2022 Grammy nominations: Absent a clear favorite (and secret committees), something for everyone

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Seventy-seven years apart, the oldest and youngest artist was nominated for a major award at the 64th Grammy Awards, for which nominations were announced Tuesday morning by the Recording Academy.

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On the upper end: Tony Bennett, 95, who earned a nod for album of the year with “Love for Sale,” his and Lady Gaga’s collaborative tribute to Cole Porter’s music. And below: Olivia Rodrigo, 18, in search of the same coveted award with her smash pop debut, “Sour.”

The three-quarters of a century between the two singers is the greatest era in Grammy history—and yet it’s far from the only example of the Academy’s eagerness to anoint new stars, even as it’s established talent. celebrates. A year after the music industry’s foremost trade conglomerate rejected The Weeknd outright – in the process raising widespread doubts about backroom vote-rigging – the Academy held a let-satisfy with nominations for the annual ceremony. Took something about everyone’s point of view. 31 in downtown Los Angeles at the Staples Center (which until then will be called the Crypto.com Arena).

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For Album of the Year, nominees beyond the Rodrigo and Bennett/Gaga duo include Bieber’s “Justice”, Doja Cat’s “Planet Her”, Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever”, Lil Nas X’s “Montero” and Taylor Swift. Includes “Evermore”. Commercial blockbusters with strong online followings—with HER’s “Back of My Mind,” “Donda” by the endlessly controversial Kanye West and, most surprisingly, John Battist’s “We Are.” The Louisiana-born jazz and soul artist, familiar to many as the bandleader of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, is the most nominated act for the 64th Grammys, featuring traditional R&B performances, including original American songs. There are 11 nodes in the categories. Improvised jazz solo and score soundtrack for visual media (for his work on the Pixar film “Soul”).

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Other acts with multiple nominations include Bieber, Doja Cat and HER (each with eight) and Eilish and Rodrigo (with seven each).

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For Record of the Year, Rodrigo’s rendition of the Gen Z Power ballad “Driver’s License” and Bennett and Gaga’s “weird-duet”I get a kick out of You“will compete against hit singles by streaming powerhouses like Bieber (“peach“), Doja Cat (“kiss me more“), Eilish (“happier than ever”) and Lil Nas X (“Montero (call me by your name)”) — plus Silk Sonic’s throwback Philly-Soul Jam”leave the door open“And Abba’s”i still believe in you, from the veteran Swedish group’s first album in 40 years. Also in the mix: Batiste’s “Freedom” and “right on time“Butter” by old-soul Grammy fave Brandi Carlyle—though not the BTS chart-topping “Butter”, an omission that is sure to be seized upon by the K-pop boy band’s ultra-devoted fanbase. (“Butter” pop/duo group performance nominated for.)

Song of the Year — a Songwriter’s Award versus Record of the Year, which goes to the artists and producers — includes “Driver’s License,” “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” “Kiss Me More,” “Peaches,” “” Quit”. Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits,” HER’s “Against the Door Open” and “Happier Than Ever”fight for you(which won an Oscar earlier this year after appearing in “Judas and the Black Messiah”) and a pair of tunes co-written by Carlyle: “Right on Time” and “A Beautiful Noise”, after which he Recorded last year as another perennial Grammy act, a get-out-the-vote anthem with Alicia Keys.

Rodrigo’s nod for Best New Artist makes him the 13th artist in Grammy history to be nominated for all four major awards in a single night; Eilish, most recently with Lizzo, really swept the big categories in 2020. Rodrigo’s competition includes Eilish’s brother Phineas, who recently began a solo career; rappers Sweetie, Baby Kim and Australia’s The Kid Laroi; Rock Acts Glass Animals and Japanese Breakfast; singer-songwriter Arlo Parks; Country star Jimmy Allen and Pakistani musician and singer Aroz Aftab, 36, whose song “Mohabbat” made former President Obama’s summer 2021 playlist. (Obama himself is gearing up for the Spoken Word album with Dave Chappelle, Don Cheadle, and LeVar Burton.)

Lil Nas X is nominated for Song, Record and Album of the Year.
(Charlotte Rutherford)

The 64th Grammys is the first to feature 10 nominees in four major categories, up from eight over the years. In an interview, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said that more than 21,000 recordings had been submitted for consideration by the group’s approximately 11,000 voting members and “we wanted to provide as many artists as possible the opportunity to be represented.” “

The change had not been announced in advance, which Mason framed as a sign of the Academy’s “fast acting, with a predilection for action”.

“We didn’t want to wait, and it’s not something we’ve always been known for,” he said, acknowledging the stick-in-the-mud reputation of a group that founded Mason nearly two years ago. predecessor was removed. , Deborah Dugan, after expressing concerns about voting irregularities and the toxic boys’ club environment. “But it’s something we’re proud of right now. We’re listening, we’re learning, we’re asking.”

Lady Gaga kisses Tony Bennett on the cheek at an event
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga in 2015.
(Charles Sykes/InVision/AP)

In fact, even this slate of nominees is the first in decades, the Academy says, not shaped by secret committees of anonymous insiders that historically oversaw — and sometimes revised — the first rounds of voters. the option. Following a public outcry by Dugan and The Weeknd, the latter of whom accused the Academy of being “corrupt” in a viral tweet when their blockbuster “After Hours” album failed to score a single, the group released the album in April. announced that it had abolished its so-called nomination review committees and further pledged to run a clean vote. (The Weeknd has stated that he declined to submit his latest work for Grammy consideration, although he is up for the Melodic Rap Performance Award with his appearance on West’s song “Hurricane”.)

Mason said the change caused “mixed feelings” among members of the Academy, some of whom felt that the committees “had a very good purpose in ensuring that there was a balance in the music represented and that it was just a popularity.” There was no competition.” He said this year’s results “are beginning to prove our hypothesis” that the academy – long known as a bastion of old-white-male values ​​- is successfully expanding and diversifying its membership; It says it invited more than 2,700 recording professionals to join this year and about half were women, half people of color and more than half under the age of 40.

Mason’s leanings stand out in a few categories — rap albums, for example, which were filled in by past-their-prime MCs at the 63rd Grammys but this time featuring Drake, J. Recognizes work by important acts such as Cole and Tyler, Creator. With wide nominations for Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, the country album category feels equally well informed. (Morgan Wallen, the young country superstar caught on video using the N-word earlier this year, received no nominations.)

Billie Eilish in a ball gown
Billie Eilish, seen here at the 2021 Met Gala, has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards.
(Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images)

Yet in recent years a number of go-to Grammy acts have featured in these nominations: with Anderson.Pak as the half of Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars is gearing up for his sixth record of the year—only Frank Sinatra and Beyoncé. has been nominated more times – while Eilish may become the first artist to win three consecutive ceremonies in that category. Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters both earned several nominations in the rock categories; Jay-Z is now the most nominees in Grammy history with 83, with three awards for his appearances on songs by Kanye West and DMX.

Other proven faves were only lightly decorated, however, including Swift, who earned only one nomination, and Casey Musgraves, whose song “Camera Roll” was nominated for two Country Awards, but whose LP ” Star-Crossed”—the follow-up to 2018’s Grammy-winning “Golden Hour”—was overlooked in the general categories. (Last month the president of the Musgraves Record Company began a spirited discussion of the academy’s taxonomical procedures when he wrote a letter to Mason complaining that “Star-Crossed” was banned from competing in the country album category because it There was not enough country.)

Adele, a credible success story at the Grammys, released her new album, “30,” after a eligibility window of September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, whenever she makes an appearance.

As for January’s ceremony, Mason said she is “excited about getting audience members back in the seats” after the 63rd Grammys, in a crowd-free setting in and around the LA Convention in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Combines live and pre-recorded performances. Center.

“We will do something to make sure the artists are safe,” Mason said. “But it’s definitely going to be a different show than the last one — closer to the show that we’ve done in the past.”

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