16 snubs, surprises of the 2016 Grammy nominations

7 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

16 snubs, surprises of the 2016 Grammy nominations.

Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd lead the nominations for the 2016 Grammy Awards. A battle between upbeat, finely crafted pop and politically minded hip-hop seems to be what’s shaping up for the biggest prizes at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Album of the year: “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes; “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar; “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton; “1989,” Taylor Swift; “Beauty Behind the Madness,” The Weeknd. While many fan favorites sneaked in under the radar, here are some artists, songs and albums that the Recording Academy overlooked: Both ’80s icons returned in huge ways this year with new albums: Madonna, touting her dance-heavy 13th effort Rebel Heart; and Prince, with Tidal exclusive HITNRUN Phase One. Swift also locked up nominations in the Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories thanks to “Blank Space,” while Lamar’s “Alright” earned a Song of the Year nod and the Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” scored a Record of the Year nomination.

But lo and behold, neither could muster any love from the Academy (save for Madge collaborator Diplo, whose work on Heart helped nab him producer-of-the-year recognition). Lamar’s other nominations include best rap album for “Butterfly,” rap performance for “Alright,” pop duo/group performance for “Bad Blood” with Swift and dance recording “Never Catch Me” with Flying Lotus.

He’s nominated twice for both best rap song with “Alright” and for co-writing Kanye West’s “All Day,” as well as best music video for “Alright” and “Bad Blood.” “It’s a testimony to his artistry,” Portnow said of Lamar. “He’s someone that’s very serious about his art and about his craft, and has been working it for quite some time. Despite being one of the most ubiquitous songs of the moment, Drake’s viral smash couldn’t eke past the competition, although the Toronto rapper has other contenders in Energy and Back to Back. Best pop solo performance: “Heartbeat Song,” Kelly Clarkson; “Love Me Like You Do,” Ellie Goulding; “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran; “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift; “Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd.

Best pop duo/group performance: “Ship to Wreck,” Florence + The Machine; “Sugar,” Maroon 5; “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars; “Bad Blood,” Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar; “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. Selena Gomez (Good For You), Demi Lovato (Cool For The Summer), Rihanna (B*** Better Have My Money) and Jason Derulo (Want to Want Me) were among the high-profile artists who didn’t see gold from Monday’s nominations. Best rock album: “Chaos and the Calm,” James Bay; “Kintsugi,” Death Cab for Cutie; “Mister Asylum,” Highly Suspect; “Drones,” Muse; “.5: The Gray Chapter,” Slipknot. More than 21,000 submissions were entered for the 83 Grammy categories, with the first round of votes due by Nov. 4 – the day the Country Music Association Awards aired and Stapleton cleaned house and turned in a memorable performance alongside Justin Timberlake. The Grammy cut-off was September 30th, making Adele’s multi-platinum smash 25 and its debut single “Hello” ineligible for any awards at the February 15th event. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Best R&B album: “Coming Home,” Leon Bridges; “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo and The Vanguard; “Cheers to the Fall,” Andra Day; “Reality Show,” Jazmine Sullivan; “Forever Charlie,” Charlie Wilson. This year’s best country album contenders include Little Big Town’s “Pain Killer,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Pageant Material,” Ashley Monroe’s “The Blade” and “Montevallo” by singer-songwriter Sam Hunt, who is also nominated for best new artist. What emerges more than ever is that artists are feeling more liberated to do what comes from their heart, as opposed to trying to fit inside a nice little box.” Portnow notes that this was a particularly competitive year for rap, with a 30 percent increase in entries in the field. For example, Rihanna’s single “FourFiveSeconds,” featuring Paul McCartney and Kanye West, would have seemed tailor-made for Grammy judges who generally love cross-genre — and perhaps even more importantly, trans-generational — collaborations.

A number of starry team outings emerged as candidates, such as Common and John Legend’s “Glory” and triple nominee Nicki Minaj’s “Only,” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown; both are up for best rap/sung collaboration. Best country album: “Montevallo,” Sam Hunt; “Pain Killer,” Little Big Town; “The Blade,” Ashley Monroe; “Pageant Material,” Kacey Musgraves; “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton. The odd timing of the Grammy schedule also means that this year’s monster-hit album — Adele’s freshly issued 25 — won’t be eligible for nomination until the awards’ 2017 edition.

Both Bieber and Adele’s new albums will qualify for Grammy nominations next year since they were released after Sept. 30 – the final day for eligibility this year. Other notable nominees include married duo Joey + Rory for best country duo/group performance (they recently announced Joey is ending her cancer treatment after a recurrence of tumors); actress Amy Poehler with her first Grammy nomination for best spoken world album for “Yes Please”; and actor Seth MacFarlane for best traditional pop vocal album, competing with albums from Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow and Josh Groban. But neither singer could rally much support for their latest efforts, despite strong reviews and past Grammys love (including two wins for Musgraves). Each managed MTV Video Music Awards wins — Beyoncé’s 7/11, for best editing; and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, for best male video — but neither viral sensation could manage a spot in this crowded field. While Taylor Swift’s squad-starring Bad Blood and Kendrick Lamar’s stark Alright were recognized, as expected, The Dead Weather’s I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) is a little-seen surprise to spice up the competition.

It’s unfair to complain about this year’s alternative-music-album bunch when top-shelf talent such as Alabama Shakes (Sound & Color), Tame Impala (Currents) and Björk (Vulnicura) is vying for the prize. Best alternative music album: “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes; “Vulnicura,” Bjork; “The Waterfall,” My Morning Jacket; “Currents,” Tame Impala; “Star Wars,” Wilco. And yet, plenty of seemingly obvious contenders managed no nominations whatsoever, including Beach House (Depression Cherry), Sleater-Kinney (No Cities to Love), Modest Mouse (Strangers to Ourselves), and most egregiously, Sufjan Stevens (Carrie & Lowell). Best urban contemporary album: “Ego Death,” The Internet; “You Should Be Here,” Kehlani; “Blood,” Lianne La Havas; “Wildheart,” Miguel; “Beauty Behind the Madness,” The Weeknd. Girl Crush locked lips with radio controversy this summer, but that didn’t stop Little Big Town from netting an unexpected song-of-the-year nod for the Top 20 single.

After picking up a traditional pop-vocal album Grammy with Tony Bennett for Cheek to Cheek at the 2015 awards, Gaga has kept herself busy on tour and starring in FX’s American Horror Story. But she still managed to squeeze in a nomination with songwriting legend Diane Warren for Til It Happens to You, written for campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground. Still, it’s satisfying to see his sophisticated brand of electronic/dance music leap into the big leagues, nominated alongside perennial favorites Disclosure (Caracal), The Chemical Brothers (Born in the Echoes), and Skrillex and Diplo (Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü).

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