By Camille Rasor | Arts & Life Editor
This year was a weird one for all of us, but nothing stopped people from doing what we do best: creating art, and on Tuesday, the Recording Academy announced the list of nominees who they think brought out the best this year had to offer in music.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve read quite a bit of hot takes on the Grammy nominations this year, but I’d like to go ahead and share mine. I would also like to add a disclaimer here that these are just my opinions. Please don’t come for me.
Beyoncé leads the pack with the most nominations this year, as she should. Her music this year was the best stuff she’s put out since her 2016 album Lemonade. I reviewed one of the songs she is nominated for, “Black Parade,” earlier this semester. Over all, she is up for awards in nine categories from Record of the Year to Best R&B Performance to Best Rap Song to Best Music Film.
Following Queen Bey in number of nominations are Dua Lipa, Roddy Rich and, of course, Taylor Swift. Each artists ended the day with six nominations of their own.
I want to write in a particular kudos to Megan Thee Stallion on her four nominations. I’m a huge Meg stan, and I can’t wait to see what else she’ll release in future years. For anyone disappointed (myself included) that Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s breakout song “WAP” didn’t make the list, don’t worry. It looks like it will be submitted to the Recording Academy for consideration next year.
I’m not going to pretend like I’m an impartial critic when it comes to Taylor Swift. She is one of my biggest role models, not just in her music but in the way she conducts herself, the way she has rebounded from heartbreak and bad press and the misogyny of her industry. I truly love “Folklore,” the album she put out this year, and I am so incredibly proud of her for all the nominations she received.
If Swift wins Album of the Year, which makes up just one of her nomination slots this year, she will be the first woman to win that award three times at the Grammys, and she will be tied with Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder for artists with the most Album of the Year wins.
Speaking of Album of the Year, I would just like to note how incredibly confused I was when they read off the list of nominations, especially when I saw that Coldplay’s recent album, “Everyday Life,” was read aloud. I had honestly never heard of the album before, and the only other category it is only nominated for is for Best Recording Package, an award based purely on the visual look of an album. I still do not understand why it made the top eight albums of the year.
If it were my choice, I would replace Coldplay’s nomination with Harry Styles’ sophomore album “Fine Line.” Styles received three other nominations for his work on the album, including Best Music Video, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album, though I was really hoping he would get the Album of the Year nomination. I truly think his work deserves it.
Among the other notable snubs this year, I was shocked to not see the Weeknd nominated anywhere across the board. His album, “After Hours,” was virtually inescapable this year and for good reason. His vocals are consistent, he writes great songs and “After Hours” brings back an ’80s nostalgia loved by fans of all musical tastes.
There were some other nominations that I was shocked by. For instance, four nominations for Justin Bieber is absolutely ridiculous. His song “Yummy” is mockingly bad on so many fronts, and his album “Changes” does not deserve to sit in the same category alongside Swift’s “Folklore,” Styles’ “Fine Line” and Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia,” all nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. In all honesty, it is 2020. We can all move on from Justin Bieber. It’s time for everyone to let go.
I would add that Kanye West’s nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album is laughable, full stop.
All in all, rap, R&B, hip hop and pop artists have carried the music industry all year. While there were definite headscratchers when it came to particular nominations, I was overall just very proud of the artists nominated this year. The award ceremony will take place on January 31 next year, and the full list of nominations can be found here.