The nominations for the 6oth annual Grammy Awards are strange, to say the least. Jay-Z’s 4:44 and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN were expected nominations for album of the year, but Lorde’s Melodrama and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” were unanticipated nominees. Even more surprising were the numerous snubs this year. Among them were Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and others. We believe this year’s Grammys will see the album, song and record of the year categories missing many of music’s biggest stars, many of whom seemed bound to take home the Grammys’ biggest awards.
There’s no question that Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was one of the biggest songs of the year and that Divide was one of the the most commercially successful albums of the year. Ed, however, was nominated for best solo pop performance and best pop vocal album instead of bigger awards like album, song or record of the year. Perhaps this is because of critics such as David Hillier coining it as “the most anodyne and bland pop album possible.” To criticize the album as generic and vapid is fair, but are songs like “Despacito” any better?
Harry Styles and Niall Horan
One Direction was never nominated for a Grammy, and neither were any of its former members in 2017. Niall Horan’s Flicker isn’t eligible for the 60th Grammys, but it’s still strange that “Slow Hands” didn’t get any attention as a single and that neither Harry nor Niall got a nomination for best new artist. Harry’s self-titled debut album was critically acclaimed, commercially successful and deviated from the typical pop album, but got no love from the academy. His single “Sign of the Times” was a gem and should’ve received a nod for Song of the Year instead of tracks such as “Issues” or “24K Magic.”
T-Swift was afforded two nominations this year: one for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack and one for songwriting of Little Big Town’s “Better Man.” Her sixth album Reputation isn’t eligible for nomination until next year, but her single “Look What You Made Me Do,” failed to garner any nods. While the lack of nominations in major categories is unusual for Swift, she’ll likely score a few awards for Reputation at the 61st annual Grammys.
The Grammys evidently weren’t feeling Perry’s album Witness. Songs like “Swish Swish” and “Chained to the Rhythm” were fairly popular, but the album’s mixed reviews from critics and fans alike may have prevented a nomination. Did she deserve a nomination this year? Probably not, but she’s definitely made her mark on 2017.
Some of the world’s favorite artists won’t be center stage at the world’s most iconic celebration of music. While we can be thankful for things like the diverse pool of nominees, we can be saddened by the fact that people such as Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran won’t be up for the awards that many fans wanted them to win. Regardless, we can all catch the 60th Grammy Awards on Jan. 28 and rejoice in the theatrics of it all.