Grammys 2021: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion shine
Beyoncé and Taylor Swift both made history at the Grammy Awards, while Megan Thee Stallion has won three times. Here are some of the highlights.
Entertain This !, USA TODAY
With so much drama surrounding the Recording Academy over the past 12 months, there’s no doubt that this year’s fleet of Grammy nominations will be different.
New leadership (Harvey Mason Jr. is officially CEO), new rules (nominating “review boards” have been removed) and even new categories (best global music performance, best urban music album) topped the list. the inventory of modifications designed to appropriately greet the youngest. artists and restore confidence in the industry.
In the general and gender areas, nominations will now be determined by a majority peer vote among the voting members of the Recording Academy; previously, a group of about 15 to 30 musical peers represented and voted in their specific genres to determine the final selection of nominees.
Additionally, Grammy voters will only vote in 10 gender-specific areas – instead of 15 – to ensure music creators only vote in the categories in which they are most proficient and qualified. However, all voters will be able to vote in the four big “general field” queues – record, song and album of the year and best new artist.
Here are some early predictions – or rather, very educated guesses – on the names (listed alphabetically) and the versions we’ll likely see celebrated on nomination day in those categories.
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Album of the year
Drake, “Certified Lover”: The long-awaited sixth studio effort by Kanye’s favorite arch-nemesis unnamed Taylor isn’t an artistic triumph, but its mega-popularity is undeniable and no one wants another Weeknd-esque backlash.
Billie Eilish, “Happier Than Ever”: Coupled with her new blonde look, Princess of Lo-Fi’s second album Introspection successfully contributed to her artistic growth. Plus, Eilish swept the major categories (plus one more) in 2020. Voters like her. They really like him.
Lil Nas X, “Montero”: Filled with heartfelt lyrics, unbridled honesty and a willingness to explore a musical assortment, the young rapper’s debut is proof of his status as an innovator.
Kacey Musgraves, “Star-Crossed”: Sweet, tender, and painful chronicle of divorce, the release is the melancholy bookend of 2018 Grammy darling, “Golden Hour.”
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Olivia Rodrigo, “Sour”: Recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown, Rodrigo’s debut is alternately teeming with pop-rock-punk spunk (“Good 4 U”, “Deja Vu”) and heart-wrenching teenage angst (“Driver’s License”).
Taylor Swift, “Forever”: The effort associated with the winner of the Album of the Year 2021 (“Folklore”) is arguably the most powerful of the pair with its adventurous folk-pop and lively storytelling. Swift could break her own record – set earlier this year – by winning the category for a fourth time.
Disc of the Year (awarded to artist and producer)
Justin Bieber with The Kid Laroi, “Stay”: The propulsive pop song is the most effusive Bieber has seen in eons.
BTS, “Butter”: While not quite as melodically flawless as 2020’s “Dynamite,” this smoothie should give K-pop superstars a deserved spotlight.
Doja Cat (with SZA), “Kiss Me More”: The steamier cousin of her Grammy-nominated breakthrough, “Say So”, the first single from Doja Cat’s third album is a playful delight.
SHE, “Too bad”: Chameleon singer and musician Gabriella Wilson dropped that R&B finger cot on her debut album, “Back of My Mind,” released in June.
Lil Nas X, “Montero (Call me by your name)”: While not the most lyrically astute track on his debut album, the song – which bears the young rapper’s birth name – is a catchy slice of electro-pop-rap.
Olivia Rodrigo, “Driving license”: Heartache and jealousy are perfectly summed up in this powerful ballad with such a killer bridge, it’s almost Swift-ian.
Song of the Year (awarded to the songwriter)
Brandi Carlile, “Just in time”: This woman’s soul is ridiculously expansive, her voice a sonorous masterpiece.
Billie Eilish, “Happier Than Ever”: Amidst documentaries, gossip sites, and foreign nonsense, it’s often forgotten that Eilish is a pretty powerful singer. This is the reminder.
Olivia Rodrigo, “Driving license”: See: above, teenage heartache.
Silk Sonic, “Leave the Door Open”: Considering Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak kicked off their side project at the 2021 Grammy Awards, it would be a lot different from Grammys not to nod their comeback creation.
Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over”: The title track from the country-soul man’s fourth studio album resonates in his exploration of the joys of old love and new beginnings.
Taylor Swift, “Willow”: Joni Mitchell’s quick channeling not only reflects her musical maturity, but her ability to remain a student at her level of sustained stardom.
Best New Artist
(The criteria state that the artist must have released a minimum of five singles / tracks or one album and “have made a breakthrough in public awareness and notably have had an impact on the musical landscape”, according to official guidelines from the Recording Academy.)
Gabby Barrett: Graduated from the 2018 promotion of “American Idol”, the country darling has scored a few No. 1 singles: “I Hope” (with Charlie Puth) and “The Good Ones”.
Glass animals: British indie rockers hit their stride in the US with “Heat Waves” and increased their visibility with “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)”.
Kid Laroi: A hit in his native Australia for a few years, The Kid (aka Charlton Howard) achieved enormous popularity with Miley Cyrus (“Without You”) and Bieber (“Stay”).
Arlo Parks: “Collapsed in Sunbeams”, the debut album by the British independent pop artist, is already the winner of the prestigious Mercury Prize 2021.
Olivia Rodrigo: It’s decided who will walk away with the golden trophy, but it’s OK to pretend otherwise for the moment.
Dear : Although “My Type” and “Back to the Streets” brought the rapper to the top of the charts, her dance hit with Doja Cat (“Best Friend”) turned her record platinum.
Some dates to file: Eligible recordings were to be released between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. Nominations will be announced on November 23. The 64th annual ceremony will take place on January 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.