LOS ANGELES (AP) — With new categories, SZA, and “Barbie” — there’s a lot to discuss regarding the 2024 Grammy Award nominations. Who didn’t make the cut? What were the best surprises of all? Let’s take a look.
There’s a lot to love about the nominations for the 66th Grammy Awards — and quite a bit to be a little confused by. Reneé Rapp, Peso Pluma and PinkPantheress are absent from the best new artist category despite having remarkable years. Rapp’s “Snow Angel” was the biggest debut solo album from a female artist this year.
Rapp and PinkPantheress were both shut out and Peso Pluma only picked up one nomination: best música Mexicana album (including Tejano) for his third studio album, “Génesis.”
LATIN LOOKED OVER
In fact, in a year dominated by música Mexicana, it is surprising to see no nods for Eslabon Armado or Grupo Frontera, particularly for their songs “Ella Baila Sola” with Peso Pluma and “Un x100to” with Bad Bunny, respectively. Natanael Cano and Fuerza Regida are also noticeably absent.
This year, there are only three nominees for best música urbana album — because the category received fewer than 40 entries — and accounts for Karol G’s sole nomination, for her historic 2023 album “Mañana Será Bonito.”
NO COUNTRY FOR COUNTRY
Undeniably, country music has had a massive 2023. In July, country acts held the top three spots on the Hot 100 for the first time: Controversy hoisted Jason Aldean’s “Try That In a Small Town” to No. 1, followed by Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.”
Also, over the summer, country singer Oliver Anthony Music’s became the first artist to debut on the Hot 100 at the top of it, with the viral “Rich Men North of Richmond.” Aldean and Anthony’s dominance wasn’t long — and Combs did earn a 2024 Grammy nomination for best country solo performance — but Wallen stands out as an obvious exclusion.
While “Last Night” is nominated for best country song, a songwriter’s award, Wallen himself isn’t despite his successful year. His latest album, “One Thing at a Time,” had, as of Oct. 14, spent 16 weeks at the top — which meant he’s held the top spot for nearly 40% of the year so far … and his record was released in March.
This isn’t the first time Wallen has been absent from nominations. In 2021, after video surfaced of him using a racial slur, he was disqualified or limited from several award shows and received no Grammy nominations for his bestselling “Dangerous: The Double Album.”
K-POP STATE OF MIND
The eligibility window ran from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 15, 2023, which means quite a few K-pop heavyweights could have been nominated: TOMORROW X TOGETHER, Stray Kids and the Y2K-loving girl group NewJeans. But they weren’t.
All three had releases hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — TXT’s “The Name Chapter: Temptation” in February, Stray Kids’ “Maxident” and NewJeans’ “Get Up.”
Some critics had theorized that NewJeans might earn a best new artist nomination, which would have made them the first ever K-pop girl group to receive a Grammy nod. It could’ve been them, or the K-pop girl group Fifty Fifty, whose bubblegum pop single “Cupid” was inescapable on TikTok this summer — they became so ubiquitous, they even appeared on the “Barbie” film soundtrack.
Yet, after Friday’s announcement, BTS remains the only K-pop group to ever receive a Grammy nod. And despite five nominations, they have no Grammy wins.
PRINCE HARRY, WHERE ART THOU?
Much to the chagrin of fans of Michelle Williams’ reading of Britney Spears’ memoir “The Woman in Me,” the actor will not be eligible in the best audio book, narration & storytelling recording category this cycle. That’s a 2025 possibility.
But perhaps most shocking of all is the omission of Prince Harry, whose memoir “Spare” sold more than 3.2 million copies worldwide in just one week. The British royal narrated the audiobook but did not receive a nomination. Instead, Meryl Streep, William Shatner, Rick Rubin, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama did.
WHO’S GUNNA BREAK THE NEWS
Using charts as the most immediate metric of popularity: There’s been a bit of a dearth of dominant hip-hop releases. It’s a shocking shift, as the Luminate 2022 Year-End report found that R&B/hip-hop is America’s most popular genre, accounting for the most U.S. on-demand song streams and the largest share of total album consumption. In fact, no rapper was able to top the Billboard 200 until Travis Scott’s “Utopia” dropped in August. This time around, Scott only picked up one nomination: best rap album.
Curiously missing from the list is Gunna, whose 2023 album “A Gift & a Curse” was massive. It is clear that some of the biggest hits in the genre were pushed to rap-specific categories (think Lil Durk ft. J. Cole’s “All My Life,” or Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock.”)
NOTHING BUT MONÉT
If there is something to pop bottles over, it’s Victoria Monét’s seven nominations. The R&B singer-songwriter is no stranger to Grammy nominations — but for a different skillset. Monét was nominated as a producer for album of the year at the 2020 Grammys, for her work on Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next.” At the time, she was best known as hit maker for Grande and Chloe x Halle, though she’s always been one to watch as a soloist.
This time around, she’s the only leading nominee also up for best new artist. Monét has also picked up record of the year and best R&B song nominations for her glossy, brassy “On My Mama,” best R&B performance and best traditional R&B performance. Her 2023 release, “Jaguar ll,” is up for best R&B album and best engineered album, non-classical.
IT’S RAINING WOMEN, HALLEJUAH
The best story of the 2024 Grammy nominations, of course, is just how many women are represented in the major categories.
The majority of leading nominees are women and include superstars like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo. In both the record and album of the year categories, the only man represented is Jon Batiste.