The 2019 Grammy nominees have been unveiled, and there is no shortage of queer women. In fact, out folk singer Brandi Carlile is the most-nominated woman at the 61st annual Grammy Awards with six noms (including album of the year for By the Way, I Forgive You and both song of the year and record of the year for her track “The Joke”).
Carlile isn’t the only LGBTQ female to get nominations in the Big Four categories either. Lady Gaga trails Carlile with five nominations, with A Star Is Born standout “Shallow” receiving noms in the song of the year and record of the year categories. Janelle Monáe joins Carlile in the album of the year category with Dirty Computer. Bebe Rexha, who opened up about her sexuality earlier this year, is nominated for best new artist.
Carlile told Billboard that the LGBTQ inclusion in this year’s nominees “means everything” and noted that she was grateful for trailblazers who came before her: “Those of us that are just a little bit younger than [Linda Perry], and the Indigo Girls, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, K.D. Lang, George Michael — and so on and so forth — our road has been paved with parody and humility. And that’s something I’ll never forget. Those people have been parodied for being gay through the course of their career in a way that would never be acceptable now.”
In the song of the year category, which honors a track’s songwriters, Sarah Aarons and Teddy Geiger also were recognized. Aarons co-wrote the mega-hit “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, while Geiger co-wrote Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood.”
Other queer women to pick up nominations include Sophie, Meshell Ndegeocello and St. Vincent, who received nominations in genre-specific categories. Perry was also nominated in the prestigious producer of the year, non-classical field.
GLAAD commended the Grammys’ inclusively: “Not only are LGBTQ listeners some of the most engaged fans, but we are also writing, producing, and performing some of music’s biggest and most influential hits across all genres,” said Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s vice president of programs. “This year’s extensive list of LGBTQ Grammy nominees is a reflection of an emerging reality in the industry and it’s long overdue.”