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Grammy nominations are due Friday. Here are three story lines to follow

Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Even people not obsessed with music are likely asking some of the big questions set to be answered Friday morning, when the Recording Academy announces its nominations for the 61st Grammy Awards.

Will Taylor Swift earn her fourth nod for album of the year -- more than Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Prince or Madonna have received -- with the polarizing "Reputation," which sold well but drew mixed reviews?

Will Cardi B become only the third female rapper in history (after Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott) to be nominated for that prize with her blockbuster debut, "Invasion of Privacy"?

And speaking of women: Will the academy do a better job of recognizing their work overall than it did at the 60th Grammys, in which a dearth of female nominees resulted in an awkward interview in which academy President Neil Portnow infamously advised women to "step up"?

But these major story lines aren't the only ones to follow as we set out toward next year's ceremony, scheduled for Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. Here are three more.

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In the 1950s and '60s, Broadway cast recordings and Hollywood film soundtracks were regularly nominated for album of the year. Now it's now been more than 15 years since such a collection -- "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in 2002 -- took the Grammys' most prestigious award.

Yet movie music stands a good chance of resurging this year, in part because the major categories will have eight nominees each, up from the five they've had for decades.

First, there's the creatively adventurous (and commercially successful) set of songs Kendrick Lamar put together to accompany "Black Panther," which could pick up an album of the year nod as well as a nomination for record of the year for Lamar and SZA's hit duet "All the Stars."

Then there's "The Greatest Showman," one of the year's biggest-selling LPs. It's unlikely to turn up in the album of the year category, but the movie's "This Is Me" -- written by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul -- has a shot in song of the year.

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