15 Grammy facts: Michelle Obama in, Bruce Springsteen out
Fifteen things worth noting about Wednesday’s nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards, from snubbed singers to the comeback kids.
Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars” didn’t shine bright enough for the Grammy Awards.
The rock legend’s well-received album was heavily snubbed at this year’s show. Even “Springsteen on Broadway,” which earned The Boss an Emmy nomination, wasn’t included in the best music film category.
Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” will likely take the prize in the latter category, but the pop superstar was shut out of the top three categories and all the R&B categories. Taylor Swift didn’t receive an album of the year nomination for the second straight time.
Others snubs include Pink, BTS, Sam Smith and Halsey. Both Khalid, who had an uber-successful streaming year, and Maren Morris — who won album of the year at the CMA Awards — each received just one nomination.
At the Grammys, R&B should stand for REALLY BRUH???
So many epic and talented R&B acts who have brought new life to the genre were overlooked this year, including Raphael Saadiq, Ari Lennox, Summer Walker, Solange, Jhene Aiko and Pink Sweats, to name a few.
Instead, acts like Lizzo, BJ the Chicago Kid, PJ Morton and Anderson .Paak were overloaded with multiple R&B nominations. And acts like Ella Mai and Chris Brown were deemed lucky, just scoring one nod each when they easily deserved more.
Rock music is returning in a big way to the 2020 Grammys.
Two rock-based albums are nominated for album of the year: Bon Iver’s “I, I” and Vampire Weekend’s “Father of the Bride.” The last time a rock album was up for the top prize was at the 2016 show when Alabama Shakes’ “Sound & Color” lost to Taylor Swift’s “1989.”
THEY NO LONGER SUCK
Thanks to their comeback hit “Sucker,” the Jonas Brothers have nabbed their first Grammy nomination in a decade. They last competed for best new artist at the 2009 Grammys, when they appropriately lost to Adele. Hello!
WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!
Like the 2019 Grammys, women rule in the top four categories at the 2020 show.
Seven of the eight tunes competing for song of the year are from female acts, with Lewis Capaldi being the only male contender. Five of the eight album of the year and best new artist nominees are women (only two of the eight nominees are exclusively male; the final nominee, Tank and the Bangas, includes male and female acts). Record of the year is evenly divided between male and female musicians.
O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
Billie Eilish earned six nominations and her brother-producer-engineer is right behind her with five nominations.
Finneas picked up an album of the year nomination for co-writing, co-producing and engineering his little sister’s debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” He also scored song and record of the year nominations for his work on her No.1 hit, “Bad Buy.”
Finneas, 22, will also compete for producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).
LONG LIVE THE DEAD
A month after the 2019 Grammys — where Nipsey Hussle was nominated for best rap album with his critically-acclaimed major-label debut album — he died.
He’s back in a big way at the 2020 show: He earned three nominations, including best rap song, best rap performance and best rap/sung performance.
Dolores O’Riordan, the lead vocalist for the Cranberries, died last year but the Irish band’s final album earned a nomination for best rock album. “In the End” was recorded after O’Riordan died, and the surviving members used her unfinished vocals to flesh out their eighth and final album.
Tanya Tucker and Billy Ray Cyrus last competed at the Grammys more than 25 years, but the country singers are back in a big way.
Tucker is the leading country nominee with four nominations, including song of the year and best country album for “While I’m Livin,’” her first album of the new songs in 17 years.
Tucker had previously been nominated for 10 Grammys, but had never won. Cyrus is in similar shoes.
Cyrus, who has been nominated four times but never won, is up for three honors thanks to his guest appearance on Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” which set a record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this year.
FORMER FIRST LADY
Michelle Obama is on track to become a Grammy winner. Her best-seller “Becoming” is nominated for best spoken word album — a category Barack Obama won twice. Other past winners include The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton.
Colombian singer Maluma was shockingly shut of nominations at the 2019 Latin Grammys, but things have turned around for the singer at the traditional Grammys.
Maluma’s “11:11” earned a nomination for best Latin pop album, marking his first-ever Grammy nomination.
Rosalía, who won four Latin Grammys last week including album of the year for “El Mal Querer,” earned her first pair of Grammy nominations. She’s up for best new artist and best Latin rock, urban or alternative album — a category where Bad Bunny scored two nominations, thanks to his collaborative project with J Balvin, “Oasis,” and his debut album, “X 100PRE,” which won his first Latin Grammy.
The competition for best comedy album is stacked this year: Nominees include Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan and Dave Chappelle, who won the prize in 2019 and 2018.
FEMALE HIP-HOP IS DEAD
Following Cardi B’s success, a number of female rap acts have hit the scene and found major success, including City Girls, Megan Thee Stallion, Rapsody, Saweetie, Tierra Whack and many, many more. Unfortunately, their presence isn’t felt at the Grammys.
Cardi B, who won best rap album earlier this year, is nominated for best rap performance for her guest appearance on hubby Offset’s hit, “Clout.” Lizzo, a semi-rapper, scored eight nominations though none of them were really for rapping. I mean, the truth hurts.
GLORIA’S GOSPEL: I WILL SURVIVE
Gloria Gaynor won best disco recording for the classic “I Will Survive” in 1980, but now she’s competing for Grammys with her first gospel album.
Gaynor scored nominations for best roots gospel album for “Testimony” and best gospel performance/song for “Talkin’ ’Bout Jesus,” featuring Yolanda Adams.
R&B SANTA CLAUS
Christmas has come early for John Legend: People’s Sexiest Man Alive earned a nomination for best traditional pop vocal album with his holiday album, “A Legendary Christmas.” His competition includes albums from Barbra Streisand, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Andrea Bocelli and Michael Buble.
ALL BY MYSELF
Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard released her first solo album “Jaime” in September, which means it will qualify for the 2021 Grammys. But for the 2020 deadline, the four-time Grammy winner dropped a song and it has earned two nominations. “History Repeats” is up for best rock performance and best rock song.