Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Childish Gambino reportedly turned down the Grammys

Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Childish Gambino reportedly turned down the Grammys

Lamar leads with eight nominations this year, followed by Drake with seven.

The Times' latest story, which was published on February 7, suggests the artists' rejection may have stemmed from a longstanding tension between the Recording Academy and the hip-hop community. He won't be performing on the telecast (alongside acts such as Ariana Grande, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar), but he is hitting the pre-ceremony party circuit.

The Head of Awards of the Recording Academy, Bill Freimuth, has responded to the issue saying they are viewing it with diligence.

"As always, we only have so many nominees in every category", he continued.

Kendrick Lamar though winning all five awards in rap categories, lost the Album of the Year award to "Uptown Funk" crooner, Bruno Mars.

Gaga, victor of six Grammys, is now nominated for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Song Written For Visual Media for "Shallow" and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Joanne".

"The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the Hip Hop world", acknowledged Grammy producer Kenneth Ehrlich in an interview with the New York Times. Gaga is set to perform her hit single "Shallow" alongside Mark Ronson, with whom she collaborated on the song for her film A Star Is Born.

Women snagged five of the eight Album of the Year nominations: Cardi B, Carlile, Monae, R&B prodigy H.E.R. and country star Kacey Musgraves are in the running. "I relax more ... when I know that I am supported by other women ... and I feel like I can do anything".

"It's not so much that black people are invisible or not innovating - it's about those innovations being contained to racialised categories", said Guthrie Ramsey, a musicologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sunday's ceremony, hosted by songstress Alicia Keys, will feature performances by Gaga, Cardi B, Carlile and Monae.

Additionally, J Balvin, Young Thug, Ricky Martin and Arturo Sandoval will join Cabello for the show's opening, while Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Andra Day will pay homage to the late Aretha Franklin.

The Grammys gala will air Sunday from 5:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday).