TORONTO — Canadian superstar Drake emerged one of the leading artists at the Grammy Awards nominations on Friday picking up seven nods, many of them in key categories.
The recognition for work on his 2018 double-album "Scorpion," as well as contributions to other rappers' tracks, comes after the Toronto-raised performer boycotted last year's Grammys by choosing not to submit anything from his previous release, "More Life."
Drake's change of heart this year helped "Scorpion" grab nominations in several top categories — album, record and song of the year for "God's Plan."
Shawn Mendes emerged with the first Grammy nominations of his career. The pop singer, raised in Pickering, Ont., was named in two categories — song of the year for "In My Blood" and best pop vocal album.
Songwriter Geoffrey Warburton, who also hails from Pickering, shares the "In My Blood" song nomination with Mendes.
In two categories, Drake will compete with himself for the golden gramophone. His song "God's Plan" is also vying for best rap performance against Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode," a track where Drake appears as a guest.
He's also nominated twice in the rap song category, where "God's Plan" and "Sicko Mode" are among the contenders for the award given to the songwriters.
Several of Drake's associates also landed Grammy recognition.
Boi-1da, born Matthew Samuels in Toronto, was nominated as producer for his body of work this year, which includes songs with Drake, Cardi B, G-Eazy, and Beyonce and Jay-Z. Samuels also received two nominations in the best rap song category as a songwriter on Eminem's "Lucky You" and Jay Rock's "Win."
Noah Shebib, another one of Drake's collaborators, is recognized with three nominations for songs from the "Scorpion" album.
In other categories, Toronto's Daniel Caesar appeared in the R&B performance category for the second consecutive year, this time for the song "Best Part," a duet with California-based singer H.E.R.
Jazz pianist Diana Krall, who hails from Nanaimo, B.C., shared two nominations with Tony Bennett for their album "Love is Here to Stay," which is among the traditional pop vocal album contenders. One of its songs, a cover of George Gershwin's "'S Wonderful," is nominated for best pop duo or group performance.
Jim (Kimo) West, who was born in Toronto and is known as "Weird Al" Yankovic's guitarist, is nominated for "Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island" in the new age album category.
Young Spirit, a group from the Frog Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta, is nominated for best regional roots music album for "Mewasinsational - Cree Round Dance."
The classical categories were stacked with Canadian names, including Montreal-raised pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, whose work alongside Leif Ove Andsnes is up for best chamber music or small ensemble performance.
Brandon, Man.-raised violinist James Ehnes was nominated for classical instrumental solo for "Kernis," while Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian also received a nod for classical compendium.
Violinist Christina Day Martinson, from Saskatoon, Sask., received a nod in the classical instrumental solo category for "Biber: The Mystery Sonatas" with the Boston Baroque.
Toronto music scholar Rob Bowman, who won a Grammy in 1995, is part of the team nominated for "Any Other Way," in the historical album category. The two-disc set unearthed archival music from 1960s transgender soul singer Jackie Shane, who rose to popularity on the Toronto circuit before walking away from music.
University of Toronto professor Anna Shternshis is nominated for "The Lost Songs of World War II," a collection of Yiddish music recorded during a dark period of European Jewish history that's up for world music album.
L.A.-based creative director Willo Perron, who is from Montreal, is nominated for his work on singer St. Vincent's album "Masseduction" in the best recording package category. Another Drake collaborator, Perron designed the larger-than-life stage theatrics on the recent Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour.
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David Friend, The Canadian Press