Mariah Carey, Madonna & Other Artists Snubbed By The 2020 Grammys
Today (November 20), nominations were announced for the 2020 Grammy Awards. And to call the nominees a mixed bag is something of an understatement. It’s great for artists like Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X to get the recognition they deserve with multiple nominations across the biggest categories. They are arguably amongst the year’s biggest breakout stars after all. The same could be said for the likes of Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, who each picked up a couple nods a piece. However, there were still glaring omissions on the behalf of the Academy.
Let’s start with some of the most obvious within the Big Four categories. It is downright offensive that both Madonna’s Madame X and Mariah Carey’s Caution overlooked for Album Of The Year. The living legends dropped two of the finest records during the eligibility period and were somehow overlooked. Other LPs that deserved to make the cut include Taylor’s Lover, Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift or Homecoming, Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born soundtrack and BTS’s MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA. The K-Pop Kings dominated the Billboard 200 three times in the last year and a half, and it’s time for them to be recognized by more awards shows.
Now let’s look at Best New Artist. Several of the year’s most obvious up-and-comers made the list. But where is Megan Thee Stallion? The “Hot Girl Summer” rapper really took off but is somehow missing from every category. I’m also waiting for the Academy to stop sleeping on Kim Petras. The ascendent pop princess graced us with not one but two excellent projects. It’s time for her talents to be recognized. Then there’s K-Pop acts BLACKPINK and Monsta X. They’re building a larger global following by the day and are surely at the level to make the cut.
Another sorely overlooked name in the category is FLETCHER. She’s been on fire since dropping “Undrunk,” and you ruined new york city for me is one of the year’s strongest EPs. Although the Grammys tend not to recognize ex-acts in the Best New category, I’d also argue that this is the time to make an exception for Normani. The “Motivation” diva dropped one of the most unforgettable videos in recent memory and is poised to become the Next Big Thing. Another obvious choice is Lauv who is dropping bop after bop while getting ready for the release of his new album in 2020. Not only that, but he just landed a writing credit on Celine Dion’s Courage. Of course, one final option is Lewis Capaldi who at least got a nod for Song Of The Year but could easily land here, too.
On that note, both Song and Record Of The Year do a decent job of covering the sheer scope of genres. However, you can always add a couple more options to the list. For starters, I’d like to see Sam Smith and Normani’s “Dancing With A Stranger” on one of the other. The silky smooth anthem is one of the biggest songs of the year and would have been a welcome addition. Also, there’s Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita.” With nearly one billion Spotify streams the slinky gem is an undeniable successes. Equally confusing is the absence of Halsey’s chart-topping “Without Me.” A country option is Maren Morris’s “The Bones” or Luke Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
I’m also surprised by the lack of Cardi B in the Big Four. If nothing else “Money” could have brought another hip-hop/rap title to the forefront. On that topic, Iggy Azalea has been overlooked once again. In My Defense could have been up for Best Rap Album and any of its singles deserve recognition. She also should have been a shoe-in for Best Music Video with gems like “Sally Walker” and “Started.” Meanwhile, Megan’s Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Hot Girl Summer” should be in one of the collaboration categories. I’d say the same about any of Post Malone’s collabs. A particular favorite is “Goodbyes” with Young Thug.
Now I’d like to turn our attention to the pop section. Best Pop Solo Performance already features a slew of the biggest female pop stars. However, this is a spot where I can easily carve out space for more choices. Here’s another opportunity for Kim Petras to join the fold with any of the string of singles she graced us with this year. Of course, Sam Smith’s “How Do You Sleep?” is equally lush. And where is Katy Perry?! “Never Really Over” is a perfect pop song, and I hate that it’s been snubbed. Miley Cyrus is missing. She’s up for Best Remixed Recordings but “Slide Away” and “Mother’s Daughter” both belong, too.
Then there’s Ben Platt. “Grow As We Go” is my favorite single he dropped. But there are plenty of other choices if the soulful ballad isn’t for you. Tove Lo’s “Glad He’s Gone” (only up for Best Music Video) is another clear option. As is Pink’s “Walk Me Home.” Speaking of, all three hitmaker’s albums belonged in Best Pop Vocal Album. So does Carly Rae Jepsen’s sublime Dedicated, though. Pop perfection should not be slept on like this. It’s strange to see Jonas Brother’s Happiness Begins missing. Nick, Joe and Kevin’s reunion resulted in one of the year’s biggest opening weeks, and it makes a lot of sense to celebrate that.
In the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category where is Julia Michaels? Either “Anxiety” (with Selena Gomez) or “What A Time” (with Niall Horan) are obvious standouts. And if not those, the star has countless other flawless options to choose from. Here’s another spot to place “Dancing With A Stranger,” too. If the Academy wanted to mix it up a bit, I could also picture Lauv and Troye Sivan’s “I’m So Tired…” That’s an underrated bop that certainly fits the bill. Or they could highlight any of the collabs off Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings.
An obvious first choice is his Miley-assisted “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart.” But I could also imagine Camila’s “Find U Again” or YEBBA’s “Don’t Leave Me Lonely.” Although Charli XCX’s Charli arrived outside the eligibility period, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a couple options for this category. I’d throw my support behind her Christine And The Queens duet “Gone.” It’s sublime. However, there’s also space for the Lizzo duet “Blame It On Your Love” or even HAIM’s “Warm.” And another chance to do Madonna justice? If it was impossible to recognize the glory of Madame X, why not give her and Maluma a nod for “Medellin”?
But wait there’s still more. On the topic of high-powered collabs, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran’s “I Don’t Care” just missed the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. No.6 Collaborations Project is up for a nod, but why not fit them in this category. It’s also surprising that Tove and Kylie Minogue’s excellent “Really don’t like u” isn’t accounted for. That brings me to the Latin categories. Here’s my first question: How did Anitta’s Kisses get overlooked? The audiovisual album should be a mainstay in Best Latin Pop Album. Then ROSALÍA and Ozuna’s “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi” belongs somewhere. Same for any of the bops Becky G shared. An obvious choice since Maluma is up for Best Latin Pop Album is “La Respuesta.”
I’d like to end by looking at the Best Dance Recording section. Can someone explain how Kygo and Whitney Houston’s “Higher Love” didn’t make the cut? Another glaring oversight is Katy and Zedd’s “365.” It’s also strange to see The Chainsmokers totally absent. If given a choice, I’d select their Winona Oak collab “Hope.” But I wouldn’t be too picky if it came down to it. Did we miss anyone else who deserved recognition?