The list of 62 songwriters or songwriting teams that are vying for the newly created Grammy Award for songwriter of the year, non-classical includes such major names as Desmond Child, James Fauntleroy, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter.
It also includes some surprises. The-Dream, who had a pair of top five albums on the Billboard 200 in 2009-10, and Michael Wilson Hardy, who records as HARDY, are both eligible. This award was specifically designed to celebrate songwriters who primarily write for other artists, rather than songwriters who are also artists or producers.
So how did they make the list? The-Dream’s entered work this year focused on his work as a songwriter for Beyoncé, Brent Fayiaz and Pusha T. Hardy’s entries include songs for such artists as Blake Shelton and Brantley Gilbert featuring Jason Aldean. HARDY is featured as an artist on only one of his entries (Cole Swindell’s “Down to the Bar”).
One songwriting team is entered – Denisia “Blue June” Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney, who comprise the record production and songwriting duo Nova Wav. They submitted songs that they wrote for Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé.
The eligibility list includes nine Grammy winners – The-Dream (five awards), Fauntleroy (four), Jason Ingram (three), Lindsey (three), McAnally (three), Hemby (two), David Leonard (two), Jonathan Smith (two), and Edgar Barrera (one).
Most of the eligible songwriters submitted credits reflecting work with multiple artists, to show their range. But three of the writers show credits with just one artist — Steve Cooper (The Group Fire), Ed Miranti (Vischious Fishious), and Adam Garzilli (Adam King).
Four of Ryan Hurd’s submitted credits are for songs he wrote for his wife, Maren Morris, but he also has a credit for Jordan Davis. Most of Jozzy’s credits are for work with Latto, though the writer also has a credit for Beyoncé.
Lauren Christy is entered with songs she wrote for such artists as Korn and Jenn Bostic. Christy was nominated for producer of the year (non-classical) in 2003 as part of The Matrix (along with Graham Edwards and Scott Spock).
This new category is analogous to producer of the year, non-classical, which was introduced in 1974. Thom Bell, one of the architects of the Philadelphia soul sound, was the first winner in that category. The Recording Academy should be so lucky to have as esteemed a first winner in this category.
First-round voting in this and all Grammy categories began on Thursday (Oct. 13) and continues through Oct. 23. Nominees will be announced on Nov. 15. Final-round voting runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, 2023. The winners will be revealed at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 5, 2023.
Here are the 62 songwriters who are in the running for songwriter of the year. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Denisia “Blu June” Andrews and Brittany “Chi” Coney (of Nova Wav)
Evan Kidd Bogart
James Aaron Foster
Natalie Nicole Gilbert
Michael Wilson Hardy
Joyce V Harrison
Jacob “Jkash” Hindlin
Tobias Jesso Jr.
Shekinah Grace Moyes
Victoria “Ryann” Zaro