Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande win early Grammy awards

The City of Angels welcomes the 61st Annual Grammy Awards back this year to Staples Center, after 2018's ceremony took place in New York City.

Late night host James Corden, the host of the 2017 and 2018 Grammys, will be getting a rest this year, as 15-time Grammy Award victor Alicia Keys will be hosting.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar - who won a Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN. but has yet to snare a Grammy for Album of the Year - earned eight nods while Canadian rapper Drake snagged seven.

Among the first to walk the red carpet was Camila Cabello, who will open the ceremony later. The Soweto Gospel Choir has received five Grammy nominations and won two over the last couple of years.

Janelle Monae remembers being frustrated last year, but this year she is looking forward to the show, where women are now leading in nominations for big categories like album of the year and best new artist.

But the larger field makes predicting a victor harder than usual.

"(Director) Ryan Coogler, what can I say?"

Carlile told the AP she stands "behind Ariana Grande's decision to stand up for herself and her art".

Ariana Grande also won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.

His 2019 Grammy win for Best Alternative Album marks his third time winning the category. Drake's "Nice for What" lost to Anderson Paak's "Bubblin'" and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake's "King's Dead", from the "Black Panther" soundtrack.

"This is live television and things happen up until the minute the shows starts", said Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards.

Of course, there's one celeb who we're anxious to see. But with Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and Travis Scott among the evening's performers, there won't be a shortage of star power.

Rapper 21 Savage, who is featured on Post Malone's record of the year contender "Rockstar", will also be absent after he was arrested in Atlanta last week on immigration violation charges.

As you might know, the Grammys love tributes: This year, there will be one for Dolly Parton, performed by Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry; one for Aretha Franklin, performed by Yolanda Williams, Andra Day and Fantasia; and one for Motown Records, led by Jennifer Lopez.

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS television starting at 8 pm ET.

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