On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 20, music fans awoke to nominations for next year’s Grammy Awards—spanning from 84 different categories.
This time of year always sends stan Twitter ablaze. Discussions and deep-dive threads as to why so-and-so either got shut out this year or deserved their rightful nomination are invading people’s timelines. Some stans act like they don’t care about awards, but we all know good and well they can’t help but not to engage in all of the drama.
The Grammy committee always makes interesting decisions on which artists they highlight or ignore. One year, they’ll focus primarily on chart-topping popularity and/or cultural impact. The next year, they’ll take an extreme turn and select an underrated contender, but most fans just boil it all down to politics and ratings. Either way, it’s still fun to discuss all the surprises, snubs and predictions.
As expected, Lizzo leads the overall nomination count with eight—a cap off to a tremendous year. At just 17, Eilish is the youngest nominee to receive nominations in the four major categories. With “Old Town Road” breaking the Billboard record for most weeks at number one on the Hot 100, it’s clear that Lil Nas X would also stand amongst the other young standouts on the list.
Album of the Year is one of the most anticipated accolades and this year’s lineup is no exception. For Ariana Grande, who has previously only been nominated in the pop section, it’s only right that her first time in the major category would go to “thank u, next,” which served as a transformative explosion in her life and career. Since its release, Lana Del Rey’s “Norman F***ing Rockwell” has received a multitude of praise from critics and fans—proving that the project should be one of the frontrunners.
It’s one thing that Nas X is recognized for the immensity of “Old Town Road,” but to be nominated for Album of the Year with only an EP that’s only surrounded by a major hit seems somewhat out of place. Although Tyler, the Creator’s “Igor” is already honored in the Best Rap Album category, it would’ve been the more deserving replacement within the general field because of its widespread appeal and commercial success.
H.E.R., who has become a Grammy darling much like Alicia Keys in the early 2000s, is also no stranger to album nominations with only having a compilation album combining previous EPs. Last year, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist managed to win the Best R&B Album category with her self-titled project. This year’s “I Used to Know Her” is set on a similar path, which is unheard of for an artist who hasn’t technically put out her first official album.
Even though Cardi B received one win and many nominations last year, the award show has a history of glossing over female hip-hop artists. As we all know, awards don’t define these artists, but it is still ridiculous and plain wrong that influential women like Lil’ Kim and Queen Latifah only have one Grammy. This year, Megan Thee Stallion was completely shut out of any nomination despite her summer reign with her hit project “Fever” along with Tierra Whack, Doja Cat and many other upcoming stars.
Although the rap categories continue to be a problem area, the pop categories are a completely different story with the nominees for Best Pop Solo Performance all being women.
What is most impressive about this is the fact that Beyoncé continues to show her longevity—being the only one of her generation to compete with a younger crop of artists. Mariah Carey should also be receiving this same treatment as her fifteenth studio album, “Caution,” further establishes her ability to create a cohesive, critically acclaimed project, which is arguably leaps ahead of the new generation—a missed opportunity for the R&B categories.
The 62nd Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, Jan. 26. For those who aren’t necessarily thrilled about the awards themselves, the unannounced performances are what truly makes the show a full on event—so from this point on, it’s just a waiting game until music’s biggest night.
Rylee Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @rybyjackson.