Taylor Swift may well make history when the 65th annual Grammy nominations are announced on Nov. 15. If “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film)” is nominated for song of the year, Swift will tie Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie for the most nominations ever in that marquee category.
Swift’s eligibility in that category was hardly assured. The ballad is an expanded version of a song that appeared on her Red album, which was nominated for album of the year and best country album nine years ago. “All Too Well” was not entered, much less nominated, in a songwriting category at the time.
The Grammy rules and guidelines handbook doesn’t offer clear direction on how the Academy should handle rare cases like this. It states: “A song…must have been released on a recording for the first time, or achieved prominence for the first time, during the current eligibility year.” The Academy decided that there was enough new content in “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film)” that it should be considered a new song.
First-round voting for the Grammy Awards closed on Sunday Oct. 23.
“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film)” is thought to have a good chance of landing a song of the year nomination, though the category has more entries (686) than any other this year. Ten songs will be nominated. If Swift is nominated, three of her six song of the year nods will have come since the Recording Academy expanded the number of nominations in the Big Four categories from five to eight (and now 10). This complicates historical comparisons because McCartney and Richie might have amassed more than six nods if there had been more than five nomination slots in their heydays.
“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film)” is also vying for a nod for best pop solo performance. It is not entered for best country song. This suggests that the screening committees thought the song and performance were more at home in pop than country. By contrast, Red (Taylor’s Version) is competing for a nod for best country album (as well as album of the year), which suggests that the committees thought the album as a whole was more at home in country than pop. “All Too Well: The Short Film” is also competing for a nod for best music video.
Bruno Mars was also in line to potentially land his sixth song of the year nomination for Silk Sonic’s “Smokin’ Out the Window,” but his and Anderson .Paak’s decision to not enter Silk Sonic music this year – on the heels of last year’s awards bounty for “Leave the Door Open” – precluded that possibility. For now, Mars is tied with Swift, Burt Bacharach and John Lennon with five song of the year nods each.
Here’s a recap of the six song of the year nominations for McCartney and Richie and the five for Swift.