Jay Z just can't help but leave a trail of success in his wake.
The multihyphenate mogul leads all nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with eight, nods coming for Magna Carta...Holy Grail, his collaboration with Justin Timberlake, his work on Kendrick Lamar's breakthrough album and more.
Of course, the competition is hot on that trail, starting with Lamar, whose Good Kid, M.A.A.D City will vie in the prestigious Album of the Year category against Taylor Swift 's Red, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' The Heist and, in what was perhaps a surprise choice for those who expected Timberlake or Kanye West to be here, Sara Bareilles' The Blessed Unrest.
Not that anyone should feel to sorry for either J.T., who has seven nominations, or Perry, who's nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for Roar. (And don't feel bad for Miley Cyrus—Bangerz will be eligible for the 2015 Grammys.)
Kanye, who has won 21 Grammys over the years, could add another two, including Best Rap Album—but Yeezus faces stiff competition from pal Jay Z's Magna Carta...Holy Grail, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist, Lamar's Good Kid...M.A.A.D City and Drake's Nothing Was the Same.
Fabulously outspoken newcomer Lorde did not score a Best New Artist nomination (the surprises just keep on coming), but the 17-year-old from New Zealand does have a winning four nominations, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Royals" and Best Pop Vocal Album for her studio debut, Pure Heroine.
We'll see if the queen bee can reign, however, in the jam-packed-with-hits Record of the Year category, which also boasts Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.'s "Blurred Lines," Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven," Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive,' each of them arguably the jam of 2013.
Perry, who cowrote "Roar," will see what happens for Song of the Year, which is awarded to songwriters: Along with Lorde, Macklemore and Lewis are in there for "Same Love," Pink and Nate Ruess helped pen "Just Give Me a Reason" and Mars worked on "Locked Out of Heaven."
Interestingly, neither of Swift's mega-hits from Red, "I Knew You Were Trouble" or "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together," were nominated individually—instead, she was recognized for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with Keith Urban and Tim McGraw for "Highway Don't Care" and Best Country Song for "Begin Again."
Red is also up for Best Country Album (Who else kinda keeps forgetting that Taylor's designated genre is country?) along with LPs from truer country artists Blake Shelton, McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kacey Musgraves.
Musgraves, meanwhile, squares off for Best New Artist against Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, James Blake and Swift's pal Ed Sheeran.
In what has become a new CBS tradition, a handful of nominations, including the biggies of Album, Record and Song of the Year, were announced tonight during the Grammy Nominations Concert Live!—Countdown to Music's Biggest Night.
Robin Thicke, Lorde, Keith Urban, Kelly Rowland, T.I., LL Cool J, Melissa Etheridge and Enrique Iglesias were among the artists at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live for the concert. Swift performed from Australia, where she's currently on tour, via satellite.
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place Jan. 26 at Los Angeles' Staples Center and be broadcast live on CBS.
(Originally published Dec. 6, 2013, at 8:37 p.m. PT)