Now that (almost) all of the 57th annual Grammy Award nominations have been revealed, we can eye the 82 categories announced and parse through the no-brainer nods as well as the most glaring omissions and biggest shockers. Although the Grammy voting community tries its best every year, there are still a few categories worth throwing your hands up over — in both exasperation and elation.
Click here for the 2015 Grammy nominees, and check out Billboard.com’s breakdown of the 10 biggest snubs and surprises from this year’s field:
Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” Not Loved in Major Categories
For months, we assumed that “Drunk in Love,” Beyonce‘s fiercely loved ode to marital sex featuring hubby Jay Z, would be leading the way in the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories, along with Sam Smith‘s “Stay With Me.” Smith’s sensitive anthem scored nods in both of the biggest song categories, but “Drunk in Love” was left out in the cold, having to settle for best R&B song and best R&B performance nominations. If Beyonce doesn’t get an Album of the Year nomination, Queen Bey’s omission in the major categories will cause many fans to wake up in the kitchen saying, “How the hell did this shit happen?”
Ariana Grande & Katy Perry Left Out of Major Categories
Also left out of the major categories (barring a pending Album of the Year nomination, of course) were Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, who each enjoyed stunningly successful years peppered with Hot 100 hits. Grande was once again shunned for Best New Artist competition, and “Problem” — a song we thought would score a Record of the Year nod — was passed over; similarly, Perry’s “Dark Horse” could have made some noise in the major song categories, but was relegated to the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category (where it will compete against Grande and her “Bang Bang” pals). It’s hard to be disappointed with multiple nominations for each pop superstar, but getting shrugged off for “All About That Bass,” “Shake It Off” and “Fancy” has to sting a bit.
John Legend, Idina Menzel Get None of Song of the Year
A tenderly written song like “All of Me” seems like catnip for the primary songwriting category, and yet John Legend‘s hit ballad can only be found in the Best Pop Solo Performance field. And after Idina Menzel‘s Oscar win for the Frozen standout, “Let It Go” was passed over altogether, with the Frozen soundtrack only competing in the best compilation soundtrack for visual media category. The snow never bothered Menzel anyway… but maybe a Grammy snub will.
DJ Mustard Is Off the Beat
All year long, DJ Mustard has been celebrated for his ubiquitous sound splashing across hip-hop radio, on songs like Tinashe’s “2 On” and Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em” and on albums like YG’s My Krazy Life. Somehow, Mustard was not included in the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical category, which made room for producers with relatively quiet years like Paul Epworth and Greg Kurstin.
“Happy” Is a Little Bit Sad
Pharrell Williams can’t complain too much after getting lucky at the Grammys last year alongside Daft Punk, but geez, did everyone just get too sick of “Happy” to nominate the No. 1 hit for any of the major awards? Best Pop Solo Performance is nice, but with its sunny message and extended run atop the Hot 100, Williams could have reasonably expected more.
Meghan Trainor’s a Major Contender
One of the big winners of Friday’s nominations is Meghan Trainor, whose “All About That Bass” scored rather surprising nods in both the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories. After the plus-size anthem bumped Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” from the top of the Hot 100 chart, Trainor began covering Swift’s smash in concert; now, she’ll try to trump it in the two biggest song categories at the Grammys.
Miley (Finally) Scores a Nod
Smilers rejoice! Miley Cyrus, that ever-controversial pop diva, watched her comeback album Bangerz barrel into the Best Pop Vocal Album category on Friday, giving the 22-year-old her first-ever Grammy nomination. We would have been OK with seeing the still-fantastic “Wrecking Ball” snag a nomination or two in the song categories, but we’ll take what we can get.
Lecrae Joins the Rap Field
For Lecrae, notching a Grammy nomination is old news — the Christian rapper won Best Gospel Album last year. However, this year marks the first time the veteran artist will compete in a proper rap category, as his single “All I Need Is You” is up for Best Rap Performance against songs from Childish Gambino, Drake, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. Can the hard-working MC overcome a crowded field of superstars? We’ll find out in February.
Brandy Clark Is the Country Darling (So Far)
The Best New Artist category is usually a stomping ground for promising country talent, but few could have foreseen Brandy Clark, an artist with a ton of talent but a severe lack of commercial support at this point in her career, crashing the party and joining stars like Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea. Despite only selling 37,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen Music, Clark’s debut album 12 Stories will also compete in the best country album category along with No. 1 full-lengths from Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. A strong Grammy showing bolstered Kacey Musgraves’ mainstream appeal last year, and Brandy Clark’s career may feel a similar effect.
Is Jack White Alternative… Or Rock… Or Both?
So let’s break this down: Jack White‘s sophomore album Lazaretto is not nominated in the rock albums category this year. However, it is nominated in the alternative music album category. So that makes White an alternative artist (at least this year), right? Well, White’s song “Lazaretto” is nominated for… best rock song. Have fun trying to classify Mr. White, who has won two alternative album Grammys with the White Stripes and been nominated for best rock album once.