2016 Grammy nominations: Who should you watch besides Taylor Swift?

Swift was one of the most-nominated artists this year for the Grammy Awards. She often dominates at various awards shows, but here's who else viewers should be keeping an eye on as the prestigious Grammys approach.

Al Wagner/Invision/AP
Sam Hunt performs at the 2015 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn.

The nominees for this year’s Grammy Awards include such artists as The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and, of course, Taylor Swift.

Rapper Lamar earned the most nominations overall, with his “Alright” earning a nomination for song of the year. Ms. Swift's “1989,” The Weeknd's “Beauty Behind the Madness,” Lamar's “To Pimp a Butterfly," rock group Alabama Shakes's “Sound & Color,” and country singer Chris Stapleton's “Traveller” earned nods for the prestigious Album of the Year award.

Swift wasn’t far behind Lamar in terms of overall nominations, with, among others, her song “Blank Space” earning a nomination for the record of the year prize as well as the song of the year award and the pop solo performance category. 

The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” was nominated for record of the year and pop solo performance.

The Grammy Awards are given out by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, so the Grammys winners are decided upon by musicians, producers, and other people working in the industry.

Swift’s domination of awards shows and of the music business in general continues with this group of Grammy nominations. At last year’s Grammys, Swift did not have an album in the running, but her single “Shake It Off” did well in the Record and Song of the Year categories. She also took prizes at the American Music Awards last month, as well as at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this year and the Billboard Music Awards this spring. 

Success like Swift’s is obviously difficult to achieve. But is there anyone out there now who could do as well? 

The Weeknd's song “Face” was extremely successful on the charts, and his song “The Hills" still is. 

As for Swift’s former genre, country music (she previously announced that “1989” was her first official pop album), Chris Stapleton got a huge amount of attention after winning the major Album of the Year award as well as others at this year’s CMA Awards. His work “Traveller” being nominated for Album of the Tear shows that this critical success is continuing. 

While it seems as if singer Meghan Trainor has been around for some time since the release of her hit 2014 single “All About That Bass,” she made the category this year and she continues to do well at awards shows.

Sam Hunt, another nominee in the Best New Artist category, is another one to watch. His album “Montevallo” is nominated in the best country album category for the upcoming Grammys and he has also done well at other awards shows this year. 

What are these artists doing that is similar to how Swift achieved success? The success of The Weeknd's recent songs show that the artist can perform well on the charts like Swift does. His success at recent awards shows demonstrates that he's an important presence on this year's circuit like Swift.

As for Hunt and Stapleton, both are working in the country genre and an artist succeeding in the extremely popular country genre can gain visibility quickly. 

With Trainor, the artist co-wrote the songs on her album "Title" and some critics praised her relatable lyrics, an aspect of her work that recalls the success of Swift's songs about romance.

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