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GRAMMY CHEW: AOTY LATE BREAKERS

These two albums, one released on 9/24 and the other due on 9/30 in a deadline-obliging cassette-only drop (with other formats to follow on 10/1), are likely the last two major sets to come out within the Grammy eligibility period as possible AOTY contenders. 

Mickey Guyton, Remember Her Name (Capitol Nashville): Guyton has been a disruptor in the country world, crafting beautiful work that directly confronts issues that much of the “heartland” would prefer not to address. For that reason alone she became the first Black female artist to earn a Country Grammy nom. But don’t put Guyton in a box as a protest singer—she’s as strong a writer and vocalist as anyone in Nashville, as this solid set amply demonstrates.

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Love for Sale (Streamline/Columbia/Interscope): Once upon a time, before she fully conquered the world, Gaga seemed a wild choice for a pairing with legendary crooner Bennett, but the combination (on 2014’s Cheek to Cheek) proved smoother than a perfect martini. Their return engagement—a gambol through the Cole Porter songbook—is made infinitely more poignant by the fact that it will almost certainly be the ailing Bennett’s final recording. Expect Grammy to reward this set accordingly, and don’t rule out a valedictory AOTY nod.

TOP 20: HOUSE
ON A HILL
Harry is popular. (5/26a)
SONG REVENUE: HIGHFLIERS
A combined 30 of 50 (5/26a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
SAFE KEEPING
What's the big deal? I.B. Bad has the answers. (5/26a)
STRINGER TOUTS SONY MUSIC TO SHAREHOLDERS
Rob lays out the company strategy (5/26a)
EVP STRIPES FOR UMe'S MURTHY
A total pro gets her due. We bow down. (5/26a)
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