Taylor Swift, Beyoncé & Other Artists Snubbed By 2019 The Grammys
Today (December 7), the nominations were announced for the 2019 Grammys, and it’s something of a mixed bag. Every year, it seems increasingly difficult for the Academy (or any other awards show) to get it right. Particularly when it comes to pop artists. In fairness, some measures were put in place to limit the inevitable fallout this year. The Big 4 categories – Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Best New Artist – were expanded to include eight acts instead of five. However, even with the extra space, there were some glaring omissions.
Let’s start with the obvious examples. Taylor Swift is a darling to the Academy with two previous Album Of The Year wins to her name. Considering its status as a mega-seller, Reputation seemed like a surefire nominee. However, it is only up for Best Pop Vocal Album – standout single “Delicate” is nowhere to be found. Also notable for their absence are The Carters (as in Beyonce and Jay-Z). Music’s power couple pulled off another surprise release with Everything Is Love. Seriously, who else manages these with such regularity? They’re up for three awards but none of the night’s highest honors. Are we really going to do this to Bey again?
Then there are two of 2018’s biggest pop princesses. Ariana Grande didn’t go and save pop music with “No Tears Left To Cry” for it to be excluded from the Song and Record Of The Year categories. The “thank u, next” chart-topper is only up for two awards – Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album. Between “NTLTC” and Sweetener, she surely deserved at least one mention in the Big 4. The same could be said for Camila Cabello. With the breakout success of “Havana,” a chart-topping album and a second Top 10 single under her belt, the hitmaker seems underrepresented.
That leads to several glaring misses in the pop categories. Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato’s underrated “Fall In Line” got a nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. However, Liberation deserved one for Best Pop Vocal Album. As did Kylie Minogue’s Golden. It’s an already flooded category with Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Shawn Mendes, Ari and Camila already competing. But there were so many others deserving recognition. Another example is Troye Sivan’s Bloom. The crooner received near critical acclaim for his sophomore LP. But he is nowhere to be seen in the mix of nominees.
If nothing else, either the album’s title track or “My My My!” could have been recognized for Best Pop Solo Performance. Demi’s confessional “Sober” should also be in the running. However, like last year’s Tell Me You Love Me, it somehow missed the mark. With only one previous nomination to her name, the pop star has been criminally overlooked. Selena Gomez and Lana Del Rey are in the same category. Despite maintaining an active presence on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Back To You” and “Taki Taki,” Sel once again got no love. “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch” were also eligible but ignored.
Meanwhile, Marshmello and Anne-Marie’s “Friends” belonged in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. The streaming sensation is just outside the Top 20 on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100, which is a testament to its impressive staying power. Even more surprising is the absence of his Bastille duet, “Happier.” The song is currently Top 3 on the Hot 100, after all. Also, where is Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid’s “Eastside”? This is another streaming giant that likely deserved at least one nod.
You can’t mention Khalid without thinking about “Love Lies” this year. The duet with Normani went Top 10 and is one of 2018’s most organic hits. Not only that, but it is a quality listen that should be represented. And K-Pop kings BTS literally made history this year. Love Yourself: Tear was the first K-Pop album to top the Billboard 200, and they took “Fake Love” into the Top 10 as well. The LP is up for Best Recording Package, but is that all it deserves?
Hip-hop is likely to win big come February 10. Drake, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar and Post Malone are amongst the most-nominated artists. However, one rapper who didn’t make the cut is Nicki Minaj. There’s no denying that Queen was met with mixed reviews, but “Chun-Li” at least should have made it into one of the rap-specific categories. Equally confusing is the exclusion of Eminem. Both Revival and Kamikaze topped the charts and were eligible this year.
Another category with some misses is Best New Artist. Hayley Kiyoko, who had a breakout year, is nowhere to be found. Neither is MNEK, though Language took his fledging solo career to the next level. Kim Petras and Billie Eilish also make a lot of sense here. The “Heart To Break” diva has the golden touch for bops. And the “Lovely” siren has so many streaming hits that I’ve lost count. Arguments could be made for Normani and Camila to appear in the category, too.
Did we miss anyone else who deserved recognition?