The nominations are in for the 60th Grammy Awards! The Recording Academy announced its extensive list of nominees Nov. 28. Jay-Z comes out on top with the most nominations, making the ballot in eight categories. As always, there were snubs and surprises (good and bad), so let’s dive in.
R&B and hip hop reign supreme this year. This is a surprising trend considering the academy’s history. The top three categories (record of the year, album of the year and song of the year) are dominated by these genres. Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino are nominated for both Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Jay-Z was able to make it into all three categories with his 13th studio album, “4:44.” This is the first time Jay-Z has been nominated for album of the year.
The best new artist category is also filled with R&B and hip hop artists. SZA, Khalid and Lil Uzi Vert all made it into the category which recognizes industry-affecting artists achieving a breakthrough into the public’s awareness. The other two nominees are pop singer-songwriters Alessia Cara and Julia Michaels. Most were expecting Alessia Cara to nab a nomination in the category last year. Her first album “Know-It-All” was released back in 2015, so it is surprising to see her getting recognition now. Notably absent from the four general field categories are any country or rock entries.
Song of the summer “Despacito” was able to secure nominations for both song of the year and record of the year. If it is able to come out on top in song of the year, it would be the first Spanish-language song to do so.
Women are largely absent from the top three categories, with Julia Michaels and Lorde being the only principal artists to receive nominations in the categories. Julia Michaels is nominated for song of the year with her debut single “Issues.” Lorde’s sophomore album “Melodrama” is nominated for album of the year. It should be noted that Alessia Cara is featured on “1-800-273-8255,” which is nominated for song of the year too.
On the flip side, women fared better in the rap categories than they normally do. “Bodak Yellow” made Cardi B the first solo woman rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill in 1999. Now the song has been nominated for two Grammys, one in the Best Rap Performance category. Cardi B is the first solo woman rapper to be nominated in this category. In the Best Rap Album category, Rapsody secured the fourth ever nomination for a woman. A woman has yet to win the category. Rapsody and Cardi B are both nominated in Best Rap Song, making it the first year with two women-led songs nominated in that category
Kesha’s return with the album “Rainbow” is now complete with two nominations in pop categories. These are her first nominations.
The continual snub of One Direction continues into their solo career hiatus. Harry Styles’ rock nostalgia debut seemed crafted for the Grammy voters. Yet he is absent from the nominations. It should be noted he was likely ineligible for Best New Artist category due to his time in One Direction. Niall Horan’s full-length work “Flicker” was released after the eligibility window, but his single “Slow Hands” didn’t receive any attention either. Zayn Malik’s duet with Taylor Swift for “Fifty Shades Darker” did manage to garner a nomination, but since it is a songwriter award he is not technically honored.
Big name pop artists failed to secure coveted nominations. Lady Gaga and Ed Sheeran only managed to receive nominations in genre specific categories, and Katy Perry was unable to secure any nominations for her album “Witness.” The Weeknd was able to secure a nomination for his late 2016 album “Starboy” under Best Urban Contemporary Album, but was left out of the top categories. Jack Antonoff was left out of the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical category even though his major projects, “Melodrama” by Lorde and “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” by Taylor Swift and Zayn, were recognized.
The 2018 Grammy Awards will air live from Madison Square Garden Jan. 28 on CBS.