Drake, Shawn Mendes, Diana Krall Among Canadians Up For Grammys
Canadian superstar Drake emerged as one of the leading artists at the Grammy Awards nominations on Friday, picking up seven nods, many of them in key categories.
The recognition for work on his 2018 double-album Scorpion, as well as contributions to other rappers' tracks, comes after the Toronto-raised performer boycotted last year's Grammys by choosing not to submit anything from his previous release, More Life.
Drake's change of heart this year helped Scorpion pick up nominations in several top categories — album, record and song of the year for God's Plan.
Shawn Mendes emerged with the first Grammy nominations of his career. The pop singer, raised in Pickering, Ont., was named in two categories — song of the year for In My Blood and best pop vocal album. Songwriter Geoffrey Warburton, who also hails from Pickering, shares the In My Blood song nomination with Mendes.
In two categories, Drake will compete with himself for the golden gramophone. His song God's Plan is also vying for best rap performance against Travis Scott's Sicko Mode, a track where Drake appears as a guest. He's also nominated twice in the rap song category, where God's Plan and Sicko Mode are among the contenders for the award given to the songwriters.
Several of Drake's associates also landed Grammy recognition. Boi-1da, born Matthew Samuels in Toronto, was nominated as producer for his body of work this year, which includes songs with Drake, Cardi B, G-Eazy, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Samuels also received two nominations in the best rap song category as a songwriter on Eminem's Lucky You and Jay Rock's Win.
Noah Shebib, another one of Drake's collaborators, is recognized with four nominations for songs from the Scorpion album.
Meanwhile, jazz artist Diana Krall was also a double nominee for new work with Tony Bennett. The Nanaimo, B.C. singer and Bennett's rendition of 'S Wonderfulis up for best pop duo performance, while their Love is Here to Stay is in the running for traditional pop vocal album.
Nods for Daniel Caesar, James Ehnes
In other categories, Toronto's Daniel Caesar appeared in the R&B performance category for the second consecutive year, this time for the song Best Part, a duet with California-based singer H.E.R.
Jim (Kimo) West, who was born in Toronto and is known as Weird Al Yankovic's guitarist, is nominated for Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island in the new age album category.
Brandon, Man.-raised violinist James Ehnes is nominated for classical instrumental solo for his concerto Kernis, while Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian also received a nod for classical compendium.
Violinist Christina Day Martinson, from Saskatchewan, is nominated in the classical instrumental solo category for Biber: The Mystery Sonatas with the Boston Baroque. Meanwhile Montreal's Marc-André Hamelin is a chamber music/small ensemble performance nominee for Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring Concerto for Two Pianos.
Led by University of Toronto professor Anna Shternshis, the archival music project The Lost Songs of World War II is in the running for world music album.
Toronto music scholar and past Grammy-winner Rob Bowman is part of the team behind best historical album contender Any Other Way, a compilation of music by 1960s soul singer Jackie Shane.
The 2019 Grammys will be awarded at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.