NEW YORK - Kendrick Lamar is the king of the Grammys: The rapper is the leading nominee for the 2016 awards with 11, including album of the year for
To Pimp a Butterfly
and song of the year for "Alright."
Receiving his first two Grammy nominations is the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The first is for the orchestra's recording of Rachmaninoff Variations for Deutsche Grammophon, with pianist Daniil Trifonov, who is nominated for best classical instrumental solo on the album. And Nézet-Séguin scored again as conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe's Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail, nominated for best opera recording.
Lamar, who won two Grammys this year, is followed by Taylor Swift and the Weeknd, who each earned seven nominations, including album of the year. Butterfly, 1989, and Beauty Behind the Madness will vie with country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton's Traveller and rock group Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color. In addition to album of the year, Traveller is nominated for best country album, country song, and country solo performance.
Lamar's "Alright" and Swift's "Blank Space" are up for song of the year, a songwriter's award. Other nominees: Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's Paul Walker tribute, "See You Again," Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, and Liz Rose.
"Thinking Out Loud" and "Blank Space," which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, are also up for record of the year, pitted against No. 1 hits that include Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk," the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face," and wild card "Really Love" from R&B singer D'Angelo and the Vanguard.
Lamar's other nominations include best rap album for Butterfly, rap performance for "Alright," pop duo/group performance for "Bad Blood" with Swift, and dance recording "Never Catch Me" with Flying Lotus. He's nominated twice for best rap song with "Alright" and for cowriting Kanye West's "All Day," as well as best music video for "Alright" and "Bad Blood."
Swift, who won album of the year with Fearless in 2010 and earned a nomination in the top category with Red, is also up for best pop vocal album for her top-selling 1989 and pop solo performance for "Blank Space." The Weeknd's nods include best pop solo performance for "Can't Feel My Face" and urban contemporary album for Beauty. "Earned It," his hit from the Fifty Shades of Grey sound track, has nominations for best R&B performance, R&B song, and song written for visual media. The film's sound track, which also featured the Ellie Goulding hit "Love Me Like You Do," is up for best compilation sound track for visual media along with Empire: Season 1, which debuted this year at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
More than 21,000 submissions were entered for the 83 Grammy categories, with the first round of votes due Nov. 4.
This year's best country album contenders include Little Big Town's Pain Killer, Kacey Musgraves' Pageant Material, Ashley Monroe's The Blade, and Montevallo by singer-songwriter Sam Hunt, also nominated for best new artist. Other nominees include Meghan Trainor, Tori Kelly, Courtney Barnett, and James Bay, who is also nominated for best rock album and rock song.
Rapper Drake scored five nods, including best rap album for If You're Reading This It's Too Late, pitting him against Lamar, Dr. Dre's Compton, Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint, and J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
Alabama Shakes' four nominations include best alternative-music album and best rock performance and song for "Don't Wanna Fight."
Pharrell and West are also nominated for four awards, including album of the year for producing songs on Lamar's album. West's nominations include best rap song and rap performance for "All Day," which featured Paul McCartney. Justin Bieber is up for best dance recording, "Where Are U Now" with Skrillex and Diplo.
Bieber's and Adele's new albums will qualify next year; they were released after Sept. 30, the final day for 2015 eligibility.
Other notable nominees include married duo Joey + Rory for best country duo/group performance; actress Amy Poehler with her first nomination for best spoken-word album for Yes Please; and actor Seth MacFarlane for best traditional pop vocal album, competing with albums from Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, and Josh Groban.
Four of the five album-of-the-year contenders are from Universal Music - a huge win for the record label. Swift's 1989 was released on the indie label Big Machine Records.