LOS ANGELES,- Luminaries of the music business gather to hand out the annual Grammy awards on Sunday at a red-carpet ceremony that may culminate with another record for Taylor Swift.
The 34-year-old pop superstar in the middle of the world’s highest-grossing tour is competing for an unprecedented fourth album of the year trophy with “Midnights.”
No other artist in the 66-year Grammys history has claimed the coveted honor four times. Music legends Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder won three each.
The awards will be broadcast live on CBS and streamed on Paramount+ (PARA.O), opens new tab starting at 5 p.m. PT (0100 GMT). Comedian Trevor Noah returns for a fourth stint to host the ceremony at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles.
Heavy rain is forecast to hit southern California on Sunday. Grammy organizers said the pre-ceremony red carpet would be held under tents to protect nominees from the weather.
Swift is not a lock for the album award. Industry pundits said it could go to “SOS” from R&B artist SZA, who would be the first Black woman since Lauryn Hill 25 years ago to win the category as a lead artist. SZA, singer of dark ballad “Kill Bill,” leads all Grammy nominees this year with nine nods.
“It’s very tight between SZA for ‘SOS’ and Taylor for ‘Midnights,'” said Billboard awards editor Paul Grein, who gave the edge to SZA. “They are overdue for an R&B/hip-hop winner.”
Women figure prominently in the 2024 Grammys field. Just one man, Jon Batiste, made the cut among eight nominees for the album prize. Other contenders include Olivia Rodrigo, Lana Del Rey and boygenius, the band featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.
Swift also is vying for song of the year, a writing honor that she has never won despite widespread accolades for her lyrics. “Anti-Hero,” her examination of self-doubt, faces competition from Miley Cyrus empowerment anthem “Flowers” and others.
Music from the blockbuster “Barbie” movie received 12 nominations, including record of the year for Billie Eilish’s ballad “What Was I Made For?”
Contenders in the best new artist field include rapper Ice Spice, country singer Jelly Roll, R&B and pop singer Victoria Monet, singer-songwriter Coco Jones and folk-pop singer Noah Kahan.
Scheduled performers on the Grammys stage include SZA, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Dua Lipa, Luke Combs and Burna Boy. U2 will perform live from the Sphere in Las Vegas.
Winners were chosen by the musicians, producers, engineers and others who make up the Recording Academy. The group has worked to diversify its membership in recent years by inviting more women and people of color to its ranks.
Organizers also added a handful of new categories this year, including best African music performance.