Sometimes the Grammy Awards nominations irritate us.
There are years when they prompt an acknowledgement that OK, maybe Recording Academy voters got it right. Or at least close to right.
And then there are times like this, when ABBA inexplicably lands four nominations – including album of the year – about 40 years after they should have been recognized for truly groundbreaking pop. (Hi, “Mamma Mia” and “Waterloo” – you have not been forgotten, even if you were never fittingly awarded.)
The 65th annual awards ceremony will take place in the Grammys’ longtime home of Los Angeles on Feb. 5. The nominees, announced Tuesday, are rife with expected major names in pop, rap and R&B, including Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Adele and Harry Styles.
There are a few surprises sprinkled in, such as Bonnie Raitt tucked into the song of the year lineup with “Just Like That” and the oddly large number of Christmas albums in the best traditional pop vocal album category.
But there are even more significant snubs. Here are the biggest rebukes.
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That an artist as influential and enduring as John possesses only five competitive Grammy Awards from his illustrious career is galling enough. But to ignore his continued creative output – evidenced by “The Lockdown Sessions,” his chameleonic collection of collaborations with artists ranging from Lil Nas X to Stevie Nicks – is shameful. His attempt to revitalize Britney Spears’ career with “Hold Me Closer,” their modified duet of 1971’s “Tiny Dancer,” also yielded zero recognition.
With plenty of material to submit including “Life of the Party” featuring Andre 3000 and selections from “Donda 2” (“True Love,” “City of Gods”), Ye perhaps deserves an award for productivity. But amid his antisemitic rants, controversial racial commentary and relationship drama, maybe Recording Academy voters, like most of us, have tired of the endless Kanye-ness of it all.
With eight Grammys on her shelf – including 2022’s best roots gospel album for “My Savior” – Underwood has hardly been ignored. But given the warm reception to her ninth studio album, “Denim & Rhinestones,” as well as the success of single “Ghost Story,” her name was expected in a country category or two.
The ginger Brit has an erratic relationship with the Grammys. Sometimes they shower him with kudos (“Thinking Out Loud,” “Shape of You”) and other times, when he’s released some of the most poignant work of his career, he’s unduly ignored. Though he’s up for best pop duo/group performance with Camila Cabello for “Bam Bam,” Sheeran’s fifth studio album, “Equals,” should have been recognized not only for ubiquitous hits “Shivers” and “Overpass Graffiti,” but real gems “The Joker and The Queen,” “Tides” and “Visiting Hours.”
Along with her Ye collaboration (“City of Gods”), the frequent Grammy darling with 15 trophies on her resume also released an album in December. “Keys” offered a duet with Brandi Carlile (“Paper Flowers”) and “Best of Me,” a seemingly obvious best R&B song contender.
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Arguably the most potent album of her career, “Holy Fv–” should have gobbled up nominations merely for its raw honesty. And then remember that the 16 songs on the album are bold, mostly guitar-heavy, melodic rockers that ebb and flow under the guidance of Lovato’s volatile emotional states and, really, where is the love?
The “Super Freaky Girl” recently complained that the Recording Academy decided to categorize her latest hit – which samples Rick James’ “Super Freak” – as pop, while Minaj wanted her work recognized in rap. As it turned out, Minaj was blanked on her submissions in any genre.
While fans have certainly forgiven the country hitmaker for his past indiscretions, when the singer was caught on video uttering a racial slur, Wallen remains persona non grata at the Grammys. His mega-selling “Dangerous: The Double Album” wasn’t nominated at the 2022 ceremony, nor are the hits it’s still spawning (“Wasted on You”). His collaboration with fellow country singer Ernest, “Flower Shops,” made a dent on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, but it, too, was ignored by voters.
Considering the omnipresence of Legend, a genial guy with a knack for smooth grooves, it’s especially dumbfounding that he would be ignored by the Grammys for his solo work (he’s nominated for one award as part of DJ Khaled’s “God Did”). His double album, “Legend,” expands on his musical palette – some funk, some dance – and singles “All She Wanna Do” and “Wonder Woman” felt like instant awards bait.
That was a quick love affair, no? After commanding last year’s Grammy Awards with five trophies (out of a staggering 11 nominations), the eclectic jazz-pop-soul musician will not be up for Grammy Celebration Redux. None of his interesting work, including “Sweet” with Pentatonix and Diane Warren and “L.O.V.E.” with Yung Bae, EarthGang and Sherwyn, received a nod.
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Megan Thee Stallion
The rapper’s saucy album “Traumazine” contains 18 tracks of unabashed authenticity. How voters didn’t appreciate her collaboration with Dua Lipa (“Sweetest Pie”) or her frank lesson in “Plan B” (“Ladies, love yourself, ‘cause this … could get ugly”) is one of the many mysteries of the 2023 nominee list.
The global superstars – who became the first female K-pop group to land a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart earlier this year with “Born Pink” – seemed like an obvious contender for album of the year, or even song or record of the year for their slinky “Pink Venom.” But voters disregarded their 2022 achievements with zero nominations.
Though Swift’s four nominations, including song of the year and best music video for her extended version of “All Too Well,” are deserved and commendable, fans will likely bristle that her re-recorded “Red (Taylor’s Version)” didn’t make the album of the year cut. At the 2014 ceremony, Swift was up for album of the year and best country album for the original “Red,” but didn’t triumph in either.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com