“Truth Hurts,” “Old Town Road” & “Bad Guy” take the lead in Incredibly Diverse “Record of the Year” Lineup
Like most highly televised award shows, the Grammys are slow to catch up to the times. Although the 2020 nominees list champions young and fresh faces like Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Billie Eilish leading major categories, the award show has yet to recognize global, non-western artists.
As the New York Times notes, this 2020 nominee list is evidence of the Recording Academy’s attempt to “align its awards with the musicians pushing pop into the future.” Historically, the Grammys has been criticized for its tendency to favor older, white artists, often in the rock genre, for awards over the younger, up and coming pop artists making their mark in the industry.
Thankfully, the artists nominated for the major categories are young, fresh, and not white for the most part. Lizzo, a rising young black woman rapper, singer, and musician, dominates with a total of eight nominations, four of which are in all four general categories. Another young black artist, but from the primarily white country music genre, Lil Nas X receives a total of six nominations. And Billie Eilish is another fresh-faced youth who received six nominations as well. These three are the main artists to look out for as all three of them are first-time Grammy Award nominees, all of which would be a win for diverse representation in the music industry.
Grammy veterans also appear on the list, but only for a few categories. For example, Taylor Swift is a 10-time Grammy Award winner, but since she released her “Lover” album just before Grammy Award cutoff date, it is not included in this year’s lineup for Record of the Year. Her song “You Need to Calm Down,” however, did receive a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Grammy Awards Continues to Forget International Artists, Even when they Outsell in the U.S.
But, who isn’t on this list? Global, international, non-western artists who have broken music records worldwide. Most notably, BTS, the seven-member South Korean Hip-Hop / Pop boy group dubbed the “Biggest Boyband in the World,” are nowhere to be found on the 2020 Grammy List. Their worldwide success and fame is said to rival The Beatles as BTS achieves three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart within 11 months, making them the first group to achieve that record since The Beatles during 1995 and 1996.
Many of BTS’s fans took to social media to express their righteous outrage over the matter as the group continues to be shut out of major award show category nominations despite their overwhelming records in sales that outsell a number of western artists. For example, BTS’s “Map of the Soul: Persona” outsold Beyoncé’s “Homecoming,” which was nominated for a Grammy, with over 4 million copies sold worldwide.
While the Recording Academy proclaims itself “as the world’s leading society of music professionals,” it seems like they’re doing a pretty good job at shutting out artists who come from outside of the western world.
The 62nd Grammy Awards Show will be televised on CBS on January 26, 2020 live 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and hosted by Alicia Keys.
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