2024 Grammy Nominations: A guide to the best, worst and most surprising nominees

The just-released nominations list for the 66th annual Grammy Awards, to be held Feb. 4 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, promises awards show fans one thing: stereotype-transcending sartorial excellence. The trio of singers and songwriters boygenius is up for six awards, including record and album for the best year plays an “menswear” game like no other. Can the artistic trio dust off its Western clothes for the expected acceptance speech? Out-earning Bridgers-Dacus-Baker is the nine times nominated SZA, who adapted the sports-jersey-and-Timberlands look ’90s male rappers perfected on the cover of her R&B-ruling album SOS. In the same way, Slow-burning, debut artist Victoria Monet blurs binaries in the Missy Elliott-inspired song video of “On My Mama,” the song that earned seven Grammy nominations. In addition, pantsuit savant Brandy Clark (six nominations across three genres) and tux legend Janelle Monae (two including album of the year) and as well as the top nominees Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift All of whom are able to knot a Windsor knot. And you’ll have a record which really clings to the old suits of the industry. In fact, the sole male artist to have several major nominations Jon Batiste, who was astonished by the formal dress code in 2022 as the singer took home his gold gramophones wearing the most sparkling floor-length cape.

This superficial look at the nominees of the year uncovers something far more significant than a massive pre-Grammys task for the Armani house. Armani. Making a major shift regarding gender equality in the music industry is never easy and often an year of male dominance is replaced by one where Morgan Wallen rules everything. For now however, the chart-breaking country bro is in the low places with only one nomination, while country and hip-hop, which are historically male-dominated genres, were left out in the most prestigious categories. The few awards they did get was a clear indication of the dawn of a new age that is one in which Ice Spice’s music is rewarded with genuine respect and awe. Genre-flexible performers of color such as Batiste and the top new artists nominated by War and Treaty stand proud for Nashville as well as other parts of the traditional South. The fact that Latin music was not included in any from the most coveted categories but it’s not a surprise which suggests a blindness which isn’t typical of the season.

The absence of a male candidate is likely to amusingly cause havoc -the fact that lightning is unlikely to hit at least twice for Batiste as the absence of Silk Sonic to dance its way to the winning circle which suggests a long-overdue shift towards a genuine recognition of the songs that young women enjoy. As the expert spotter of trends Stephen Thompson has noted below the most significant win could be given to the highly debated model of change or no changing: Barbie. The songs taken from the Greta Gerwig soundtrack of the blockbuster have been nominated for eleven awards in a myriad of categories, and are more popular than any other artist in their own.

Despite the Barbie-world vibe In some ways, this is essentially the same Grammy Awards. The nominees are the established stars of the industry; aside of boygenius, even those who are young already have shelves of awards to show off at home. In the categories that honor behind-the-scenes talent like composer, producer, as well as song of the year male names have a higher share than other. (Relevant The Former NARAS director Neil Portnow is currently being sued over sexual harassment in light of an incident that has been kept secret for several years.) Does Music’s biggest night feel new, or will it be the usual insiders’ nightclub just with a different face on the stage? To know how the Grammy nominations could mean for the current music scene and in the to make predictionsNPR Music’s critics looked over the nominees’ list and selected categories that will reveal the things that are likely to be good, bad, and exquisitely well-crafted in that February night. –Ann Powers

Album Of The Year

Nominated candidates:

  • World Music Radio by Jon Batiste
  • this Record by boygenius
  • Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus
  • Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey
  • The Age Of Pleasure by Janelle Monae
  • GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo
  • Midnights by Taylor Swift
  • SOS by SZA

The importance of the category:

Jon Batiste is able to stay in the bar at the lobby for the announcement, as can Janelle Monae, possibly. The main question is, can the full blossoming in Taylor Swift’s Age of Taylor Swift ensure that her small midnights will triumph despite intense competition from her rivals and peers? The three most impactful candidates are Boygenius’s The Record, which made the indie group rock stars as well as Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts is a strong proof that the teen superstar has lasting power as well as SZA’s SOS and fully deserved for its artistic merit and constant presence across multiple charts. However, this category may surprise you. Lana Del Rey might fully start her doyenne period with a victory or it could be the moment for boygenius and the best method to honor an all-three-songwriter group with a female producer. Whatever the case expect tears and heartfelt cheers for every participant from the stage. –Ann Powers

Best New Artist

Nominated candidates:

  • Gracie Abrams
  • Fred once more..
  • Ice Spice
  • Jelly Roll
  • Coco Jones
  • Noah Kahan
  • Victoria Monet
  • The War And Treaty

The importance of the category:

It’s always the most wackiest top category This year’s lineup is a snarky playbook in its twisted book. It mixes genuine pop hits such as Ice Spice as well as Fred Again.. along with veteran veterans who deserve to try something new (the amazing War and Treaty) and indisputable gifted artists that meet Grammy people’s conservative expectations. The mostly untested R&B rocker Coco Jones and the nuanced singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams, both kids of famous dads, fall into this description and so do the charming traditional folk rocker Noah Kahan and canny formalist Victoria Monet. The majority people who are “new” artists have been performing for at minimum three Grammy seasons. Country rapper changed into Nashville singer-songwriter Jelly Roll is the only one with seven Grammy nominations under his collection. It’s about time to name that segment “breakthrough,” folks. Ice Spice should win under any rules; she’s defined the year’s mood in many ways. The votes of sentiment could go to the Jelly but. –Ann Powers

Best Rock Song

These nominees are:

  • “Angry” – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Andrew Watt, composers (The Rolling Stones)
  • “Ballad Of A Homeschooled Girl” – Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo composers (Olivia Rodrigo)
  • “Emotion Sickness” – Dean Fertita, Joshua Homme, Michael Shuman, Jon Theodore and Troy Van Leeuwen music writers (Queens of the Stone Age)
  • “Not Strong Enough” – Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, songwriters (boygenius)
  • “Rescued” – Dave Grohl, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett & Pat Smear, songwriters (Foo Fighters)

The importance of the category:

The viability of commercial music and the final destiny of rock and roll — the genre, complete with electric guitars, drums, and so on is the subject of debate for years. The decline of the genre and/or its demise has been widely exaggerated for a long time however, this year’s top rock music field suggests that there is a crisis in the identity of the genre.

First of all, there’s an obvious winner for the song Foo Fighters’ “Rescued,” because their front man Dave Grohl — that friendly and welcoming mayor of the rock and roll worldremains an iconic Grammy iconic. They were nominated in the three categories for rock and appears to be a safe option to sweep all of them, as they did in 2022. The other four nominations for rock songs indicate that the genre is being pulled into a variety of direction: You’ve got established rock stars (The The Rolling Stones’ “Angry”), more groovy sounds (Queens of the Stone Age’s “Emotion Sickness”) and two artists who’s relationship to the traditional genre of rock and roll doesn’t seem so distinct as.

Olivia Rodrigo (“Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl”) and boygenius (“Not Strong enough”) are frequently nominated in the alternative and pop fields in both cases and both pop artists show frequently in general categories. Their inclusion here (at the at the expense of both rock veteran groups (Red Hot Chili peppers Paramore and others) along with Grammy-hospitable newcomers such as the Black Pumas indicates an area that’s been relegated to an aside. This raises the question whether there’s a chance that electric guitars is enough to qualify the song as rock, then what’s stopping Chris Stapleton’s “White Horse” from competing with it? –Stephen Thompson

The entire confusing R&B field

The categories are:

  • The best R&B performance
  • The best traditional R&B performance
  • Best R&B Song
  • The best album of the year! R&B album
  • The best R&B album

What is the significance of these categories:

R&B genres that are part of the Grammys have been categorized for a long time through the use of symbolic meanings, “urban/alternative” and “contemporary” being among the categories most denigrated. In 2024, the versions those hair-splitting categories bring up old issues about the classifications for the genre. The nominees are separated into “traditional,” “progressive” and plain R&B groups, with this latter presumably indicating a sort of genre centrism that is akin to the two poles. In the grand scheme of things it’s not difficult to grasp the purpose of such a thing: to speak to the diversity of the genre, its history and growth. However, the nominees for these categories cause confusion, rather than clarity. SZA is deemed to be traditional modern as well as plain-speaking “R&B.” Coco Jones as well as Victoria Monet appear in both the R&B performance as well as the conventional R&B category for performances. (Monet’s top R&B performance nomination goes to a different track from the song that earned her the top R&B performance award.)

The whole issue is a source of doubt about the meaning of these distinctions. In what way are we creating these differences? What does Kenyon Dixon’s “Lucky” more traditional than Robert Glasper’s “Back to Love” with SIR and Alex Isley? What is it that makes Terrace Martin and James Fauntleroy’s Nova more forward-thinking as opposed to Emily King’s Special Occasion? (Excluding SZA’s energetic, sprawling SOS the category of progressive is conventional and formal, particularly considering the notable progressive 2023 performers like Kali Uchis Kelela, Liv.e, Nourished by Time, B. Cool-Aid and many more.) If these categories are only decorative, and do not tell us anything about the artist as well as the tracks they produce that offer neither variety nor equalization Why do we need these? –Sheldon Pearce

The rap categories are a mixed bag … which is an improvement

The categories are:

  • The best Rap performance
  • Best rap performance with a melodic beat
  • Best rap song
  • The best rap album

What is the significance of these categories:

It’s true that neither Billboard charts or Grammy awards have always been reliable gauges of the current trends within Black music. This is evident throughout the years in Grammy’s rap category, but when taken in the context of all categories the nominees this year are different with a range of the predictable perennials (Nas, Travis, Drake and 21 Savage) to underappreciated but very well-deserved (Black Thought and Killer Mike).

However, there are gaps that aren’t filled with. Here’s where it gets difficult. In a time when male rappers are taking place in the background while feminine energy that is rising to the top and a lack of women making the top album of rap. Unfortunately, Doja Cat’s stellar album Scarlet did not make it into the 2024 Grammy consideration by just one week. (Her song “Attention” did grab double nominations for the best single by a rapper and the most melodic rap performance.) There’s also Noname’s absence. After release of one of the most fervent rap albums, Sundial This is a clear reminder that artists working independently of the major label system frequently aren’t recognized and praised by the established canon.

Another cold, hard truth is that works have to be submitted by the artist as well as their managers or labels to be considered for Grammy consideration. It’s a given that, given the Academy’s Grammy-comes-lately relationship with the country’s most listened-to genre and the fact that even the highest-quality rappers aren’t always focused on an award from the Wack-cademy. This could be the reason for many worthy independentsthis year, which would include Billy Woods, who continued his incredible streak by releasing his solo album Maps and JPEGMAFIA as well as Danny Brown’s wild collaboration with Danny Brown’s album “Scareing Hoes” isn’t present.

However, it’s not all bad. Of the four categories relating to rap, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice are fighting for the top rap track by releasing “Barbie World” against Killer Mike’s collaboration track “SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS” with Andre 3000, Future and as well as Eryn Allen Kane. R&B superstar SZA (who many might argue is the most popular rapper of the moment currently — has been nominated in the best melody rap performance category, with “Low.” Also, Black Thought scored a surprising award for best rap performance in the category of “Love Letter,” a unaccompanied, four-and-a half-minute spoken-word history of hip-hop’s cultural significance in BET’s celebrations of the culture’s 50th anniversary. –Rodney Carmichael

Best Alternative Jazz Album

Nominated:

  • Love In Exile by Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily
  • Quality Over Opinion by Louis Cole
  • SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree by Kurt Elling, Charlie Hunter, SuperBlue
  • Live At The Piano by Cory Henry
  • The Omnichord Real Book by Meshell Ndegeocello

The importance of the category:

In the three categories that were added to the 2024 Grammys One category is distinct as being both fun and confusing: alternative Jazz that (per the official guidelines) refers to “a genre-blending, envelope-pushing hybrid that mixes jazz with other genres.” If this sounds like industry terminology that refers to “viral” jazz the term was created by pianist-composer Vijay Iyer and effectively embodied by the drummer-producer Louis Cole — well it’s not surprising that Cole was in the nominations. But where Cole’s Quality Over Opinion feels like a no-brainer in the category, it’s a little more puzzling to make sense of Love in Exile, Iyer’s mindful, tranquil collab with vocalist Arooj Aftab and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. Alternative? Absolutely. Jazz? Maybe?

It is the inherent ambiguity of a classification that is defined by an uncategorical. This is why we love Cory Henry’s Live at the Piano,really more of a gospel performance rather than a jazz concert, as well as Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter’s SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree,which hitches the nebula of groove. For the listener who is in this category the best result for this genre would be an award in favor of Meshell Ndegeocello’s The Omnichord Real Book ,which is a mix of jazz tradition and an unwavering skepticism of the trappings of jazz. This is a truly unique position as well as the songs make obvious that no label can never do justice to it. –Nate Chinen, WRTI

Best Country Song

Nominated candidates:

  • “Buried” – Brandy Clark & Jessie Jo Dillon, songwriters (Brandy Clark)
  • “I Remember Everything” – Zach Bryan & Kacey Musgraves, the songwriters (Zach Bryan with Kacey Musgraves)
  • “In Your Love” – Tyler Childers & Geno Seale, songwriters (Tyler Childers)
  • “Last Night” – John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Jacob Kasher Hindlin & Ryan Vojtesak, the songwriters (Morgan Wallen)
  • “White Horse” – Chris Stapleton and Dan Wilson, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)

What is the significance of the category:

Country has been in crisis since 2021 after Morgan Wallen’s insensitive racial insultirrefutably revealed the old-fashioned attitudes that dominated the music row. The times are changing, but at a minimum, at the symbolic awards at the level of. Following the CMA Awards ceremony that bestowed entertainer of the year the hardworking Lainey Wilson and awarded the award for song of the year to Luke Combs’s rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” — which makes it an the first Black writer to win a Grammy for more than fifty years. it reflects on the New Nashville in hopeful yet difficult ways. Wallen is in the mix with his zombie-themed hit “Last Night,” but as is the legendary Brandy Clark, who’s nominated songs for Musical Theater and Americana show the way that borders in America are disappearing. (Songwriter nominated Jessie Jo Dillon cowrote “Buried,” the rumbling torch song that is worthy of this award.)

It also also features another major outlier who is that are changing the game: world-beat outcast Zach Bryan duetting with genre escapee Kacey Musgraves on “I Remember Everything”; the king of artist Tyler Childers, finally defying his exile to Americana by releasing his Hot Country Songs chart-topping “In Your Love”; and of course, everyone’s favorite voice Chris Stapleton earning his 18th nomination for “White Horse,” a massive rocker that shatters any boundaries that remain in the genre. Maybe next year, a BIPOC artist will get to this position. –Ann Powers

Best Música Mexicana Album

Nominated candidates:

  • Bordado A Mano by Ana Barbara
  • La Sanchez by Lila Downs
  • Motherflower by Flor De Toloache
  • Amor Como En Las Peliculas De Antes by Lupita Infante
  • GENESIS by Peso Pluma

Musica Mexicana is the new name for an old category in the Grammys this year. It’s coming in conjunction with the increasing attention paid to corridos Tumbados, an unrelated genre within the grouping of music that took this genre up to number one on the Billboard Global 200 for the first time in its history. It shouldn’t come as an awe the fact that the most popular artist from this category singer, 24 years old Peso Pluma was awarded an award in a category which has been previously focused on pure bolero traditional ranchera.

It is a bit shocking to note the absence of the other artists who have collaborated and innovated in this space that have lifted previously viewed as a regional music into the spotlight of global recognition. In addition, there are more traditional norteno and banda musicians who are able to create to appeal to a contemporary audience and prefer accordions to Grammys appropriate strings. –Anamaria Sayre

Best African Music Performance

These nominees are:

  • “Amapiano” by ASAKE & Olamide
  • “City Boys” by Burna Boy
  • “UNAVAILABLE” by Davido Featuring Musa Keys
  • “Rush” by Ayra Starr
  • “Water” by Tyla

What is the significance of the category:

A year ago Harvey Mason Jr. entered Harvey Mason Jr.’s Door of No Return. Like many Black Americans who make the trip for the Ghanaian Cape Coast Castle – where hundreds of years ago, captive Africans were able to see the last chance to see their homeland before being bound in cargo ships and taken away into a cold, foreign world The event has left Mason stunned.

“The fact that my ancestors survived these unthinkable conditions and then the unimaginable ocean crossing is quite literally the only reason I, or anyone in my entire family, is even alive today,” the man wrote his photos on Instagram. “So sad and humbling but also oddly inspiring.”

Being the inaugural Black chief executive of the highly regarded Recording Academy, Mason’s journey was a metaphorical first step towards fixing the Grammys reputation for shaky records on inclusion and diversity. Mason met with Ghanaian musicians and other music professionals while in Ghana and, eight months after his return to Africa The Academy announced the inclusion of three additional Grammy category categories for ballots, including the top African music performance.

As the nominees were announced for the category that was announced today it was as if long-locked shackles were broken. Could this be the closest that the Grammys have been to being able to feel the rhythm of Black music in the past? The nominees encompass a spectrum of African musical reverberations ranging from the rebellious amapiano sounds that is a staple of South Africa to West Africa’s Afrobeat’s mainstay. Both represent the continental call-and-response that African artists who have been involved in hip-hop over the last few time. In the present, America is paying attention.

The reverberations from the sonic waves reached an unintended point in the rap genre when is a part of the country’s most popular hybrid hip-hop/R&B genres was omitted from the top. top spot on Billboard’s tentpole singles as well as chart charts for the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, African music was experiencing an increase in popularity across the United States. Like earlier in the Black British soul invasion of the 1980s and 1990s, African rhythms are kicking in the present. But this shouldn’t mean that there’s a divide in the pie, regardless of the stigma of scarcity in hip-hop. The rising prominence of Africa is evidence that hip-hop’s influence is long-lasting across the globe. Afrobeat’s drums talk to each other. The music is loud and clear. –Rodney Carmichael

Best Song Written for Visual Media

Nominated candidates:

  • “Barbie World” [From Barbie The Album] Naija Gaston Ephrem Louis Lopez. and Onika Maraj, the songwriters (Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice featuring Aqua)
  • “Dance The Night” [From Barbie The Album] – Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt, the songwriters (Dua Lipa)
  • “I’m Just Ken” [From Barbie The Album] – Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt, composers (Ryan Gosling)
  • “Lift Me Up” [From Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music from and Inspired byThe Black Panther Movie] Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Goransson, Robyn Fenty & Temilade Openiyi and music writers (Rihanna)
  • “What Was I Made For?” [From Barbie The Album] – Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

The importance of the category:

If you’re caught in an intense match of Grammys Trivia, keep this statistic in your mind: SZA has the most nominations of any artist in the year, receiving nine nominations. The most nominated albumjust happens to be Barbie The Album which has 11 nominations. (That’s not even taking into account Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s Barbie score that also earned nominations.)

Barbie The Album’ss numbers are bolstered by its supremacy in the ever-changing field of best songs composed for video media. The Grammys are a bit different in their eligibility criteria the nominees must be released between October. 1 until September. 15th, 2023frequently throws this category into a tangle The majority of important Oscar nominees release towards the close of a particular year, so it is common to see songs being selected for Grammys for a whole year after their appearance on the stage of Oscars. This year, however, thanks to the Barbie overflow and the Barbie craze, Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” (from 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) was the only prior-to-2023 choice that made it into the final cut.

The rest of the room: “Barbie World” (from Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice with Aqua), “Dance the Night” (from Dua Lipa), “What Was I Made For?” (from Billie Eilish) and… “I’m Just Ken” (from Ryan Gosling). Rihanna is also included. It’s an impressive collection of names that are big. Eilish is most likely the favourite to win, especially considering the fact that “What Was I Made For?” was also nominated as a album and track best of the year. However “Dance the Night” and “Barbie World” picked up additional nominations that were significant, too. –Stephen Thompson

The surprisingly progressive classical music field

The categories are:

  • Best Orchestral Performance
  • Best Opera Recording
  • Best Choral Performance
  • Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
  • Best Classical Instrumental Solo
  • Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
  • Best Classical Compendium
  • Best Contemporary Classical Composition
  • Best Engineered Album, Classical

Why these categories are important:

The oldest piece of music nominated for the top category for recording opera this year was composed in 2013. It’s not just a triumph for music from the present however, it also reflects an unsteady trend at the classical Grammys in recent yearsmore recognition for the music that was composed during our time. From the total of 45 classical nominees for this year (not including the Producer of the Year) 44 albums consist predominantly or completely of 21st and 20th century music. Another trend — which is long overdue is the increasing participation of composers and artists of color, a traditionally problem in the field of classical music. 10 years ago out of more than 45 Grammy nominations, only two of them were mostly, composers of color. This year, more than half (21 in all) of the nominees are dominated by musicians of color. It’s been a lengthy time to get there, however maybe the Grammys at least in this category are now getting closer to America

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