The Grammy Nominations: Will the Academy Follow Through on Diversity?

      The 2019 Grammy nominations were announced over a month ago, after the award show’s efforts to add more voting members and expand some categories for more nominations. 5 women were nominated in the Album of the Year category, including Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, and H.E.R., alongside Black Panther: The Album.

      This category sets the tone for what should be happening in every category, more diversity. Although, not everyone thinks that the Grammy nominations have followed through on this goal. While some categories seem more diverse than they have been in the past, is this true or is it just our perception?

      While women have more nominations in the Best Pop Solo Performance category, Post Malone’s Better Now slipped in a nomination alongside Beck’s Colors. In light of the Academy attempting to raise diversity in their nominations, they have allowed a less “pop” track to be considered for the award; and other albums people may have expected were not in either the Album or Song of the Year categories.

      There have been a lot of mixed opinions online about Taylor Swift’s Reputation not being included in the Album of the Year category, as well as Ariana Grande’s Sweetener. Both albums are included in Best Pop Vocal Album nominations, along with Camila Cabello’s Camila, Kelly Clarkson’s The Meaning of Life, Shawn Mendes’s Shawn Mendes, and Pink’s Beautiful Trauma. While some fans may disagree with this isolation of talent, these pop powerhouses have made huge waves this year.

      Chloe x Halle are nominated for Best New Artist, alongside other female artists Dua Lipa, H.E.R, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha, and Jorja Smith, as well as male artists Luke Combs and Greta Van Fleet. Chloe x Halle performed at MTV’s Video Music Awards  in 2018 and have been growing since. These young artists have made huge waves this year into the industry and it is no surprise the pair is up for Best New Artist. In other categories, such as Best Rock Album, there are no female nominees at all, nor any nominees of color within these bands. While the bigger categories may have been prioritized for diverse nominees, others were clearly not.

      It has also been a big year for Kpop group BTS, as their album Love Yourself: Tear was nominated for Best Recording Package. This is huge as BTS has become the first Kpop group ever nominated for a Grammy. Fans were both delighted and disappointed as the credit for this Grammy will go to the artist rather than the group themselves, but it is huge news to be celebrated! BTS promoted the lead song off of this album, Fake Love, at the Billboard Music Awards last year alongside other artists like Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Salt-N-Peppa, Kelly Clarkson, and Janet Jackson.

      This year, the Grammys have added 900 more voting members to their group, and have said that most of these new additions have been women and People of Color. This is huge on behalf  of the Grammys, their acknowledgement that their voters have been biased and that they have been biased in their nominations in the past is a big step forward.

      The recognition of other artists within nominations and the expansion of categories Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist has created space for more diverse nominees to be presented. However, while these nominations are more diverse than they have been in the past, that does not mean that the actual awards will follow through. The true test will come on Feb. 10, when the Grammy awards are presented to their winners and we will see if the bias has continued or not.

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