60th Grammy Award Nominations

I’ve been really focused on the Oscar race recently, so I somehow let it slip through the cracks that the 60th Grammy Awards announced their nominations this week. And honestly, I’ve got to say, while I have one or two minor quibbles here and there, this is, overall, one of the greatest lineups the Grammy Awards have ever held.

Yes, despite failing to follow my advice of nominating Ke$ha’s “Praying” for Song of the Year, the Grammys have made up for it by nominating not only fun songs, like “Despacito” and “Issues,” but also truly great songs, like Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” and especially “Redbone. Hell, it doesn’t take a genius to look at that Album of the Year lineup and realize it includes Awaken, My Love!, 4:44, Damn., and Melodrama, four of the greatest albums of the decade, not just the year. Even the sillier nominations make sense in theory – “1-800-273-8255” is a ridiculously cheesy song, but its heart is in the right place, and at least it isn’t as blatant a cash grab as the previously nominated “Same Love” (even if South Park already definitively closed the book on it). And I’m not even mad that the heavily overrated Bruno Mars got nominated in all the top categories. It makes sense considering the context of the categories. And at least “Praying” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. If I had to guess at the moment, based on what each category is supposed to represent (Record is for best sound design overall, Song is for best written song), I would say “Redbone” wins Record of the Year while “Despacito” wins Song of the Year. As for Album of the Year, I have no guesses, although it should go to Damn. to make up for Kendrick Lamar’s many snubs throughout the years.

And speaking of Kendrick’s many snubs, his former rival, Taylor Swift, did not make an overt appearance here tonight. Or at least, she didn’t receive a nomination for any of the eligible songs on her world-conquering clusterf*ck Reputation. She did, however, receive nominations for her writing, specifically on songs “Better Man” and “I Don’t Want to Live Forever.” And quite frankly, that seems pretty deserving. Swift has always been a deft songwriter, even if that’s been hidden in recent years by repeating choruses and an unhealthy obsession with teenage love, and I often think she’d be better off doing that than trying to push her own weak voice as the next Patsy Cline. However, I digress, and want to get back to the wonderful nominations that appear on this list. First off, there’s the fact that “Shape of You” was not nominated in the undeserving Record or Song of the Year categories, but in Best Pop Solo Performance, which is fair, and faces it off with the aforementioned “Praying” and Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons.” R&B seems like the appropriate battle of Bruno Mars vs. the Childish Gambino, and hopefully the latter can become two away from winning an EGOT. While Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy does not appear on the Album of the Year list where it belongs, it does appear as an Alternative Music Album nominee. And then there’s the Rap category, which is arguably one of the greatest races in history. In Best Rap Album alone, we have MigosCulture facing off with Lamar’s Damn. and Jay-Z’s 4:44. And that’s not to mention the nomination for Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” which will face off against “Bad and Boujee.” What a time we’re living in.

However, as this is predominantly a film site, let’s talk about the pop culture music awards. It goes without saying that last year’s juggernaut La La Land has received four nominations, for Best Compilation Album, Best Film Score, Best Song for Visual Media, and Best Arrangements, the only nominee outside of the Visual Media Awards. These nominations mean it will face off against Baby Driver for Best Compilation Album, Arrival, Hidden Figures, and Dunkirk for Best Original Score, and have a rematch for Best Song against Moana, with the added spoiler of Taylor swift. Should La La Land win, Pasek and Paul will become one award away from the EGOT, and well on the way to becoming the youngest recipients ever.

I’ve included a shortened list of the nominees below, focused on the major categories and genres that people care about. The Grammy Awards will be held on January 28th, 2018, and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited.

Top Awards

Record Of The Year:

  • “Redbone” — Childish Gambino
  • “Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
  • “The Story Of O.J.” — Jay-Z
  • “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
  • “24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year:

  • Awaken, My Love! — Childish Gambino
  • 4:44 — Jay-Z
  • Damn.— Kendrick Lamar
  • Melodrama — Lorde
  • 24K Magic — Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year:

  • “Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
  • “4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
  • “Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
  • “1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
  • “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist:

  • Alessia Cara
  • Khalid
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Julia Michaels
  • SZA

Best Pop Solo Performance:

  • “Love So Soft” — Kelly Clarkson
  • “Praying” — Kesha
  • “Million Reasons” — Lady Gaga
  • “What About Us” — P!nk
  • “Shape Of You” — Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

  • “Something Just Like This” — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
  • “Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
  • “Thunder” — Imagine Dragons
  • “Feel It Still” — Portugal. The Man
  • “Stay” — Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best Pop Vocal Album:

  • Kaleidoscope EP — Coldplay
  • Lust For Life — Lana Del Rey
  • Evolve — Imagine Dragons
  • Rainbow — Kesha
  • Joanne — Lady Gaga
  • ÷ (Divide) — Ed Sheeran

Best Rock Performance:

  • “You Want It Darker” — Leonard Cohen
  • “The Promise” — Chris Cornell
  • “Run” — Foo Fighters
  • “No Good” — Kaleo
  • “Go To War” — Nothing More

Best Metal Performance:

  • “Invisible Enemy” — August Burns Red
  • “Black Hoodie” — Body Count
  • “Forever” — Code Orange
  • “Sultan’s Curse” — Mastodon
  • “Clockworks” — Meshuggah

Best Rock Song:

  • “Atlas, Rise!” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)
  • “Blood In The Cut” — JT Daly & Kristine Flaherty, songwriters (K.Flay)
  • “Go To War” — Ben Anderson, Jonny Hawkins, Will Hoffman, Daniel Oliver, David Pramik & Mark Vollelunga, songwriters (Nothing More)
  • “Run” — Foo Fighters, songwriters (Foo Fighters)
  • “The Stage” — Zachary Baker, Brian Haner, Matthew Sanders, Jonathan Seward & Brooks Wackerman, songwriters (Avenged Sevenfold)

Best Rock Album:

  • Emperor Of Sand — Mastodon
  • Hardwired…To Self-Destruct — Metallica
  • The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Nothing More
  • Villains — Queens Of The Stone Age
  • A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs

Best Alternative Music Album:

  • Everything Now — Arcade Fire
  • Humanz — Gorillaz
  • American Dream — LCD Soundsystem
  • Pure Comedy — Father John Misty
  • Sleep Well Beast — The National

Best R&B Performance:

  • “Get You” — Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis
  • “Distraction” — Kehlani
  • “High” — Ledisi
  • “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars
  • “The Weekend” — SZA

Best Traditional R&B Performance:

  • “Laugh And Move On” — The Baylor Project
  • “Redbone” — Childish Gambino
  • “What I’m Feelin’” — Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Hamiltones|
  • “All The Way” — Ledisi
  • “Still” — Mali Music

Best R&B Song:

  • “First Began” — PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton)
  • “Location” — Alfredo Gonzalez, Olatunji Ige, Samuel David Jiminez, Christopher McClenney, Khalid Robinson & Joshua Scruggs, songwriters (Khalid)
  • “Redbone” — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
  • “Supermodel” — Tyran Donaldson, Terrence Henderson, Greg Landfair Jr., Solana Rowe & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (SZA)
  • “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

  • Free 6LACK — 6LACK
  • “Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
  • American Teen — Khalid
  • Ctrl — SZA
  • Starboy — The Weeknd 

Best R&B Album:

  • Freudian — Daniel Caesar
  • Let Love Rule — Ledisi
  • 24K Magic — Bruno Mars
  • Gumbo — PJ Morton
  • Feel The Real –Musiq Soulchild

Best Rap Performance:

  • “Bounce Back” — Big Sean
  • “Bodak Yellow” — Cardi B
  • “4:44” — Jay-Z
  • “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
  • “Bad And Boujee” — Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Best Rap/Sung Performance:

  • “PRBLMS” — 6LACK
  • “Crew” — Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy
  • “Family Feud” — Jay-Z Featuring Beyoncé
  • “LOYALTY.” — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna
  • “Love Galore” — SZA Featuring Travis Scott

Best Rap Song:

  • “Bodak Yellow” — Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)
  • “Chase Me” — Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer, songwriters (Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi)
  • “HUMBLE.” — Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
  • “Sassy” — Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)
  • “The Story Of O.J.” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)

Best Rap Album:

  • 4:44 — Jay-Z
  • — Kendrick Lamar
  • Culture — Migos
  • Laila’s Wisdom — Rapsody
  • Flower Boy — Tyler, The Creator

Best Country Solo Performance:

  • “Body Like A Back Road” — Sam Hunt
  • “Losing You: –Alison Krauss
  • “Tin Man” — Miranda Lambert
  • “I Could Use A Love Song” — Maren Morris
  • “Either Way” — Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:

  • “It Ain’t My Fault” — Brothers Osborne
  • “My Old Man” — Zac Brown Band
  • “You Look Good” — Lady Antebellum
  • “Better Man” — Little Big Town
  • “Drinkin’ Problem” — Midland

Best Country Song:

  • “Better Man” — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Little Big Town)
  • “Body Like A Back Road” — Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Sam Hunt)
  • “Broken Halos” — Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)
  • “Drinkin’ Problem” — Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Mark Wystrach, songwriters (Midland)
  • “Tin Man” — Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, songwriters (Miranda Lambert) 

Best Country Album:

  • Cosmic Hallelujah — Kenny Chesney
  • Heart Break — Lady Antebellum
  • The Breaker — Little Big Town
  • Life Changes — Thomas Rhett
  • From A Room: Volume 1 — Chris Stapleton 

Best Improvised Jazz Solo:

  • “Can’t Remember Why” — Sara Caswell, soloist
  • “Dance Of Shiva” — Billy Childs, soloist
  • “Whisper Not” — Fred Hersch, soloist
  • “Miles Beyond” — John McLaughlin, soloist
  • “Ilimba” — Chris Potter, soloist 

Best Jazz Vocal Album:

  • The Journey — The Baylor Project
  • A Social Call — Jazzmeia Horn
  • Bad Ass And Blind — Raul Midón
  • Porter Plays Porter — Randy Porter Trio With Nancy King
  • Dreams And Daggers — Cécile McLorin Salvant

Best Jazz Instrumental Album:

  • Uptown, Downtown — Bill Charlap Trio
  • Rebirth — Billy Childs
  • Project Freedom –Joey DeFrancesco & The People
  • Open Book — Fred Hersch
  • The Dreamer Is The Dream — Chris Potter 

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:

  • MONK’estra Vol. 2 — John Beasley
  • Jigsaw — Alan Ferber Big Band
  • Bringin’ It — Christian McBride Big Band
  • Homecoming — Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne
  • Whispers On The Wind — Chuck Owen And The Jazz Surge 

Best Latin Jazz Album:

  • Hybrido – From Rio To Wayne Shorter — Antonio Adolfo
  • Oddara — Jane Bunnett & Maqueque
  • Outra Coisa – The Music Of Moacir Santos — Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves
  • Típico — Miguel Zenón
  • Jazz Tango — Pablo Ziegler Trio

Best Folk Album:

  • Mental Illness — Aimee Mann
  • Semper Femina — Laura Marling
  • The Queen Of Hearts — Offa Rex
  • You Don’t Own Me Anymore — The Secret Sisters
  • The Laughing Apple — Yusuf / Cat Stevens

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):

  • Astrophysics For People In A Hurry — Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Born To Run — Bruce Springsteen
  • Confessions Of A Serial Songwriter — Shelly Peiken
  • Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In (Bernie Sanders) — Bernie Sanders And Mark Ruffalo
  • The Princess Diarist — Carrie Fisher

Best Comedy Album:

  • The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas — Dave Chappelle
  • Cinco — Jim Gaffigan
  • Jerry Before Seinfeld — Jerry Seinfeld
  • A Speck Of Dust — Sarah Silverman
  • What Now? — Kevin Hart 

Best Musical Theater Album:

  • Come From Away — Ian Eisendrath, August Eriksmoen, David Hein, David Lai & Irene Sankoff, producers; David Hein & Irene Sankoff, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  • Dear Evan Hansen — Ben Platt, principal soloist; Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, producers; Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  • Hello, Dolly! — Bette Midler, principal soloist; Steven Epstein, producer (Jerry Herman, composer & lyricist) (New Broadway Cast Recording)

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media:

  • Baby Driver — (Various Artists)
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 — (Various Artists)
  • Hidden Figures: The Album — (Various Artists)
  • La La Land — (Various Artists)
  • Moana: The Songs — (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:

  • Arrival — Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer
  • Dunkirk — Hans Zimmer, composer
  • Game Of Thrones: Season 7 — Ramin Djawadi, composer
  • Hidden Figures — Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams & Hans Zimmer, composers
  • La La Land — Justin Hurwitz, composer

Best Song Written For Visual Media:

  • “City Of Stars” — Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone)
  • “How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho)
  • “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (‘Fifty Shades Darker’)” — Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Zayn & Taylor Swift)
  • “Never Give Up” — Sia Furler & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Sia)
  • “Stand Up For Something” — Common & Diane Warren, songwriters (Andra Day Featuring Common)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:

  • “Another Day Of Sun” — Justin Hurwitz, arranger (La La Land Cast)
  • “Every Time We Say Goodbye” — Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Clint Holmes Featuring Jane Monheit)
  • “I Like Myself” — Joel McNeely, arranger (Seth MacFarlane)
  • “I Loves You Porgy/There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York” — Shelly Berg, Gregg Field, Gordon Goodwin & Clint Holmes, arrangers (Clint Holmes Featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater And The Count Basie Orchestra)
  • “Putin” — Randy Newman, arranger (Randy Newman)

Best Music Video:

  • “Up All Night” — Beck
  • “Makeba” — Jain
  • “The Story Of O.J.” — Jay-Z
  • “Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
  • “1-800-273-8255” — Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid

Best Music Film:

  • “One More Time With Feeling” — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • “Long Strange Trip” — (The Grateful Dead)
  • “The Defiant Ones” — (Various Artists)
  • “Soundbreaking” — (Various Artists)
  • “Two Trains Runnin’” — (Various Artists)

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