Grammys: The nomination snubs and surprises

Grammy nominations are in, and while it comes as no shock that Beyoncé and Adele dominate the major categories, the Recording Academy did deliver some surprises.


The casual Grammy watcher may be surprised that artists such as Frank Ocean, Lady Gaga and A Tribe Called Quest didn't get any nominations, but their hyped-up releases this year were not eligible, either because they missed the Sept. 30 deadline or because they didn't submit for consideration.

Here's a rundown of surprises and snubs:

– David Bowie

(Hollywood Reporter)
(Hollywood Reporter)

Bowie only won two Grammys in his lifetime: in 1985 for best music video and in 2006 for lifetime achievement. So many (including this writer) predicted that "Blackstar," released just before the musician's death and lauded by critics as one of his best, would get nominated for best album. It didn't, perhaps signaling a movement away from the Recording Academy's history of recognizing work for its prestige status.

And while Bowie's work did get five nominations, his track "Lazarus" was passed over for song of the year and record of the year.

– Best new artist snubs

A few nominations in this category came as no surprise. Chance the Rapper had widely been considered a shoo-in — particularly after the Recording Academy had to say that a rule change that allows streaming-only music to get nominated wasn't just for the Chicago rapper's benefit.

But no Shawn Mendes, and no Zayn (because of a Recording Academy rule that makes the former One Direction singer ineligible for this particular category).

– Alessia Cara

Speaking of best new artist snubs, pop singer Alessia Cara didn't get one nomination for anything this round. Billboard's spread showcasing the best new artist hopefuls featured the "Here" breakout singer, along with now-nominees Maren Morris and Chance.

– Kanye West


The rapper, who has had a difficult year ending in the cancellation of his Life of Pablo tour, has never received an album of the year nomination, despite years of commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed work. While he did receive eight nominations this year, he was passed over for all of the major categories. It's perhaps not surprising that Recording Academy voters weren't eager to finally recognize him in those top categories, especially given his very public criticism of the awards show.

– Bon Iver

He won best new aritst in 2012, a win that typically sets up musicians for future, big-category nominations. No such luck this year. His first studio album release since 2011, "22, A Million," was passed over for the album of the year. Bon Iver, who's aired some grievances about the Grammys in the past, only got one nomination this year, for best alternative music album.

– Rihanna


No doubt that Rihanna did well this year, getting eight nominations, including one in the prestigious record of the year category. But it's surprising that "Anti" didn't get an album of the year nod.

– Sturgill Simpson

The critically-acclaimed and controversial country singer shocked many with his best album nomination for "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." He was considered a long-shot for the category, sure, but the fact that he beat out Bowie was an even bigger surprise.

– Beyoncé

(LA Times)
(LA Times)

Beyoncé was considered a favorite for the major awards, and she's also nominated in multiple genre categories. The biggest shock of them all? Best rock performance for "Don't Hurt Yourself," with Jack White. Those wishing she would follow her viral Country Music Association Awards performance with a Grammy for best country song or solo performance are disappointed, but can console themselves with her nine total nominations.

This year, Beyoncé is the most nominated artist. If she wins in every category, she will be the winningest female artist in Grammy history, surpassing Alison Krauss, who has 27.

Author Elahe Izadi
Source The Washington Post