Monday that the former Beatle will perform on the main Pyramid Stage on June 27.

McCartney last played Glastonbury in 2004, delivering a set of songs covering the Beatles era, his later work solo and with Wings.

The 77-year-old star tweeted: "Hey Glasto - excited to be part of your Anniversary celebrations. See ya next summer!"

The festival takes over Worthy Farm in southwest England from June 24-28. The 135,000 tickets sold within an hour of going on sale last month.

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