Grammy snubs and shocks

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Courtesy Photo

The Weeknd accepting an award at the American Music Awards. His face is bandaged and beaten as he’s still playing the character from his “After Hours” persona.

The Recording Academy announced the 63rd Annual Grammy Award nominations Tuesday morning.
The cutoff for the upcoming Grammy Awards were recordings released from Sept. 1 2019 and Aug. 31 2020. Even after facing allegations from ex-CEO Deborah Dugan, who alleged that the Academy’s nominating and voting process was corrupt, they still managed to snub some of the greatest releases, and champion some of the worst.
Snubs
Easily the biggest snub of the year is the Academy’s refusal to give Toronto Pop/R&B sensation The Weeknd any nominations. The Weeknd, who was recently named 2021’s Super Bowl performer, has thrived this year. His 2020 release “After Hours” reached commercial and critical success and has landed him nominations at the Billboard Music Awards and BET Awards and has brought him wins at the MTV Music Video Awards and American Music Awards.

Country music favorites from the late 1990s and early 2000s The Chicks, formally known as The Dixie Chicks, released their first album in 14 years in 2020. “Gaslighter” was the best selling album in its debut week, according to Billboard. “Gaslighter” is also heralded as one of 2020’s best releases, but is not nominated in any Grammy categories. Even nearly 20 years after the controversy regarding comments about the Iraq War and then-president George W. Bush, the band may still be suffering from its backlash.
The 2021 Rap categories seem to contradict themselves. The Best Rap Performances and Best Rap Song categories highlight younger artists like Roddy Rich, Lil Baby and Jack Harlow, but they are forgotten in the Best Rap Album category, which is full of older artists. Every category is also mysteriously missing Philadelphia’s Lil Uzi Vert, whose 2020 release “Eternal Atake” is currently standing proudly with an 84 out of 100 on Metacritic.
Shocks
Traditional and Alternative Rock has been carried by women over the last year and surprisingly, the nominations reflect that. The Best Rock Performance category is all women and highlights incredible releases by Fiona Apple, HAIM and Brittany Howard amongst others. Sadly, the strength of these artists ends at the Rock categories as only HAIM received a nomination for Album of the Year.
What may come as a shock to Gen Z’ers, K-Pop as a whole is mostly missing from the nominations. The last year has been wild for K-Pop, as we’ve seen fans flood videos online as a new form of internet-activism. K-Pop favorites BTS have released one of the year’s biggest songs in “Dynamite,” which is only nominated in one pop category.
Black Pumas are here to stay! The Austin Texas soul band is ditching their status as vintage-act and landed nominations for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best American Roots Performance. Last year’s Best New Artist winner continues to wow the Academy and proves they belong on top of the rock charts.
Overall, the Recording Academy once again failed to meet the expectations of American music fans both commercially and critically but has taken some steps in the right direction.
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will be hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah and will air on CBS Jan. 31.