Quantcast
GREIN ON GRAMMYS: SURPRISES ON THE GRAMMY BALLOT

Every year there are surprises on the Grammy ballot—albums that don’t show up where you expected them to. Here are some of this year’s.

Harry StylesHarry Styles is vying for a nom for Best Rock Album, not Best Pop Vocal Album. The same is true of John Mayer’s The Search for Everything, Sting’s 57th and 9th and Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker. Mayer and Sting are both past winners of Best Pop Vocal Album, for Continuum and Brand New Day, respectively. Amazingly, Cohen (who died in 2016) has yet to be nominated for a competitive Grammy for one of his own records or songs. His only nom to date was as a featured artist on Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters.

Bruno Mars’ third album, 24K Magic, is vying for a nom for Best R&B Album, not Best Pop Vocal Album. Mars’ first two studio albums, Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Unorthodox Jukebox, were both nominated in the pop album category; Jukebox won.

Imagine DragonsEvolve and Paramore’s After Laughter are each vying for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album, not Best Rock Album. Both bands won their only Grammys to date in the rock field—for “Radioactive” (Best Rock Performance) and “Ain’t It Fun” (Best Rock Song), respectively.

Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP is also entered for Best Pop Vocal Album. The band, which earlier in its career won for Best Alternative Music Album (twice) and Best Rock Album (once), was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album with its 2014 album, Ghost Stories. Has the band’s music changed that much, or has the music scene and/or the Grammy Awards structure changed around it? Discuss among yourselves.

Fun Fact: Two #1 albums—Drake’s More Life and The Hamilton Mixtape—aren’t entered for any “genre album” awards.

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s The Nashville Sound is vying for a nom for Best Americana Album, not Best Country Album. The Nashville Sound is nominated for Album of the Year at the upcoming CMA awards. Isbell’s Something More Than Free won the Americana Grammy two years ago.

The Rolling StonesBlue & Lonesome is vying for a nom for Best Traditional Blues Album, not Best Contemporary Blues Album. The Stones won Best Rock Album 23 years ago for Voodoo Lounge.

Future could be headed for noms in two categories with studio albums that were released one week apart earlier this year. (He made history when both albums debuted at #1.) Future is vying for a nomination for Best Rap Album; HNDRXX is slotted in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category. Future’s only nom to date was as a featured artist on Drake’s Views, an Album of the Year contender last year.

Other albums by hip-hoppers that are competing in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category include Post Malone’s Stoney, Young Thug’s Beautiful Thugger Girls and RussThere’s Really a Wolf.

Calvin HarrisFunk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is vying for a nom for Best Urban Contemporary Album, not Best Dance/Electronic Album. Harris’ 18 Months was nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album four years ago.

The Chainsmokers’ first full-length album, Memories…Do Not Open, is vying for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album, not Best Dance/Electronic Album—a sign of their crossover success. The duo won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording last year for “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya).

Gorillaz’s Humanz is vying for a nom for Best Alternative Music Album, not Best Pop Vocal Album. The virtual group’s only Grammy to date was for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “Feel Good Inc.” featuring De La Soul 12 years ago. The group has been nominated for pop, urban/alternative and rap—in addition to four nominations for music videos.

Johnny MathisJohnny Mathis Sings the New American Songbook is vying for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album, not Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, where it would have stood a far better chance of being nominated. Reason: The category is defined by repertoire, not by style. This album consists of Mathis’ interpretations of newer material, not vintage standards. Mathis has yet to win a competitive Grammy. He has been nominated in the Trad Pop category four times.

Norah JonesDay Breaks and Paula Cole’s Ballads are each vying for a nom for Best Jazz Vocal Album, not Best Pop Vocal Album. Jones won Best Pop Vocal Album 15 years ago for Come Away With Me and was nominated again in that category two years later for Feels Like Home; Cole was nominated in that category 20 years ago for This Fire.

Alicia KeysHere is vying for a nom for Best Urban Contemporary Album, not Best R&B Album. Keys is a three-time winner in the latter category, for Songs in A Minor (2001), The Diary of Alicia Keys (2004) and Girl on Fire (2013).

Patti LaBelle’s Bel Hommage is entered for Best Jazz Vocal Album. LaBelle has never been nominated for jazz. Twelve of her 13 noms have been for R&B or traditional R&B. The outlier was “On My Own,” a chart-topping collabo with Michael McDonald, which was nominated in the pop field.

Blackberry Smoke’s Like an Arrow is vying for a nom for Best Rock Album, not Best Country Album. The album hit #1 on the country chart.

LCD Soundsystem’s American Dream is entered in Best Alternative Music Album. The band’s first two albums, LCD Soundsystem and Sound of Silver, were nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album.

Portugal. The Man’s Woodstock is vying for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album, not Best Alternative Music Album. The album’s breakout hit, “Feel It Still,” is one of the biggest alternative hits of recent years.

Reba McEntire’s Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope is vying for a nom for Best Roots Gospel Album, not Best Contemporary Christian Music Album or Best Country Album. Apart from a nomination for a music video, McEntire has never been nominated outside of the country field.

LeAnn RimesRemnants is vying for a nom for Best Pop Vocal Album, not Best Country Album. This would be Rimes’ first nomination in the pop field. Six of her seven noms have come in the country field. The exception was Best New Artist (which is in the General Field).

Lecrae’s All Things Work Together is vying for a nom for Best Rap Album, not Best Gospel Album, despite its Biblically-derived title (Romans 8:28). Lecrae’s 2012 album Gravity won as Best Gospel Album.

Kirk Whalum’s #Love Covers is vying for a nom for Best R&B Album. It would be his first R&B nomination. He has been nominated for pop, gospel, soul gospel and contemporary jazz.

Two #1 albums—Drake’s More Life and The Hamilton Mixtape—aren’t entered for any “genre album” awards. Drake’s Take Care won Best Rap Album five years ago. Several other Top 10 albums, including Kip Moore’s Slow Heart, BTSLove Yourself: Her and XXXTentatacion’s 17, are also not entered for any genre album awards.

Hairspray Live!, the original soundtrack of the so-called “NBC Television Event,” is vying for a nom for Best Musical Theater Album, not Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. It straddles the two categories, but it’s clearly a TV soundtrack, not a Broadway cast album.

Bell Biv Devoe’s Three Stripes is entered for both Best Pop Vocal Album and Best R&B Album. How is that possible? It isn’t. This was a Grammy goof. (There are tens of thousands of entries. You try putting them into categories without making a single goof!)

THINGS THAT MAKE US
GO HMMMM
Lenny Beer's trending topics. (12/8a)
AIRHEAD: BLOWING SMOKE
Inside the Secret Committee. (12/8a)
PUB CRAWLING: BIG NOMS, HEAVY STREAMS AND FAT CHECKS
The year in music publishing (12/8a)
CTRL MEETS ALT-DELETE
A SZA-ling photo op (12/8a)
LUKE BRYAN KNOWS HIS COUNTRY
It'll be #1 next week...unless something crazy happens. (12/8a)
MORE GRAMMY SECRETS
The biz talks committee.
NOT PIZZA AGAIN!
Seriously, can we order something else?
A BIG FAT DEAL
With a gigantic check. Soon.
WE'RE ON TWITTER
You follow?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)