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Colby Sharp | Flickr.com

Colby Sharp | Flickr.com

It is that time of year again. The nominations for the annual Grammy awards have been announced, and there is a mix of the usual suspects and some big surprises. There were also a few notable stars missing from the nomination list in what some are calling Grammy snubs.

Kendrick Lamar led the Grammy nomination list with eight separate nominations. Drake came in second with a total of seven. Right behind them was folk singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile with six nods for her album “By the Way, I Forgive You.” Carlile’s nominations were considered a surprise move by the Recording Academy.

Record of the Year has a mix of genres battling for the award.  “I Like It,” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, is facing down Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke,” Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and Drake’s “God’s Plan” for the top spot. The same three artists are also on the short list for the coveted Album of the Year Award with Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Brandi Carlile’s “By the Way, I Forgive You” and Drake’s “Scorpion” all in the running for the award.

The Best New Artist award nominations include Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Dua Lipa and Margo Price. While she is not a new artist, Cardi B does threaten to unseat Nicki Minaj as the Queen of Rap. Minaj’s album “Queen” was not nominated at all, while Cardi B is in the running to take home the Best Rap Album award with “Invasion of Privacy.” Taylor Swift also faces unexpected challenges at the Grammy’s this year. Swift’s album, “Reputation,” was only nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album when the pop superstar has twice taken home the Album of the Year award. Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” will be competing with “Reputation” for the award, but Grande was similarly sidelined despite having the most successful year of her career. The list of nominees for Best Country Album also saw a notable lack of the usual front runners. Instead, Kelsea Ballerini’s “Unapologetically” and Chris Stapleton’s “From A Room: Volume 2” will be battling Brothers Osborne’s “Port Saint Joe”, Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Going Nowhere” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” for the top spot.

The list of Grammy nominations always has a few surprises and snubs, but there seems to be more discussion this year surrounding the sidelining of successful superstars than usual. Who from the surprising shortlists will take home the coveted awards, however, is yet to be seen.