Their absence was seen as a snub of an awards show that has often shut hip-hop artists out of its top prizes, despite rap's dominance as the biggest music genre in the United States.
Her six nominations are for Record of the Year ("The Joke"), Album of the Year (By the Way, I Forgive You), Song of the Year ("The Joke"), Best American Roots Performance ("The Joke"), Best American Roots Song ("The Joke") and Best Americana Album (By the Way, I Forgive You).
Women artists scored nominations in all of the top categories, after being largely muted a year ago: Gaga, Carlile, rapper Cardi B and pop futurist Janelle Monae are among the frontrunners.
"I know i'm not there tonight (trust, i tried and still truly wished it had worked out tbh) and i know i said i try not to put too much weight into these things. but (expletive). this is wild and lovely. thank you so much", she tweeted after learning about her win.
Songstress Alicia Keys, a 15-time Grammy victor, is set to host Sunday´s ceremony - the first woman to do so in 14 years.
Several big stars are not attending the Grammys, including Grande, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards. Her voice sounded absolutely unbelievable. The Grammys show itself has become more of an all-star concert event with a few awards handed out between performances.
In the Best New Artist category, 6 of the 8 nominees are women.
The Grammys have also struggled with gender inequality, an issue that came to its head a year ago. She said: "I know what it feels like to be on that stage, and I'm going to bring that vibe and energy".
This year's show exhibits some efforts to combat these diversity issues - the academy, which The Times reported has invited 900 new members to vote, expanded major categories from five to eight nominees.
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The soundtrack was produced by Lamar and includes performances by Lamar, Travis Scott, The Weeknd, 2 Chainz and more. There will be awkward moments, but a planned tribute to Aretha Franklin, which will be performed by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day, had better be one to remember.