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Rap star Kendrick Lamar leads Grammy nominations with 8

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The soundtrack of Marvel's "Black Panther" propelled rap superstar Kendrick Lamar to the front of this year's Grammy pack with eight nominations, closely followed by fellow rapper Drake who scored seven.

Women performers also achieved far greater presence in the 2019 edition of the top music awards, with Cardi B, Lady Gaga and folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile all nabbing nominations across the top categories.

Grammy organizers said in June they would expand to eight from five the number of nominees in the top four categories - record, song and album of the year, and best new artist - to allow a more diverse line-up. Five artists had been nominated in each category since the Grammys were first awarded in 1959.

The Grammy Awards, chosen by members of the Recording Academy, will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

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