2019 Grammy Snubs Target The Women Of Pop

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The Grammys always seem to get it wrong. After spending the past decade ignoring the critical and commercial value to rap music, they’ve now over-corrected and left out some huge pop albums from their 2019 nominations.

The Recording Academy expanded their Big 4 categories (album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist) to eight nominees each, making glaring omissions even more surprising within the overload of artists. One of the biggest headlines from the nominations is inevitably going to be Ariana Grande‘s snubs for AOTY, SOTY and record of the year, only one day after receiving Billboard‘s Woman of the Year award. While her ubiquitous number one single “thank u, next” wasn’t Grammy eligible, it’s shocking to see her commercial and critical hit album Sweetener only recognized in the best pop vocal album and best pop solo performance categories. The Recording Academy has routinely ignored Ariana in the past, but Sweetener was the defining album of her career thus far and the first to fully cement her status in the pop landscape.

Another surprising pop snub, Taylor Swift received only one nomination, for best pop vocal album. While Reputation wasn’t the megastar’s best contribution to the musical landscape, it was Billboard‘s biggest album of 2018. Reputation was a commercial blockbuster and the start of a huge image reclaimation by Taylor, which should have at least merited it a best pop solo performance nomination for “Delicate,” if not a space on the AOTY list.

Even as the Recording Academy nominates five women for AOTY, thankfully including the stunning masterpieces that are Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour and Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, it’s difficult to see pop music shut out from the night’s biggest honor without feeling a hint of sexism in their nominations. If Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys can cop an AOTY nomination presumably on the basis of commercial popularity (since it’s pretty obviously not due to its artistry), shutting out the two biggest female pop albums in recent history must have come from some implicit bias against pop music and its glittering paradigms. This year’s nomination list can be applauded for showing more diversity in gender, genre, and race, but the omission of two of the most recognizable artists of the year (and, additionally, the absence of rising pop act Camila Cabello from the bigger awards) reeks of the same mindset that led Recording Academy president Neil Protnow to publicly state that female artists would have to “step up” to receive the same recognition as their male peers. Lol.

Confounding this even further is the best pop solo performance nominees themselves, where one of the five is a piano re-release of a song from 2016 (Lady Gaga‘s “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)”) and another is Post Malone, proving that he’s such a terrible rapper that the Recording Academy couldn’t even tell that he’s supposed to be a rapper.

Outside of pop music, The Carters were conspicuously left out of the Big 4 categories for Everything Is Love and Travis Scott‘s Astroworld only recieved recognition in rap-specific categories, for best rap performance, best rap song, and best rap album.

The Grammy’s did get some things very right, notably the inclusion of Mac Miller‘s Swimming for best rap album and Chloe x Halle on the best new artist list, showing that the Recording Academy’s push to diversify their nominating electorate for 2019 did yield some positive results. It’s just jarring to see the most commercially successful women in music pushed aside instead of Post, whose contribution to the musical landscape is little more than uncaring cultural appropriation.

Album of the Year

Brandi CarlileBy the Way, I Forgive You
Drake Scorpion
Various ArtistsBlack Panther: The Album
Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour
Post MaloneBeerbongs & Bentleys
Cardi B Invasion of Privacy”
Janelle MonáeDirty Computer

Record of the Year

Cardi B – “I Like It”
Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All the Stars”
Post Malone & 21 Savage – “Rockstar”
Zedd & Maren Morris – “The Middle”

Song of the Year

Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All the Stars”
Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”
Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”
Zedd & Maren Morris – “The Middle”
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

Best New Artist

Chloe x Halle
Luke Combs
Greta Van Fleet
Dua Lipa
Margo Price
Bebe Rexha
Jorja Smith


Best Pop Solo Performance

Beck – Colors
Camila Cabello – “Havana (Live)”
Ariana Grande – “God Is a Woman”
Lady Gaga – “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)”
Post Malone – “Better Now”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Christina Aguilera ft. Demi Lovato – “Fall In Line”
Backstreet Boys – “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – “Shallow”
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B – “Girls Like You”
Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton – “Say Something”
Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey – “The Middle”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Camila CabelloCamila
Kelly ClarksonMeaning of Life
Ariana Grande Sweetener
Shawn MendesShawn Mendes
PinkBeautiful Trauma
Taylor SwiftReputation


Best Rap Performance

Cardi B – “Be Careful”
Drake – “Nice for What”
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake – “King’s Dead”
Anderson .Paak – “Bubblin”
Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee – “Sicko Mode”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Christina Aguilera ft. Goldlink – “Like I Do”
6LACK ft. J. Cole – “Pretty Little Fears”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All the Stars”
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “Rockstar”

Best Rap Song

Drake – “God’s Plan”
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake – “King’s Dead”
Eminem – “Lucky You”
Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee – “Sicko Mode”
Jay Rock ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Win”

Best Rap Album

Cardi BInvasion of Privacy
Mac MillerSwimming
Nipsey HussleVictory Lap
Travis ScottAstroworld


Best Rock Performance

Arctic Monkeys – “Four Out of Five”
Chris Cornell – “When Bad Does Good”
THE FEVER 333 – “Made An America”
Greta Van Fleet – “Highway Tune”
Halestorm – “Uncomfortable”

Best Rock Song

Greta Van Fleet – “Black Smoke Rising”
Twenty One Pilots – “Jumpsuit”
Bring Me the Horizon – “MANTRA”
St. Vincent – “Masseduction”
Ghost – “Rats”

Best Rock Album

Alice in ChainsRainier Fog
Fall Out BoyM A N I A
Ghost – Prequelle
Greta Van FleetFrom the Fires
WeezerPacific Daydream

Best Alternative Music Album

Arctic MonkeysTranquility Base Hotel & Casino
David ByrneAmerican Utopia
St. VincentMasseduction


Best R&B Performance

Toni Braxton – “Long As I Live”
The Carters – “Summer”
Lalah Hathaway – “Y O Y”
H.E.R. – “Best Part [ft. Daniel Caesar”]
PJ Morton – “First Began”

Best R&B Song

Ella Mai – “Boo’d Up”
Miguel – “Come Through and Chill [ft. J. Cole and Salaam Remi]”
Childish Gambino – “Feels Like Summer”
H.E.R. – “Focus”
Toni Braxton – “Long As I Live”

Best Urban Contemporary Album

The CartersEverything Is Love
Chloe x HalleThe Kids Are Alright
Chris Dave and the DrumhedzChris Dave and the Drumhedz
MiguelWar & Leisure
Meshell NdegeocelloVentriloquism

Best R&B Album

Toni BraxtonSex & Cigarettes
Leon BridgesGood Thing
Lalah HathawayHonestly
PJ MortonGumbo Unplugged (Live)


Best Dance Recording

Above & Beyond – “Northern Soul [ft. Richard Bedford]”
Disclosure – “Ultimatum [ft. Fatoumata Diawara]”
Fisher – “Losing It”
Silk City & Dua Lipa – “Electricity [ft. Diplo and Mark Ronson]”
Virtual Self – “Ghost Voices”

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Jon Hopkinsv – Singularity
Sofi TukkerTreehouse
SOPHIEOil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides

Best Song Written for Visual Media

Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All the Stars”
Sufjan Stevens – “Mystery of Love”
Miguel – “Remember Me [ft. Natalia Lafourcade]”
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – “Shallow”
Keala Settle & the Greatest Showman Ensemble – “This Is Me”

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