Universal Music Group Leads Major Labels in Grammy Nominations for Top Four Categories

The success of Kendrick Lamar, Julia Michaels and "Despacito" helped the company rack up nine nods in the award show's four major tallies.

Universal Music Group leads all other major labels in nominations in the Grammys' four leading categories -- album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist -- thanks to the combined success of Kendrick Lamar, Julia Michaels, Lorde, Alessia Cara, Logic and the summer's record-tying mega hit "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, among others.

Lamar is the year's second most-nominated artist with seven nods (following JAY-Z's eight) thanks to the success of his fourth studio album DAMN., released via Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records, a UMG imprint. That set helped Lamar earn nominations for album of the year and record of the year for "HUMBLE." in the top categories. Republic artist Lorde also received an album of the year nod for her sophomore album, Melodrama.

Meanwhile, "Despacito" -- which was first released as a single by Universal Music Latin Entertainment and then as the Bieber-featuring remix via UMLE/Republic/Def Jam -- holds nominations for record of the year and song of the year. Universal claims three entries in song of the year, as Michaels' "Issues" (released via Republic) and Logic's "1-800-273-8255" feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid (Def Jam) also earned nods in the category. Michaels and Cara also were nominated for best new artist, rounding out UMG's nine nominations in the big four fields.

Atlantic Records also had a strong showing with four nominees in the four main categories. That success was driven by Bruno Mars' 24K Magic (album of the year), its title track (record of the year) and single "That's What I Like" (song of the year). Breakout rapper Lil Uzi Vert, whose Luv Is Rage 2 topped the Billboard 200 in August, adds to the label's count with the distinction of being the sole rapper in the best new artist category.

Indie labels make a strong showing in the top categories thanks to JAY-Z's three nominations in the main categories, including album of the year for 4:44, record of the year for "The Story of O.J." and song of the year for "4:44," all off which were released via Roc Nation. Adding to the indie tally is Childish Gambino's runaway funky soul hit "Redbone" (record of the year) and album Awaken, My Love! (album of the year), which were released through Glassnote.

Khalid, who is also featured on "1-800-273-8255," earned a best new artist nomination, alongside SZA -- both of whom are signed to RCA, giving the label and its parent company Sony Music Entertainment two nominees in the top four categories overall.

In the genre categories, both Atlantic and Interscope had strong showings in the pop fields thanks to Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson and Portugal. The Man (Atlantic) and Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons and Lana del Rey (Interscope) respectively, while Khalid, SZA and Anthony Hamilton saw RCA make a strong showing in the R&B categories. Thanks to JAY-Z and Rapsody, Roc Nation picked up six rap category nominations, while Lamar and 6LACK powered Interscope to five.

Check out the breakdown of the four major categories below.

Breakdown by Major Label
Universal Music Group: 9
Indies: 5
Warner Music Group: 4
Sony Music Entertainment: 2

Breakdown by Record Label
Atlantic: 4
Republic: 3*
Roc Nation: 3
Universal Music Latin Entertainment: 2*
Def Jam: 2*
Interscope: 2
Glassnote: 2
RCA: 2

*In this tally, "Despacito" has been credited only to Universal Music Latin Entertainment, although the chart-topping remix, which is the one that received the nomination, was released in partnership with Republic/Def Jam.

2018 Grammy Awards


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.