By Jillian Mapes
The nominees for the 2014 GRAMMYs are in and Jay Z tops the list with nine nominations for his latest album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail, and his recent team-up with Justin Timberlake. Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pharrell Williams, and Timberlake all tied for the second most nominations this year, with seven nods a piece.
Related: GRAMMY Nominees 2014: The Full List
This year’s GRAMMY Nominations Live!!! Concert revealed the nominees for six of the 82 categories, focusing primarily on the major categories (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist). The hour-long CBS broadcast, hosted by LL Cool J, also included performances from some of this year’s nominees like Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Robin Thicke with T.I. and Earth, Wind & Fire, and Keith Urban with Miguel, who performed a twangy duet of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
Photo Gallery: GRAMMY Nominations Concert 2014
Watching the show, it wasn’t clear that Jay Z earned the most nominations since he earned noms in mostly unannounced categories like Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (where he’s nominated for “Part II (On The Run)” with Beyonce and for “Holy Grail” with Justin Timberlake), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album. In the particularly strong rap album category, Hova finds himself up against friends, collaborators and mentees including Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist.
For those watching at home, it was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — who kicked off the show with a performance of “Thrift Shop” — that appeared to trample the competition, earning noms in five of the six categories announced on air. This included the coveted Song of the Year category for their gay rights anthem “Same Love,” which faces off against Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Lorde’s “Royals” and Pink & Nate Ruess‘ “Just Give Me a Reason.”
Pink and Ruess (from last year’s GRAMMY darlings, fun.) also earned a nomination for Best Pop Duo or Group, putting them up against Daft Punk & Pharrell (“Get Lucky”), Rihanna and Mikky Ekko (“Stay”) Robin Thicke with Pharrell and T.I. (“Blurred Lines”), and Justin Timberlake and Jay Z (“Suit & Tie”).
This year’s Album of the Year category includes a few surprises, namely Sara Bareilles with her understated pop LP, The Blessed Unrest. She faces off against some pretty stiff competition in way of critical adoration: Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d City, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist, and Taylor Swift’s Red.
Swift received a total of two nominations, including Best Country Album, where her competition includes Jason Aldean’s Night Train, Tim McGraw’s 2 Lanes of Freedom, Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer, Different Park and Blake Shelton’s Based on a True Story.
Lorde was nominated in four categories including Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year, where she’s up against Daft Punk feat. Pharrell (“Get Lucky”), Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”), Bruno Mars (“Locked Out of Heaven”), and Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell and T.I. (“Blurred Lines”).
Go here to check out the nominees for all 82 GRAMMY categories, and watch the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Sunday, January 26 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.