December- do you know what that means? Sure, it ushers in a new festive spirit among students and teachers alike, brings a new level of insanity to every mall, and prompts radio stations to overplay Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. But one important aspect of December, often overlooked, is the announcement of Grammy nominees. Because not only does it reward popular artists for their hard work all year, it also provides listeners with a nice walk down the musical memory lane of 2018.
Leading the nominations list this year is Kendrick Lamar, with a whopping eight. If your reaction was anything like mine, you’re probably shocked. Lamar’s best-known songs are “DNA” and “Humble”, which were released back in 2017 (ages ago!). So why did he earn so many nominations? Well, people often forget that movie soundtracks are allowed to be nominated as well, and seven out of eight of his nominations came from the soundtrack of “Black Panther”.
Drake follows with seven, and honestly, that’s no surprise. Drake’s had an incredibly successful year with the drop of his latest album “Scorpion” over the summer. Included in that album is the infamous “God’s Plan”, which sparked many memes, and “Nice for What”. Some honorable mentions go out to “Can’t Take a Joke”, and “In My Feelings”, which led to the viral internet challenge of listeners getting out of a moving car to dance to the insanely catchy song. And, of course, we can’t forget “Sicko Mode”, which was nominated for both “Best Rap Performance” and “Best Rap Song” with its steadfast popularity.
Earning six nominations are both Producer Boi-1da and Brandi Carlisle, making Carlisle the most-nominated woman at the Grammys this year. You might have recognized Boi-1da’s name from “God’s Plan” and “Win” by Jay Rock. Some of Carlisle’s nominations include “Song of the Year” “Album of the Year” and “Best American Roots Song”.
On their heels is a whole slew of pop artists: Cardi B, Childish Gambino, HER, Lady Gaga, Sounwave, Maren Morris, and Bozzi follow, raking in five apiece. Childish Gambino scored four nominations for one controversial song: “This is America”, which made its debut back in May. Lady Gaga also took home four nominations for one song: “Shallow”, from “A Star is Born”, with Bradley Cooper. And last but not least, Cardi B earned two nominations for her album “Invasion of Privacy”, one for her song “Be Careful”, one for “Girls Like You” with Maroon Five, and the “Record of the Year” nomination for “I Like It”. Now, there’s some dispute over what the outcome of that specific award should be. Some say “I Like It” has dominated the radio for so long (May-Present) that it would be shameful if it does not receive the recognition of “Best Record”. However, others argue that the song simply isn’t good, and popularity shouldn’t guarantee an award. In the end, though, only time will tell which opinion will prevail.
Well, that about wraps up my list of top nominees- but what would this article be without honorable mentions? Shawn Mendes made his way onto the nominees list for the first time ever, with his “In My Blood” nominated for “Best Song” and his album nominated for “Best Pop Vocal Album”. Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” was released barely a month ago, but has already been recognized as the “Fourth Best Song of the Year” by Billboard. Unfortunately, it debuted too late to be considered for the 2018 Grammys, but there’s no doubt in our minds that it would’ve swept some awards. And lastly, extending some love to Taylor Swift, who could probably use it after only receiving an unusually low number of nominations; one, for: “Best Pop Vocal Album”.
Be sure to tune into the Grammys on Sunday, February 10, 2019!