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2018 Grammy Award nominations: Snubs and surprises

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2018 Grammy Award nominations: Snubs and surprises

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This year's Grammy Awards will be a marked departure from last year when even Adele, the winner ofalbum of the year, said Beyonce should have won.

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That's because black and Latino artists dominate in the main categories of album, record and song of the year in today's announcement of the nominees for the 2018 Grammy Awards.

Jay-Z, already the winner of 21 Grammy awards, led the nominations with eight, followed by Kendrick Lamar with seven, Bruno Mars with six, and Childish Gambino, Khalid and SZA, who each earned five. The Spanish-language "Despacito," which set the record for the most streamed song ever, is nominated for both record and song of the year.

"This is a sign that the Grammys are really paying attention to who and what listeners want," Spotify's trend expert Shanon Cook told ABC News.

On the music streaming service, hip-hop emerged as the most popular genre this year, Cook said. "The Grammys can’t look away," she added.

"I was very pleased," Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told Billboard about the nominations, calling them "a wonderful reflection on our organization and how relevant and in touch and savvy our voting members are."

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In the past, the Grammys have drawn criticism for the lack of diversity among its most prestigious prizes, including album of the year. Frank Ocean protested the lack of diversity by refusing to submit his music to the 2017 awards or show up for the broadcast.

"Like the Oscars, the Grammys have been accused of being too white and male-centric," Cook said, "but these nominations show the tide is turning."

But if hip-hop and R&B are the surprise winners among today's nominees, then pop's usual stars took a hit.

Below are five of the biggest snubs and surprises from the 2018 Grammy award nominations. Winners will be announced during the live broadcast on Sunday, Jan. 28, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Ed Sheeran

Sheeran, who previously won song of the year for "Thinking Out Loud," is one of the biggest snubs of this year's nominations. The singer and his 2017 hit "Shape of You" do not appear in any of the main four categories. "To me, I thought it would come down to Kendrick Lamar versus Ed Sheeran," Cook said, adding that "Shape of You" is Spotify's most streamed song of all time. Instead, Sheeran will be competing in just two categories, best pop vocal album and best pop performance, against the likes of Lady Gaga, Kesha, Pink and Kelly Clarkson.

Kendrick Lamar

PHOTO: Kendrick Lamar performs during the Festival dete de Quebec in Quebec City, Canada, July 7, 2017. Amy Harris/Invision/AP
Kendrick Lamar performs during the Festival d'ete de Quebec in Quebec City, Canada, July 7, 2017.

Meanwhile, Lamar is finally getting the acknowledgment many said he should have gotten years ago. Cook is excited to see him up against Grammy veteran Jay-Z. "It's kind of like the old guard versus the new guard," she said.

Childish Gambino

PHOTO: Donald Glover, who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino, performs at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, June 3, 2017. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Donald Glover, who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino, performs at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York, June 3, 2017.

Donald Glover and his hip-hop alter ego Childish Gambino are having a great year. In September, Glover made history as the first black director to win for outstanding directing of a comedy series for work on his FX show, "Atlanta." He also took home the trophy for lead actor in a comedy series. Now, nearly a year after its release, his album "Awaken, My Love!" has earned him six nominations, including in the main categories. Said Cook, "He deserves all this great success."

Alessia Cara

PHOTO: Singer-songwriter Alessia Cara arrives at the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images
Singer-songwriter Alessia Cara arrives at the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Many expected Cara to earn a nod in the best new artist category last year. Instead, she nabbed a spot this year. "I'm very happy Alessia Cara has finally been recognized as an artist who has arrived," Cook said. She'll be competing against Khalid, Julia Michaels, Sza and Lil Uzi Vert, in what Cook said will be the most exciting race of the night. "The best new artist category can sometimes be a little strange. They often put in artists who have been around for some time," she said. "These are all new and fresh."

Harry Styles

PHOTO: Singer Harry Styles performs at the 2017 Victorias Secret Fashion Show, Nov. 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Singer Harry Styles performs at the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Nov. 20, 2017 in Shanghai, China.

With such stiff competition in the best new artist category, there was no room for former One Direction star Harry Styles. In fact, other alums of the beloved boy band — Niall Horan and Zayn — were also shut out of the Grammys, though Zayn's duet with Taylor Swift, "I Don't Want to Live Forever," was nominated. But Cook was most surprised by Styles failing to earn even a single nod. "His album was critically acclaimed out of the gate, with this pop-rock vibe," she said. "Everyone has loved this new direction for this former One Directioner."

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