Story at a glance

  • The 63rd annual Grammy awards ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 31 in Los Angeles, hosted by Trevor Noah, but without a live audience due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • Several categories were dominated by women nominees.
  • The Recording Academy has been criticized for a lack of diversity and inclusion in the past.

Love it or hate it, everyone has something to say about the nominees for the Grammy awards. 

It was a historic year for women, who dominated several categories and swept the nominations for Best Rock Performance and Best Country Album. Beyonce was the most-nominated artist of the year, with “Black Parade" nominated for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year (where Beyonce is again nominated as the featured guest on Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage"). Taylor Swift came in behind her with six nominations, while Dua Lipa, 2019's "Best New Artist," is back again in both record and song of the year.  


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Considering how far away pre-COVID-19 might feel to some, a reminder: the window for nominations was from Sept. 1, 2019, to Aug. 31, 2020. Still, there were notable absences — and fans did not mince words online, with "ROBBED" trending in more than 100,000 tweets in the United States soon after.

 

This was the first year that the nominations were announced via livestream and featured all 83 categories. In the past, the Recording Academy has announced the major categories during their programming and unveiled a full list later, but this time they saved the best for last. And it was a new face for the academy, which fired former CEO Deborah Dugan in March over allegations of misconduct and replaced her with now-President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr.


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Diversity and inclusivity have also historically been an issue for the Grammys. After George Floyd's death and the ensuing demonstrations this summer, the Recording Academy made some changes to four categories that traditionally include Black and Latinx artists. Best Urban Contemporary Album was changed to Best Progressive R&B Album; Best Rap/Song Performance was changed to Best Melodic Rap Performance; Latin Pop Album was changed to Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album; Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album was changed to Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album.

The changes reflected conversations around language that, as one music journalism outlet said, was "inextricably linked to a history of exclusion and segregation within the music industry." But were these name changes enough for an awards show that Sean "Diddy" Combs said has never respected Black music? 

 

Viewers will find out on Jan. 31, when the Grammys are scheduled to be hosted by Trevor Noah without a live audience due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 


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Published on Nov 24, 2020