The Weeknd, D'Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan & Miguel Lead R&B Grammy Nominations

D'Angelo 2015
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

D'Angelo performs at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Aug. 21, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

This year's crop of R&B Grammy Award nominations includes its share of established acts: D'Angelo, Tyrese, Jazmine Sullivan, Miguel and Charlie Wilson all earned double nominations. But a closer look finds newcomers also held their own, including first-time R&B category nods for The Weeknd, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Kehlani and British singer Lianne La Havas.

Surprisingly left out of the mix: Jill Scott and Janet Jackson. Scott released her second consecutive No. 1 Billboard 200 album, Woman, this summer. The set features the hit single "Fool's Gold." And Jackson also triumphed this year, returning to the top of the Billboard 200 with No. 1 album Unbreakable. While the album itself was released after the cut-off for 2016's Grammy derby, lead single "No Sleeep" was still eligible for consideration.

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However, at a time when R&B continues to be dismissed by some as dead and no longer relevant, this morning's announcement helped spotlight some of the noteworthy talent emerging on the front this year. One of the more closely watched races promises to be the best urban contemporary album category, with first-time nominees The Internet, Kehlani and Lianne La Havas squaring off against 2015 breakout star The Weeknd and previous Grammy nominee Miguel. Nominated in 2014 for best rap/sung collaboration for "Remember You" with Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd is up for best R&B song and best R&B performance for "Earned It" in addition, his seven-nomination total includes album of the year for Beauty Behind the Madness and record of the year for "Can't Feel My Face."

A relative unknown in terms of radio airplay, Andra Day broke through nonetheless with first-time nods in best R&B performance ("Rise Up") and best R&B album (Cheers to the Fall). Also making his nominee debut in the latter category is singer Leon Bridges, whose Coming Home and live performances won critical acclaim this year.

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Also vying for best R&B album is D'Angelo with Black Messiah. In addition to its surprise nod for record of the year, the artist's "Really Love" grabbed a nod for best R&B song. Also popping back into the R&B limelight this year were Sullivan, Tyrese and Miguel, with all three picking up best song and best album nominations.

Lalah Hathaway is going for a third consecutive win in an R&B performance category with a cover of dad Donny's classic "Little Ghetto Boy." Nominated this go-round for best traditional R&B performance, she won in that category last February and for best R&B performance in 2014. Speaking of best traditional R&B performance, Charlie "Uncle Charlie" Wilson notched a best traditional performance for "My Favorite Part of You" and best R&B album for Forever Charlie. These bring to 11 the total number of nominations Wilson has received -- but he has yet to win a Grammy.


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