Sit this one out, Beyonce — it’s Jay-Z’s turn.
Queen Bey dominated last year’s Grammy nominations with nine nods. (She would go on to win just two, giving her a career total of 22.) This year, her hip-hop icon husband, who has already won 21, will have a chance to add eight more golden gramophones to his collection when the 60th Grammy Awards are handed out Jan. 28 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Revealed yesterday along with the other nominees, Jay-Z and his leading eight noms is emblematic of a swing toward men of color and hip-hop — and away from women, pop and country.
Thanks to the impressive talents of Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift and more, women have claimed an unprecedented number of major awards in the past few years. That run looks to be closing. Jay-Z and fellow hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar (seven nominations) and Childish Gambino (five nominations) overshadow other contenders.
Pop music had a decent showing: Bruno Mars nabbed six nods, and the ubiquitous summer hit “Despacito” is up for three. Country music had less success: Not a single country act, album or song will vie for the Big Four Awards (Album, Song, Record and Best New Artist of the Year). Country music hasn’t seen this kind of snubbing since at least 2004.
The brushoff of women looks even worse. Katy Perry, who flopped on the charts this year with her album “Witness,” continued her bad luck and failed to garner a single nomination. Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, and Demi Lovato also were left off the list. Lady Gaga, Kesha and Lana Del Rey will only compete for minor awards.
The bright spots: R&B newcomer SZA became 2018’s most Grammy-nominated woman with five nods; Cardi B was the first solo female rapper to be nominated for Best Rap Performance; and Lorde nabbed an Album of the Year nomination for the excellent “Melodrama.”
The Grammys snubbed a lot of Boston talent. How about some love for the amazing Americana act Ballroom Thieves or recognition of hip-hop up-and-comer Cousin Stizz? But former ‘Til Tuesday frontwoman Aimee Mann will try for a Best Folk Album win and Susan Tedeschi (the great-granddaughter of the food chain founder) and her Tedeschi Trucks Band is up for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Thanks to Berklee College of Music, Boston will always have an impressive Grammy presence. Rock band Imagine Dragons, which includes three alums, grabbed two noms. Engineer Matt Schaeffer picked up some deserved acknowledgement for production and mixing work on Kendrick Lamar’s Record and Album of the Year contenders.
All tallied, Berklee alums and faculty collected 26 nominations over 19 categories, from Song of the Year to Best Musical Theater Album to Best Latin Jazz Album.
The Grammys air live on CBS on Jan. 28....Read more