Justin Bieber is probably feeling good about this year’s Grammy Awards process. His smash hit “Peaches” (featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon) is vying for a nomination as best R&B performance. Last year, you may recall, Bieber lodged a public complaint with the Recording Academy when his album Changes and two singles from the album were nominated in pop categories.
It was a politely worded complaint — Bieber is Canadian, after all — but his disappointment was evident.
“To the Grammys I am flattered to be acknowledged and appreciated for my artistry. I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album,” he started. “It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound.”
Bieber’s 2021 album, Justice, is also vying for a nod as best pop vocal album, but the victory for Bieber is that his pop/soul jam “Peaches,” which could have gone either way, is competing in R&B — along with such other hits as Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” and SZA’s “Good Days.” If “Peaches” is nominated, it would be Bieber’s first Grammy nod in an R&B category.
But how about the other songs that were released in this eligibility year (Sept. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021) and became top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100? Let’s see where they wound up in the 64th annual Grammy Awards process.
Note: Not all top 10 hits are listed here. Artists and their representatives are savvy enough not to flood the zone with multiple entries that could divide their support. So “Drivers License” is Olivia Rodrigo’s only entry for best pop vocal performance. Her other top 10 hits, “Déjà Vu,” “Good 4 U” and “Traitor,” are not listed.
And some artists simply decided not to play the Grammy game. The Weeknd, whose “Blinding Lights” was infamously passed over for a nod last year, didn’t enter his 2021 hit “Take My Breath.”
Some hip-hop hits are slotted in pop rather than rap categories, a sign of hip-hop’s penetration into the pop mainstream. These include Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and Lizzo featuring Cardi B’s “Rumors.”
“Mood” by 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior was released in the previous Grammy eligibility year. It vied for a best pop duo/group performance nomination last year, but it failed to register (probably because it was released too late in the year to be competitive). A live version is vying for a nod in that same category this year. Live versions of such past hits as Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” have won Grammys, so a nod is a possibility. Voters aren’t put off by the designation “(Live)” after a title.
First-round Grammy voting is underway. It began Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 5. The Grammy nominations will be announced Nov. 23.
Here are the performance categories in which top 10 hits on the Hot 100 are competing. They’re listed in chronological order. Relive the Grammy eligibility year in all its splendor and see what the Grammy screening committee decided was the most suitable category for each of these entries.
24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior, “Mood,” best pop duo/group performance (a live version is entered).
Travis Scott featuring Young Thug and M.I.A., “Franchise,” best melodic rap performance.
Ariana Grande, “Positions,” best pop solo performance (where it is vying for a nod with her “Still Hurting”).
Luke Combs, “Forever After All,” best country solo performance.
Taylor Swift, “Willow,” best pop solo performance.
Justin Bieber, “Anyone,” best pop solo performance.
Olivia Rodrigo, “Drivers License,” best pop solo performance.
SZA, “Good Days,” best R&B performance.
CJ, “Whoopty,” best rap performance.
Cardi B, “Up,” best rap performance.
Lil Tjay featuring 6lack, “Calling My Phone,” best melodic rap performance.
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak), “Leave the Door Open,” best R&B performance.
Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon, “Peaches,” best R&B performance.
Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” best pop solo performance.
Masked Wolf, “Astronaut in the Ocean,” best melodic rap performance.
Polo G, “Rapstar,” best rap performance.
Doja Cat featuring SZA, “Kiss Me More,” best pop duo/group performance.
The Kid LAROI and Miley Cyrus, “Without You,” best pop duo/group performance.
J. Cole, 21 Savage and Morray, “My Life,” best rap performance.
J. Cole and Lil Baby, “Pride Is the Devil,” best melodic rap performance.
BTS, “Butter,” best pop duo/group performance.
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits,” best pop solo performance.
Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, “Industry Baby,” best melodic rap performance.
Lizzo featuring Cardi B, “Rumors,” best pop duo/group performance.
Kanye West, “Hurricane,” best melodic rap performance (the Grammy entry credits featured performers The Weeknd and Lil Baby).
Walker Hayes, “Fancy Like,” best country performance.
Drake featuring Future and Young Thug, “Way 2 Sexy,” best rap performance.
Drake featuring Lil Baby, “Girls Want Girls,” best melodic rap performance.
Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber and Tems, “Essence,” best global music performance (the Grammy entry doesn’t credit Bieber).