“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus will be competing for best pop duo/group performance at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. The smash, which logged a record-setting 19 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, blends elements of pop, hip-hop and country. The Grammy screening committee, which has the final say on where to slot recordings in the Grammy process, chose this category over best rap/sung performance and best country duo/group performance.
Lil Nas X’s EP, 7, will be competing for a nom for best pop vocal album, not best rap album. However, the 7 standout “Panini” — which just hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week — is entered for best rap/sung performance and best rap song.
Every recording has to compete in a genre-specific category. Here are some of the other recordings that don’t fit neatly into one category and where they wound up in the Grammy process.
Lizzo‘s Cuz I Love You will be competing for best urban contemporary album (rather than rap). So it won’t be going up against Megan Thee Stallion’s Fever, which is entered for best rap album. Lizzo’s Hot 100 No. 1 smash “Truth Hurts,” which blends elements of pop and hip-hop, is entered for best pop solo performance.
The 1975‘s A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, Of Monsters and Men‘s Fever Dream, Twenty One Pilots‘ Trench and Imagine Dragons‘ Origins will be competing for best pop vocal album (rather than rock or alternative).
Mac DeMarco‘s Here Comes the Cowboy will be competing for best alternative music album.
Beyoncé is competing in two different fields with her two 2019 albums. The Lion King: The Gift is competing for best pop vocal album. Homecoming: The Live Album is competing for best urban contemporary album. (It is competing in that category with the latest album, When I Get Home, by Solange, who is Beyoncé’s younger sister.)
Weezer might have had a similar double-play. Weezer (Black Album) is entered for best rock album, but Weezer (Teal Album) is not entered for best pop vocal album or best alternative music album.
Chance the Rapper‘s first full-length studio album, The Big Day, isn’t entered in a genre album category. Chance won best new artist three years ago on the strength of his hit mixtape, Coloring Book.
Drake‘s compilation album Care Package isn’t entered in a genre album category. The hip-hop superstar’s last two regular studio albums, Views and Scorpion, received album of the year noms.