We want to speak to the Grammys manager...
The nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards are finally here, but it's left a lot of people scratching their heads in bewilderment. Not only are there a number of names on there that have somehow avoided hitting the radar all year, but there are also a few prominent artists missing from certain categories.
The Weeknd at Uncut Gems premiere 2019 / Photo Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/PA Images
Perhaps the most notable is the absence of The Weeknd from all categories; a remarkable notion when you consider the fact that After Hours is his most iconic release yet, with the song Blinding Lights being one of the most well-played tracks of the year. The Weeknd hasn't taken this snub lying down either, Tweeting earlier today: "The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency..."
Instead of Blinding Lights we have comparably mediocre singles like Black Pumas' Colors and DaBaby's Rockstar ft. Roddy Ricch up for Record of the Year, admittedly among the more deserving Black Parade by Beyonce, Doja Cat's Say So, Billie Eilish's Everything I Wanted, Dua Lipa's Don't Start Now, Post Malone's Circles and Megan Thee Stallion's Savage ft. Beyonce.
Meanwhile, After Hours was passed over in favour of Taylor Swift's Folklore, Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia, Post Malone's Hollywood's Bleeding and Haim's Women In Music Pt. III which would be fine but... Jhené Aiko's Chilombo? Jacob Collier's Djesse Vol.3? Black Pumas again? COLDPLAY'S EVERYDAY LIFE?! Are we seriously saying those four records are more deserving of a Grammys nod than After Hours?
At least Harry Styles made an appearance among Best Pop Vocal Album nominations with Fine Line, while his song Watermelon Sugar gets a Best Pop Solo Performance nod. Not quite the main categories we expected of him, but as it turns out Harry's team submitted Adore You for Record of the Year and Song of the Year rather than Watermelon Sugar, so we can hardly blame the Grammys for that one. Likewise, the reason why you won't see Cardi B's WAP anywhere is simply because she hasn't submitted it for the 2021 awards, choosing instead to submit it next year to coincide with the forthcoming album release.
It was the Best Rap Album list that came completely out of leftfield this year. We'd go as far as to say that every single one of them was a surprise to see on there. Instead of the impressive youth patrol of rappers including Lil Baby with My Turn, Lil Uzi Vert with Eternal Atake and posthumous releases from Juice Wrld (Legends Never Die) and Pop Smoke (Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon), we get a bunch of has-beens with albums that nobody's been listening to this year: namely D Smoke's Black Habits, Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist's Alfredo, Jay Electronica's A Written Testimony, Nas' King's Disease and Royce Da 5’9"'s The Allegory.
Pop Smoke and Lil Baby did at least get nominated for Best Rap Performance for their respective singles Dior and The Bigger Picture. Not really enough to restore our faith in the Grammys, but it's a worthy gesture.
Another name that didn't pop up quite as often as we thought it would was K-Pop titans BTS, who only have one nomination and that's for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with their song Dynamite. It is, however, the first K-Pop nomination we've ever seen amongst the Grammys, so that is actually an example of progress.
On the other hand, we have no idea what happened to the Country section of the Grammy nominations, because Country Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards' Album of the Year winner Luke Combs failed to get even a blink in any category despite the acclaim for his sophomore album What You See Is What You Get.
A few disappointments then, but at least the Grammys are one thing we can't blame on COVID-19 or Trump.