WOMEN dominated a last year's gala and are leading the pack this year as well, with the twerking flautist Lizzo and the teenage goth-pop phenomenon Billie Eilish expected to battle for the top awards.

The Academy has long come under fire for failing to recognise women and people of colour. So, in recent years it expanded the nominee field from five to eight in four major categories.

Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist. Both Lizzo and Ellish are nominated for all all of the  ''big four'' prizes.

Other female frontrunners vying for Grammys gold include  Lana Del Rey  -whose 2019 album was considered by many critics as the best of the year  -and R&B prodigy  H.E.R., who is up for five awards and last year, won two.

Pop sensation Ariana Grande, is also among the top nominees, while flamenco revivalist Rosalia, up for Bet New Artist, could become a a rare Spanish-language winner in the general categories.

Generational Shift
Lizzo, Eilish and Lil Nas are the top three contenders of the night with a combined age of  69  - a figure once closer to the average age of just one veteran star that would dominate the night.

The generational  shift could mark a new era for the Recording  Academy, which has long favored older pop and rock mainstays.

Eilish, who first gained fame online, was just 17, when the nominations were announced, making her the youngest artist ever to be up for all four top Grammy awards. Her songwriting partner and brother Finneas, 27, meanwhile has five chances at Grammys glory.

Fans are expecting a rager of a performance from Lizzo, who routinely slings back requila from the bottle onstage. Fashion watchers will also be on red alert from the boisterous star's latest ensemble.:

She donned a fluffy, hot pink Marc Jacobs jacket to this year's Met Gala, which she proudly wore as she strutted through a New York's airport the morning after. [AFP]


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