Absolutely no one is surprised that Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Doja Cat did well in the 64th annual Grammy nominations. But there are surprises and snubs aplenty sprinkled throughout the nominations list.
Here are a few:
Snub: BTS is nominated for best pop duo/group performance but is passed over in the marquee record of the year category. Wait, wasn’t that last year’s Grammy storyline for these global stars? It was, but ARMY hoped that the group’s tremendous strides this year would push their heroes into a Big Four category. No such luck. “Butter” went no further than “Dynamite” did last year, even though there were two extra spots in the record of the year category. On the bright side, BTS is one of only two ongoing groups or duos (as opposed to collabs) to be nominated for best pop duo/group performance this year. The other? Their pals Coldplay.
Surprise: ABBA had never even been nominated for a Grammy as a group, which is fairly shocking, but this year provided an even bigger shock: The group’s comeback single “I Still Have Faith in You” is up for record of the year.
Snub: Polo G was passed over for a nod for best new artist, even though the Grammys declared him eligible for the award. Two other rappers who have been building for a few years, Moneybagg Yo and YoungBoy Never Broke Again, were also passed over for best new artist nods.
Surprise: While Jon Batiste’s career is clearly on the ascendancy, few expected him to be this year’s leading Grammy nominee. But with 11 nominations, he is. And it wasn’t even close. His next closest competitors, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R., each have eight nods.
Snub: Gabby Barrett is MIA in the best new artist category and in all the country categories. She fared much better at the fan-voted American Music Awards, where she won for favorite country single and favorite country album.
Surprise: Arooj Aftab, a Pakistani singer/songwriter, is nominated for best new artist. Her nomination will probably send more people scurrying to Wikipedia than any other Big Four nominee this year.
Snub: Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, one of the year’s top albums, was passed over for an album of the year nod. His last two studio albums, Views and Scorpion, were nominated in the category. On the plus side, Drake is nominated for best rap album and best rap performance for “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug.
Surprise: Mickey Guyton’s Remember Her Name is nominated for best country album, while Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album was passed over for a nod in that category. Guyton is the first Black artist to be nominated for best country album. Wallen’s reputation was tarnished by his use of a racial slur earlier this year.
Snub: Kacey Musgraves’ Star-Crossed, her follow-up to album of the year winner Golden Hour, was passed over for a nod for both album of the year and best pop vocal album. She is nominated in two country categories for “Camera Roll,” a track from the album. Would the album have had a better chance if the Grammy screening committee had let it compete for best country album, where it was entered? We’ll never know.
Surprise: Many will be surprised by FINNEAS’ nomination for best new artist. He is, after all, an eight-time Grammy winner; Grammy rules generally bar past nominees and winners from competing in this category. What gives? He hadn’t been nominated as a performer. Per the Grammy rules: “Not eligible: Any artist with a previous Grammy nomination as a performer.”
Snub: Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts was eligible for best rock album, but she failed to land a nod in that or any category. Two Cyrus tracks vied for a nod for best rock performance — “Nothing Else Matters” (featuring WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith) and the solo track ”WTF Do I Know.” After all this time, Cyrus has received a grand total of one Grammy nod, for Bangerz as best pop vocal album (2014).
Surprise: Kanye West landed his first album of the year nomination as a lead artist in 14 years with DONDA. His first three studio albums, The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation, were all nominated in the category, but then there was a long drought in the top category until this year’s nomination.
Snub: Måneskin not only didn’t rate a record of the year nomination for “Beggin’ (Live),” but the Italian band was also passed over for best rock performance for the live recording of their hit. They also didn’t make the best new artist category.