Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa Dominate 2021 Grammy Nominations
Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa dominate the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, main a various if considerably scattershot assortment of artists for January’s version of music’s prime awards present.
Beyoncé, with essentially the most nods total, acquired 9 nominations in eight classes, together with each document and music of the yr for “Black Parade,” a observe launched in the course of the top of the Black Lives Matter protests this summer time with lyrics like “Put your fists up within the air, present Black love.” In one of the best document class, Beyoncé will compete towards herself because the featured visitor on Megan Thee Stallion’s hit “Savage.”
Swift, whose final two LPs acquired minimal consideration from the Grammys — and didn’t win any prizes — acquired six nominations, together with 5 for “Folklore,” the blockbuster album she recorded in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. “Folklore” is up for album of the yr and greatest pop vocal album, and her music “Cardigan” acquired two nods, together with music of the yr. She even acquired a nomination for “Stunning Ghosts,” a music she wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the much-maligned movie model of “Cats.”
Lipa, the British dance-pop star who received greatest new artist in 2019, is up for album of the yr for “Future Nostalgia,” whereas her disco-tinged “Don’t Begin Now” was nominated for each document and music of the yr. (The document class acknowledges the performer and producers of a single observe, whereas greatest music is for songwriters.)
Different prime nominees for subsequent yr’s present, which is scheduled for Jan. 31, embody the rapper Roddy Ricch, with six in 4 classes, and Brittany Howard, the frontwoman and guitarist of the band Alabama Shakes, with 5 for her solo debut. Billie Eilish, the 18-year-old auteur who swept the latest awards, and the rappers Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby every acquired 4.
However whereas the Grammys lately have made important progress in reflecting the tides of present pop music, the newest crop of nominations contains some puzzling selections and snubs.
The Weeknd, the Canadian pop star whose “After Hours” is without doubt one of the greatest albums of the yr — and who will carry out on the Tremendous Bowl halftime present in February — was spurned completely, as was Luke Combs, maybe essentially the most profitable younger hitmaker in Nashville.
BTS, the Ok-pop phenomenon, acquired its first nomination down the poll in one of the best pop duo/group class, a placement certain to be seen by the group’s large and protecting fan base. A posthumous album by the rap star Pop Smoke that has been one of many yr’s greatest chart hits additionally acquired only one discover: greatest rap efficiency for his music “Dior.”
The foremost classes are dotted with artists who’re removed from family names. Black Pumas, a rock band with a retro soul sound — however little public profile — is up for document of the yr (“Colours”) and greatest album, for a deluxe model of its self-titled debut LP. (The unique model, launched in June 2019, fell exterior the awards’ eligibility window, which covers music that got here out from September 2019 to August 2020.)
The make-up of reside awards exhibits has been altering all through the pandemic, with little obvious consensus amongst producers about the best way to put an occasion collectively. The Billboard Music Awards in October, for instance, had no reside viewers, however the American Music Awards this week had a restricted crowd (in addition to cardboard cutouts of Beyoncé and Jay-Z).
How the Grammys, music’s greatest awards present, will deal with its broadcast is unclear. In an interview, Harvey Mason Jr., a producer and songwriter who’s the chairman and interim chief government of the Recording Academy, the nonprofit behind the Grammys, stated the group meant to carry a reside occasion in Los Angeles with a small viewers, and that artists can be current to carry out and settle for awards. Many particulars are nonetheless being labored out; Trevor Noah, from “The Day by day Present,” would be the host.
The nominations mirror a difficult yr for the music trade, by which reside performances have been floor to a halt by the pandemic and artists have wrestled with social upheaval and a bitterly divisive election.
There has additionally been tumult behind the scenes on the academy, which has come underneath hearth for its poor document in recognizing Black artists and ladies within the main awards. The academy additionally had an explosive battle with its former chief government, Deborah Dugan, who accused the group of tolerating sexual harassment and of violating the integrity of its nominations course of.
The academy has denied these accusations, and has made quite a few efforts during the last yr to diversify its ranks, together with inviting greater than 2,300 new members; 74 % accepted the invitation to hitch. Mason stated an expanded membership is vital to creating the awards mirror the true state of music.
“This can be a peer-to-peer award,” he stated. “Whoever will get the votes wins. So we have now to ensure that the people who find themselves voting are educated and consultant of the music, and are voting with the intent of recognizing and honoring high quality music.”
Final January, 5 months after she took over with a mandate to alter the academy’s establishment and simply 10 days earlier than the Grammys occasion, Dugan was faraway from her submit, and later terminated. The academy stated she had mistreated an underling. In a authorized criticism, Dugan denied that accusation and stated that her dismissal was retaliation for documenting a spread of misconduct and different issues on the group, together with extreme authorized charges and conflicts of curiosity by board members.
Mason declined to remark concerning the pending arbitration course of between the academy and Dugan, as did a lawyer for Dugan.
For the newest Grammy Awards, the crop of nominees contains many ladies and artists of coloration. However that has additionally been the case for a number of years now, and the true take a look at of change on the Grammys could also be who in the end wins.
Along with Swift, Lipa and Black Pumas, the nominations for album of the yr embody Submit Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” a serious streaming hit; Haim’s “Girls in Music Pt. III”; “Chilombo” by Jhené Aiko; Coldplay’s “On a regular basis Life”; and “Djesse Vol. 3,” a venture by the British multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier.
Additionally up for document of the yr are DaBaby’s breakthrough hit “Rockstar,” that includes Ricch, which gained further foreign money with a Black Lives Matter-themed remix; “Say So” by the rapper, singer and web firebrand Doja Cat; Eilish’s “Every little thing I Wished”; and Submit Malone’s “Circles.”
Within the music of the yr class, “Black Parade,” “Cardigan” and “Don’t Cease Now” will go up towards “Circles,” “Every little thing I Wished,” Ricch’s hit “The Field,” H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe” and “If the World Was Ending,” by JP Saxe with Julia Michaels, whose recognition on TikTok helped it grow to be a streaming hit.
In one of the best new artist class, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat will compete with Phoebe Bridgers, Ingrid Andress, Chika, D Smoke, Kaytranada and Noah Cyrus, a sister of Miley.
In different contests, one of the best various album class will pit Fiona Apple (“Fetch the Bolt Cutters”) towards Bridgers (“Punisher”), Howard (“Jaime”), Beck (“Hyperspace”) and Tame Impala (“The Sluggish Rush”).
Regardless of who wins greatest nation album, a girl will take dwelling the prize: nominees embody Andress (“Girl Like”), Miranda Lambert (“Wildcard”), Ashley McBryde (“By no means Will”), Brandy Clark (“Your Life Is a File”) and the male-and-female group Little Massive City (“Dusk”).
A number of classes have been adjusted during the last yr, in ways in which intersected with the social justice debates which have been effervescent by the trade.
The world music class was named greatest world music album to keep away from what the academy thought of “connotations of colonialism, people and ‘non-American.’” Nominees embody Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, Antibalas, Burna Boy and Tinariwen.
Over the summer time, because the music trade wrestled with problems with race, the academy introduced that it had renamed city modern as progressive R&B. That change predated the trade’s most up-to-date discussions, however the connotations of “city” have lengthy been debated, together with on the Grammys.
Nominees for greatest progressive R&B album — which, in keeping with the academy’s peculiar musicology, “might embody samples and parts of hip-hop, rap, dance and digital music” in addition to “manufacturing parts present in pop, euro-pop, nation, rock, people and various” — are Aiko, Chloe x Halle, Free Nationals, Robert Glasper and Thundercat.
The nominations for this yr’s 83 classes have been winnowed down from greater than 23,000 submissions — an uptick from the 21,000 that have been submitted for the 62nd annual ceremony, suggesting that musicians have targeted on recording work within the absence of reside alternatives throughout quarantine.
One class was affected by the pandemic, nonetheless. The nominations for greatest immersive audio album — previously often known as greatest encompass sound album — have been delayed as a result of, in keeping with a Recording Academy spokeswoman, the panel of specialists who evaluate these recordings thought of digital conferences however determined that “there was not a method to choose all of the entries in an intensive method that does justice to the entries and was secure for the committee members.”
The entries for that class can be taken up once more subsequent yr, however judged individually from the sixty fourth annual submissions.
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