Grammy Nominees 2017: The Surprises, The Snubs, and More 

Written by Steven M.

The Grammys finally got it right this year – well, mostly. 

 The nominees for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced, and this is one of the best batches of nominees we’ve seen in years. Jay-Z leads with eight nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar, with seven. Bruno Mars earns six, and SZA is this year’s most nominated woman with five. 

 In the major categories, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, and Bruno Mars all dominated. With all four of them nominated for Album of the Year AND Record of the Year, Jay-Z scores a bonus nomination for Song of the Year with “4:44”, as Bruno Mars does the same with “That’s What I Like”. Lamar’s “DAMN.”, Jay-Z’s “4:44”, Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”, and Mars’ “24K Magic” were the albums nominated for Album of the Year. The fifth and final nomination was earned by Lorde, for her well-acclaimed sophomore album “Melodrama”. 

 Record of the Year is awarded to the track with the best performance by the artist(s), and also recognizes the producers, mixers, and engineers. Song of the year, on the other hand, recognizes the songwriters. As for record of the year, Lamar, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, and Mars (nominated for “HUMBLE.”, “The Story of O.J.”, “Redbone”, and “24K Magic”, respectively) are joined by “Despacito – Remix”, by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. “Despacito” broke multiple records this year, and is looking to possibly break more by becoming only the second Spanish song ever to win Record of the Year at the Grammys. 

 In the Song of the Year category, Jay-Z and Bruno Mars are also joined by “Despacito”, making it the only song this year to be nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The other two songs contending for Song of the Year are “Issues”, by newcomer Julia Michaels, who is also nominated for Best New Artist; and “1-800-273-8255” by Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid, the last two also nominated for Best New Artist. 

 Best New Artist may be the most difficult category to predict this year, as all five nominees are strong contenders. Each one released their debut album this year (or EP, in Julia Michaels’ case), and all of them were met with great success. SZA’s “Ctrl” provided a strong, brutally honest set of music where SZA opens up about her body image issues and revenge on her exes and confesses to things no one would expect. Alessia Cara is the other strongest contender for this award, as she released many songs that climbed the charts and succeeded commercially. The nominees are Khalid, Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara, SZA, and Lil Uzi Vert. 

 In the pop categories, Ed Sheeran scores a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album with his third full-length, “Divide”, as well as a Best Pop Solo Performance nomination for his smash-hit “Shape of You”. Many think that he was snubbed, and should have been nominated for Album of the Year and Record of the Year with this album and single, respectively. The other nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album are Lady Gaga’s “Joanne”, Kesha’s comeback album”Rainbow”, “Lust for Life” by Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons’ “Evolve”, and surprise nominee, “Kaleidoscope EP” by Coldplay. This was a surprise to most, as it is not a full-length album, and many believe that Demi Lovato’s 2017 album, “Tell Me You Love Me”, deserved the nomination instead of Coldplay.  

 Breakthrough artist Cardi B scores two nominations in the Rap category (Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance) for her smash-hit “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”. Kendrick Lamar also scores big, as “HUMBLE.”, the lead single from his new album, “DAMN.”, scores nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance as well. Jay-Z also dominates in the rap category, most notably with a nomination for Best Rap Album “4:44” and a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration nomination with his superstar wife, Beyoncé, for “Family Feud”. 

 It’s not obvious who’s going to win big this year – we’ll have to wait and see! Tune in to the Grammys on Sunday, January 23 at 8PM on CBS to find out!