Kanye West wasn’t the only artist with Chicago connections to receive plenty of attention Wednesday at the 54th annual Grammy Award nominations.
West, who grew up in Chicago and is in the midst of a two-night stand at the United Center with Jay-Z, received seven nominations, more than any other artist. When West performed “All of the Lights” Wednesday he stopped it three times to demand “more lights,” and casually mentioned to the audience that it had received a nomination for song of the year (as well as best rap song and best rap sung collaboration).
West also will be competing against himself in the best rap album category, with his solo disc “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” going against his “Watch the Throne” collaboration with Jay-Z.
Also receiving multiple nominations were R&B singer R. Kelly, for best R&B album (“Love Letter”) and best traditional R&B performance (“Radio Message”), and the Chicago-based Numero Group label, which was named for best album notes and best recording package for the Syl Johnson box set, “Complete Mythology.” Lupe Fiasco was nominated for best rap performance (“The Show Goes On”), Wilco for best rock album (“The Whole Love”) and OK Go for best short-form video (“All is Not Lost”).
In the classical category of best small ensemble performance, the Chicago contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird was nominated for its recording of Steven Mackey's "Lonely Motel: Music from Slide," on the Chicago-based Cedille label. The same album also was nominated for best contemporary classical composition.
Former Chicagoan Kurt Elling was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for "The Gate" (Concord Jazz).
Other Chicago classical groups nominated in other Grammy categories included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass, Pacifica Quartet, Lincoln Trio and International Contemporary Ensemble.
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