SZA stole the spotlight with nine nominations for the 66th annual Grammy Awards, setting the stage for a night of musical prowess and unexpected twists.
While some nominations were expected, the Grammy landscape is teeming with surprises that promise an exhilarating spectacle on Feb. 4th at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
“Best New Artist” is always one of the most anticipated awards, with fans waiting to see if their favorite emerging artist made their mark. This year, the category comprises Coco Jones, Gracie Abrams, Fred Again…, Ice Spice, Jelly Roll, Noah Kahan, Victoria Monét and The War and Treaty.
One artist who has had a breakout year was left out of the list: Renee Rapp. Her exclusion sparked a wave of disappointment and frustration among her dedicated fan base.
Danielle Hodes, a junior journalism major and an avid fan of Rapp, expressed her disappointment at the artist’s absence from the nominations, stating, "She is probably the best vocalist out right now and deserves to be nominated. It makes no sense."
Zach Bryan was another musician expected to be on the list, but country music had a tough run with nominations this year.
Morgan Wallen's song "Last Night" secured only one nomination for "Best Country Song," a surprising outcome considering the sustained success of Wallen's album "One Thing at a Time," which spent 16 alternate weeks at the top of the Billboard 200.
Debate is ablaze regarding the potential winner of Album of the Year, as Boygenius, Janelle Monáe, Jon Batiste, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, and Taylor Swift contend for the prestigious award based on their impactful projects this year.
The heated discussion centers around Taylor Swift's "Midnights," with many asserting that it might not measure up to SZA's "SOS." Fans have been passionately engaged in the debate, offering varied perspectives on the contenders.
Boygenius’s “The Record” or Lana Del Rey’s “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?” are top contenders. Lana said in an Instagram post that she wasn’t aware until this year that artists had to submit their own work to be considered, which adds a layer of complexity to her nomination and emphasizes the organic recognition of her artistry.
Given the global impact of Barbie's cultural influence, the expectation that Billie Eilish's song "What Was I Made For?” [From the Motion Picture 'Barbie'] could emerge triumphant for Record of the Year is not unfounded. The sheer iconic status of this Barbie-associated track puts it in a league of its own. Competing at a similar level are contenders like SZA's "Kill Bill" and Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero."
Taylor Swift has also dominated the world this year, so no one will be surprised if she wins every award she’s up for. Named Time’s person of the year for 2023, the 33 year-old artist is arguably at the peak of her career.
Junior government and politics major Corinne Allen, said, “I feel like everyone expects her to win everything. You open your phone and she’s everywhere, so I can’t see her losing an award.”
It would be unsurprising and well-deserved for Taylor to come out on top, but even as a Swiftie, junior criminal justice major, Hailey Schifano, said it might be nice for someone else to get recognized for their work.
“I’m a Swiftie, so I’m biased for her, but it has to be difficult being put against her with the year she’s had and the passionate fans she has behind her,” Schifano said.
The upcoming Grammy Awards promise a night of excitement and eventfulness, with these closely contested races to be settled. Not every fan will find complete satisfaction, as the outcomes of these heated debates will inevitably lead to a mix of joy and disappointment within the diverse community of music enthusiasts.