California-based rapper Kendrick Lamar leads this year’s Grammy nominations list, nominated for 11 awards this year. This is the biggest tally Lamar has ever had at the Grammy awards, having previously been nominated for seven at the 2014 awards, and going home empty handed.
Announced Monday morning, the list gives Lamar four more nominations than his closest competitors, with pop stars Taylor Swift and The Weeknd both up for seven awards this year. All three artists will go head to head for record of the year honors, with Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Swift’s 1989, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness all receiving nominations in the category. Interestingly, legendary European producer Max Martin had his hand in creating both of the latter artists’ nominees, while Lamar’s was largely produced by longtime collaborator Terrace Martin.
Lamar and Swift also share a nomination for their collaboration on Swift’s Bad Blood, which featured the rapper, but will go head to head with Swift in the “Song of the Year” category, where his Alright competes with Swift’s Blank Space to be named the best track of 2015.
A 28-year-old rapper from Compton, California, Lamar is best known for his fast-spoken rhythms, introspective verses, and focus on deep musicality in his tracks — both live and in the studio. To Pimp a Butterfly was hailed by critics of the genre, and has already been awarded album of the year on numerous year-end lists.
Lamar will likely walk home with more metal than ever this year, especially since To Pimp A Butterfly has already earned him some hardware from the Grammys: he earned two awards, including Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, at last year’s Grammy Awards, and both of those came from the early release of To Pimp A Butterfly’s lead single i, which Lamar made public in late 2014.
This year’s awards look at songs that were released between October 1 2014 and September 1, 2015, and will air on CBS on February 15, 2016.