Even with 94 categories, the Grammy Awards somehow manage to overlook some obvious contenders.
While the 66th annual ceremony will welcome an eclectic parade of acts representing indie, R&B, soul – and Taylor Swift, of course – on Feb. 4, there are always a handful of curious omissions.
Among those facing complete rejection with zero nominations are Shania Twain, Tanya Tucker, Kim Petras, the Jonas Brothers and Jack Harlow.
Then there is Luke Combs, who crossed over with his sincere cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” and netted a lone nomination for best country solo performance, despite his well-received “Gettin’ Old” album. (Awards trivia: Chapman won best pop vocal performance, female, for “Fast Car” in 1989, but lost in song and record of the year categories).
Here are some of the most baffling omissions and obvious slights:
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“Gloria,” the fourth studio album from the soulful Smith, is filled with forthright lyrics that showcase their vulnerability and the type of adventurous music – dancehall, choirs, strings and disco – that indicates an artist’s progression. That Smith, who identifies as nonbinary, was completely shut out is bewildering considering how much love the Recording Academy has shown them since 2014: Five wins, including one at the 2023 ceremony for “Unholy,” the saucy lead single from “Gloria” that featured Kim Petras.
This is perhaps the most egregious snub among the artists blanked in the 2024 nominations. “Trustfall” not only spawned a massive, ubiquitous hit in the title track, but the album is the most stylistically diverse of Pink’s 23-year career. The loss of her father, the challenges in her marriage and the unfettered bliss of a never-ending dance party all coexist on her exceptional ninth release. Oh well. The acrobatic and aerobic feats she showcases on stage are more impressive than any gold hardware and she’ll undoubtedly continue to have the last laugh.
It might be one of the most successful genres in the world, but Grammy voters clearly missed the memo. Though BTS became the first K-pop group to be nominated for a Grammy in 2021, none of the members’ solo work released in the eligibility period of Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 15, 2023 (that would be all of them, except Jung Kook, whose “Golden” will be up in next year’s round) were recognized. Outside of BTS, the K-pop world produced numerous critically appreciated and commercially flourishing releases, including albums from Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together and NewJeans. If the Grammys are going to ignore the genre in general categories, maybe it’s time for even more specialty adds.
Maybe it sounds odd to classify someone who received four nominations as being cold-shouldered. But does anyone think Drake wasn’t expecting an album of the year nomination for his collaboration with 21 Savage (“Her Loss”)? Drizzy famously withdrew his name from Grammy contention in 2022 and decided not to submit his “Honestly, Nevermind” album for the 2023 ceremony. Of course, since any Recording Academy member – songwriter, producer, et. al – who worked on the material is eligible to submit, it’s unclear if Drake, personally, greenlit the submissions. But there are worse consolation prizes than nominations for best rap album, best melodic rap performance (“Spin Bout U”) and best rap song and best rap performance (“Rich Flex”).
Much like last year when his hits-packed “Equals” album was unjustly overlooked in major categories, the earnest British singer-songwriter deserved better than a single nomination in the best pop vocal album category for his heartbreaking “Subtract.” His poignant study of loss both sudden and potential bore a modest hit in the sweetly sad “Eyes Closed,” which was completely ignored. Sheeran’s musical portrait of grief exposed his maturity as a songwriter and merited a bigger platform of applause.
The producer/DJ closely associated with work by Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Travis Scott and Drake, is up for producer of the year, nonclassical, an indisputably prestigious category. But there was much chatter that his “Heroes & Villains” album bursting with features from John Legend, Chris Brown, the Weeknd and Gunna, as well as Metro’s usual crew, would earn an obvious slot in the album of the year category. Instead, he’s settling for a single artistic nod for best rap album.
Clearly, the fan base has forgiven Wallen, but the music industry, not so much. His “One Thing At a Time” album spent 15 weeks at No. 1 and broke all types of records, including one set by Drake in 2018 for the most songs by an artist on the Billboard Hot 100 at one time. Wallen also achieved his first No. 1 hit with “Last Night” – also his lone nomination for best country song – and sold out stadiums across the country this summer. But the video that surfaced in January 2021 of Wallen using a racial slur is an offense that still follows his mainstream career.