NEW YORK (AP) — Kendrick Lamar picked up an early Grammy Award for best music video during the awards show premiere ceremony held hours before the big show.
Lamar's No. 1 hit "HUMBLE." won the honor Sunday. He's nominated for two of the night's biggest awards — album and record of the year.
He could make history and become the first rapper to win record of the year and the third to win album of the year.
And the Grammys are almost guaranteeing that this year will be historic: Four of the five album of the year nominees are rap and R&B-based albums from black or Latino artists. The other big awards of the night — song and record of the year — also are dominated by hip-hop, R&B and Latin music.
It comes a year after The Recording Academy was heavily criticized when Adele won album of the year over Beyonce.
"Lemonade" was seen as an album that moved the needle and dominated pop culture in different ways than Adele's colossal sales.
Critics thought the Academy failed to recognize the creative and artistic elements of an R&B-based album, in the same ways they have passed over albums by Kanye West, Eminem and Mariah Carey over the years for projects by rock, country and jazz artists.
Jay-Z is the star of Sunday's show, leading with eight nominations, including album for the year for his revealing "4:44," song of the year for the title track and record of the year for "The Story of O.J." Bruno Mars also is nominated for the big three; "Despacito," by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, is up for record and song of the year; and both Lamar and Childish Gambino are nominated for album and record of the year.
"What you see in nominations is a reflection of the voting membership of the Academy. You have to remember that this is a peer award and it's unique in that way. It's not about sales or charts or popularity or fan votes or whatever, it's the professionals in the industry who are making the judgment," Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said in an interview with The Associated Press. "So when you look at the work that's been done, and Jay would be one example, and there's that level of excellence, we have a very sophisticated voting membership that is able to recognize that. And that's how we want it to be."