Today, the Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards. The nominations varied from up-and-comers Julia Michaels (2 nominations), SZA (5 nominations) and Khalid (5 nominations), to seasoned artists such as Kendrick Lamar (7 nominations) and Bruno Mars (6 nominations). Though the academy rightfully nominated some big-name artists, it goes without arguing that they definitely left out some key players in the music industry. Here’s some thoughts on the nominations:

1. No women were nominated for Record of the Year

Though all of these songs are rightfully nominated in their own way, it is utterly absurd that there were no women nominated in the category for Record of the Year. Though Lorde is nominated for Album of the Year, a nomination for “Green Light” is definitely worthy in this category. Other female contenders could have been Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” or Halsey’s “Now or Never."  It’s also surprising to see no nomination for Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” seeming that is was massively overplayed on the radio and it has almost surpassed 1.5 billion plays on Spotify. Here is the full list of nominees for Record of the Year:

Record of the Year

  • “Redbone” — Childish Gambino
  • “Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justine Bieber 
  • “The Story of O.J.” — Jay-Z
  • “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar 
  • “24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

2. Harry Styles has ZERO nominations

Ever since the disbanding of One Direction, Harry Styles has been a busy bee with his solo debut Harry Styles and his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Styles honed in on classic rock vibes with his debut album, and created something effortlessly unique and perfectly “Harry.” The album is far from anything One Direction ever did and its lack of Grammy nominations, despite heavy critical praise, makes it seem as if the Recording Academy does not really take Styles seriously. It is a shame that the Gucci suit-wearing star does not have any nominations, but I am sure that he is doing just fine in life. 

3. Rap and R&B have taken over the Grammy nominations

Rap and R&B music has been heavily popular in the past year. With albums such as Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. or Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic dominating the charts, it’s no wonder why the two genres are also dominating the Grammy nominations. It is refreshing to see that four of the five Album of the Year nominees are either rap or R&B artists. Though I am personally pulling for Lorde’s Melodrama to win the category, I’d settle for Kendrick’s DAMN. or Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” Throughout the rest of the categories, there is a heavy display of rap and R&B artists, such as SZA, Lil Uzi Vert and Khalid. Along with four of the five artists being either rap or R&B, four of the five are also men of color. According to Twitter, this is the first time a white man has not been nominated for Album of the Year in 19 years. Here is all of the nominees for Album of the Year: 

Album of the Year:

  • “Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
  • 4:44 — Jay-Z
  • DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
  • Melodrama — Lorde
  • 24K Magic — Bruno Mars 

4. SZA has the most nominations out of all the female nominees 

R&B artist SZA has racked up five nominations throughout the 2018 Grammy’s nominations. Her nominations include Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Rap/Sung Performance. SZA is at the top of the leaderboard for female, and it’s especially exciting due to the fact that CTRL is her debut studio album. 

5. The Best New Artist Category is brilliant

This year’s category for Best New Artist is jammed pack with great artists. Including Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA, it is really a toss-up for who will win. My money is on either Khalid, SZA or Julia Michaels. Though Alessia Cara is young, she is not necessarily a new artist because she has produced quite a lot of music and has also featured on a lot of other artists’ songs. The nomination of Lil Uzi Vert is a little odd, but it would not be right to say his music was not popular in 2017. Overall, the category is quite the nail biter, and it will be interesting to see who the award is given to.  

6. Ed Sheeran was snubbed 

Master singer-songwriter and pop artist Ed Sheeran was snubbed. There is no other way to put it. The artist did receive two nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance with “Shape of You” and Best Pop Vocal Album with Divide; however, both “Shape of You” and Divide deserved better. Sheeran’s third studio album blew up, and it is perplexing to see that it did not receive a nomination for Album of the Year. Another category Sheeran surprisingly did not feature in was Record of the Year. “Shape of You” was everywhere. With the single currently have the most streams on Spotify, one would think it would be recognized in the category. Apparently not. 

7. Dear Evan Hansen will (probably) secure a win for Best Musical Theater Album 

Having only three nominees in the category, Dear Evan Hansen will most likely secure the win for Best Musical Theater Album. Going up against Come From Away and Hello, Dolly!, the Ben Platt lead musical is a given win. The Broadway musical has received critical praise and its portrayal of mental illness is a milestone in musical theater. Having previously won multiple Tony Awards, the musical’s music and lyrics, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, deserve to also take home the Grammy. 

8. Sam Smith surprisingly did not get a nomination for “Too Good At Goodbyes”

Though Sam Smith’s album The Thrill Of It All missed the Sept. 30 nomination deadline by a month, his single “Too Good At Goodbyes” made the date; however, it received no nominations. In my opinion, the single deserved to be nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Especially over Kelly Clarkson’s “Love So Soft,” no offense to Ms. Clarkson. “Too Good At Goodbyes” still sits at No. 8 in the iTunes Top 10 for the Pop genre; while Clarkson’s “Love So Soft” is down at No. 20. I guess you could say the Recording Academy snubbed Sam Smith also. 

9. Icelandic rock band Kaleo somehow nabbed a nomination for Best Rock Performance 

With many great rock artists coming out with new music in 2017, it’s surprising to see Kaleo get a nomination for “No Good.” The song was featured on the soundtrack for the now cancelled HBO show Vinyl. Alongside artists The Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell, Leonard Cohen and Nothing More, there’s really no competition between them and Kaleo. Better possible nominees could have been Thirty Seconds to Mars with their single “Walk On Water,” which is their first song in four years. Other possible nominees are Green Day’s “Bang Bang” or Linkin Park’s “One More Light.” Overall, I am hoping Foo Fighter’s take home the win with “Run.” 

10. Jay-Z surprisingly has eight nominations

Though Jay-Z is a seasoned rapper and well known, I would not necessarily guess that he would receive the most nominations at the 2018 Grammy Awards and I was wrong. The rapper has roped in eight nominations, making him the artist with the most throughout the whole award show. It is surprising to say the least. Jay-Z’s album, 4:44, is beautifully crafted, and I understand his nomination for Album of the Year. However, it is his nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year that are puzzling to say the least. I would not necessarily say “the Story of O.J.” or “4:44” were massive hits this year, but I guess to each their own. 

Check out the complete list of nomination for the 2018 Grammy’s here.

The 2018 Grammy’s will air Jan. 28 on CBS.


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