Grammy facts: Blurred genre lines and a retiree revolution
With new rules in place this year and a promise to regain trust among its members, the Recording Academy released its nominations on Tuesday for its 64th Grammy Awards. Here are some facts about this year’s nominees:
A RETIREE REVOLUTION:
Certainly pop music tends to cater to young teens, but this year’s record of the year category nominees range from ages 95 to 18, with names that multi-generational families will all recognize. Tony Bennett, the oldest of the bunch and packing 18 Grammy wins under his belt, is nominated with Lady Gaga for their version of “I Get a Kick Out of You.” But Swedish pop icons ABBA aren’t resting on their laurels either. The four Scandinavian septuagenarians are up for their first ever Grammy nomination for their comeback song “I Still Have Faith In You.” Perhaps grandparents and grandchildren will have something to bond over at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Country star Morgan Wallen’s commercial highs came at the same time of his own personal lows. Wallen was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier this year, but, despite that, his album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” was one of the biggest selling albums of the year, spending 10 weeks on top of Billboard 200 albums chart. Wallen was disqualified or limited from several music award shows this year and the Recording Academy gave him no nominations this year.
The general record of the year and song of the year categories also left out some major singles that dominated both social media and the charts. Kali Uchis found an audience for her mixed language hit “Telepatía” on TikTok, while Cardi B extended her reign with her No. 1 hit “Up,” which is nominated only for best rap performance. But a more surprising snub is BTS’ “Butter,” a megahit of the summer from the Korean band, but their only Grammy nod this year came in the best pop dup/group performance category.
SILK SONIC SURPRISE
New duo Silk Sonic made their TV debut on the last Grammy Awards show and now they return as nominees, although they only released a small number of songs in the eligibility period. Of course, when the duo is 11-time Grammy winner Bruno Mars and four-time Grammy winner Anderson .Paak, special attention must be paid. The duo earned four nominations including record of the year, song of the year, best R&B song and best R&B performance.
Comedian Louis C.K. is nominated for best comedy album for “Sincerely Louis CK,” a comeback after acknowledging sexual misconduct allegations made against him by several women in 2017. The album came from a film that C.K. released on his website last year.
Dave Chappelle is also nominated this year for best spoken word album for “8:46,” a special he released last year after the killing of George Floyd. The nomination comes as the comedian deals with backlash from his most recent Netflix special and his anti-transgender remarks.
While the Recording Academy’s new rules this year meant ditching the anonymous selection committees, some artists still found themselves in categories they didn’t want to be in. Six-time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile is nominated for song of the year and record of the year for her single “Right On Time,” which also got a nomination in the best pop solo performance. But Carlile posted on social media last month that she was disappointed by the academy’s decision to move the song into the pop category, instead of American roots where it was initially submitted.
Rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed in 2020, earned another posthumous Grammy nomination, this time as a contributor on Kanye West’s “Donda,” which is nominated for album of the year. DMX earned a Grammy nomination for best rap song for “Bath Salts,” featuring Jay-Z and Nas, which was released after his death earlier this year. And jazz pianist Chick Corea has four nominations this year in the jazz, Latin jazz and classical categories. Corea died earlier this year due to cancer.