The Recording Academy announced their nominees for the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on Nov. 24 and as always, the selection was met with some praise and a lot of controversy.
Across the 83 different categories and hundreds of nominees, all eyes have turned to the picks for the general field awards: Song of The Year, Record of The Year, Best New Artist and the coveted, sacred Album of The Year.
For those not playing the long game, I’ll be sure to give everyone a brief explanation of what each award entails, as well as some of the key nominees.
Here are the nominees:
Song of The Year rewards lyricism. Rather than focus on the popularity of a song, the award goes to what the Academy considers to be the best written song of that cycle. The nominees include the viral hit “The Box” by Roddy Rich, the indie viber “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift and the timely “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R.
Record of The Year is the award that highlights the song with the best production quality — including instrumentals and vocals. Songs such as the TikTok famous “Say So” by Doja Cat, the monumental disco banger “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa and the iconic collab between Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce, “Savage Remix.”
Best New Artist goes to the artist who made a breakthrough during the eligibility period while also having some level of cultural impact. Some of the nominees to grace the category include hip-hop favorite Megan Thee Stallion, country breakthrough Ingrid Andress and indie sensation Phoebe Bridgers.
Album of The Year is — arguably — the most coveted award. Not only does it factor in the criteria for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year, but it immortalizes an era. It represents the supreme, defining album of that year. Of course, the Academy hasn’t always been the best about discerning which project gets that (Beyonce’s "Lemonade" snub). The most notable nominees include "Future Nostalgia" by Dua Lipa, "Hollywood’s Bleeding" by Post Malone and the titan that is "folklore" by Taylor Swift.
Beyonce currently leads the pack, with a total of nine nominations across all categories. Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa are tied for second, with six each. These industry titans will be the ones to watch the night of the awards.
However, a discussion about these years nominees isn’t had without the massive backlash the Academy has faced — specifically, with regard to the Best New Artist and Album of The Year categories.
Album of The Year is chalk full of wildly left-field selections. Projects like "Djesse Vol. 3" by Jacob Collier and "Everyday Life" by Coldplay didn’t seem to have the same cultural impact, critical acclaim, or popularity as past category nominees.
Furthermore, the several artists nominated for Best New Artists seem to be relatively unknown (or have already been long established with Noah Cyrus) — contradicting The Academy’s reasoning for having this award in the first place.
While there are well deserved nominations, Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift come to mind, there were a depressingly high amount of snubs. Artists like Rina Sawayama, Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple, Harry Styles and the entirety of the kpop industry didn’t get nearly the amount of love they should have relative to their success.
And of course, the criminal exclusion of The Weeknd from this year’s selection is something to point out.
Entertainment publications across the world predicted that The Weeknd and Taylor would be the ones duking it out this year. Instead, "After Hours" and “Blinding Lights” weren’t given a single nod, leading to both their creator and other artists like Halsey to speak out about the politics of the Recording Academy.
Regardless, the 63rd Grammys is sure to be a roller coaster. So throw on your headphones and get to listening, because we’ve got a lot of music to cover.