SZA played just a small role at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 5. She presented best música urbana album to Bad Bunny, and she was on hand as a nominee for best melodic rap performance for her featured role (alongside Future) on DJ Khaled’s “Beautiful.” (They lost.)
Expect SZA to play a much larger role at the 66th annual Grammy Awards early next year. Her sophomore album, SOS, is a top contender for nominations for both album of the year and best progressive R&B album. “Kill Bill,” the album’s biggest hit to date, has a good chance at record and song of the year nods.
This would be SZA’s first album of the year nod as a lead artist. Her debut album, Ctrl, was nominated for best urban contemporary album (the former name of best progressive R&B album). Three songs from the album – “The Weekend,” “Supermodel” and “Love Galore” (featuring Travis Scott) – were nominated in various R&B and rap categories. In addition, SZA was nominated for best new artist, but lost to Alessia Cara.
SZA has been nominated twice for both record and song of the year. “All the Stars,” a collab with Kendrick Lamar from Black Panther, was nominated for both awards in 2018. “Kiss Me More,” a collab with Doja Cat, was nominated for both awards in 2021. The latter track also led to SZA’s first album of the year nod, as a featured artist on Doja’s Planet Her.
“Good Days,” a one-off single at the time that was included on SOS, was nominated for best R&B song in November 2021.
Many of the producers and featured artists on SOS have Grammy awards or nominations on their resumes. Six Grammy winners – Babyface, Jeff Bhasker, Darkchild (Rodney Jerkins), DJ Dahi, Emile Haynie and Shellback – are among the producers of SOS. All four of the featured artists on the album – Scott, Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers and Ol’ Dirty Bastard – are past Grammy nominees.
SOS has ranked No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in nine of its 10 chart weeks to date. Ctrl is still riding high (it holds at No. 22) in its 297th week on the Billboard 200. “Kill Bill” is in its sixth week at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. SOS has also received warm reviews. It has a 90 rating at the review aggregation site Metacritic.com.
Three albums by Black female artists were nominated for album of the year in November – Beyoncé’s Renaissance, Lizzo’s Special and the deluxe edition of Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous – but no album by a Black female artist (as lead artist) has won the award since Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won in 1999.
SZA has received 15 Grammy nods to date, but has won just one award, for the aforementioned “Kiss Me More,” which won best pop duo/group performance. Expect her winning percentage to improve next year.