The GRAMMY Nomination period closed on September 30th, making it the perfect time to speculate on potential winners. The GRAMMY’s recently changed their voting process, doing away with their secret committees after a controversy surrounding The Weekend’s album “After Hours” not being nominated despite widespread commercial and critical success.
The speculation was that his decision to perform at the Super Bowl instead of the GRAMMY’s potentially led to him not being nominated.
The existence of the secret committees meant that the criteria for getting nominated for a GRAMMY were somewhat vague. Their presence in the public eye only recently came about thanks to the “After Hours” controversy combined with the recent lawsuit from former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan.
In a piece published by Rolling Stone, former employees and others in the music industry provided details about these secretive communities. Generally, many insiders see the inner workings of the Recording Academy as being manipulated by outside factors.
The article testified that a candidate for the Song of The Year award was a member of these committees. Financial lobbying was also a factor in some decisions, with an anonymous source likening it to “baseball and steroids.”
According to the article, “the review committees regularly shoehorn in artists who are not in the initial top 20 selected by the voting membership.” A simple majority vote from Grammy board members is replacing the committees that determine nominations for specific categories such as rock or rap.
How much this will affect the voting process remains to be seen, but some general categories have obvious frontrunners.
“Best New Artist” is pretty much going to be a lock-in for Olivia Rodrigo. It’s been a breakout year for Rodrigo, with SOUR being both critically and commercially successful. She’s had an explosive debut year and is already racking up awards, so she seems like the shoo-in.
Other candidates will likely include Juice WRLD prodigy The KID LAROI, who similarly is enjoying a burst of fame following several viral chart-topping hits. However, Rodrigo’s rise to a teen popstar mirrors GRAMMY darling Billie Eilish so it may lead to a new similar sweep in several categories for Rodrigo.
Album of the Year is pretty much anyone’s guess. Lil Nas X is most likely in the running after another successful year with his debut album “MONTERO,” especially since he was nominated in this category for his EP 7 two years ago.
There’s also GRAMMY darling H.E.R., who won big for her compilation albums before releasing her studio album this year. On the r/popheads forum, commenters joked about H.E.R’s status as a lock-in.
“Any prediction that doesn’t include H.E.R. is oblivious to reality,” says one user.
Other likely nominees include Doja Cat’s “Planet Her,” one of the year’s best-selling albums, and catapulted her into superstar status after rising to prominence from her album “Hot Pink.”
Tyler, the Creator’s “Call me if You Get Lost,” is one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year, and Tyler won a GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for his album IGOR during the 2020 GRAMMYs.
While still on the topic of rap, we may see a return to the feud of Kanye West and Drake if either “Certified Lover Boy” or “Donda” end up nominated or submitted. However, neither of them may submit their albums for GRAMMY consideration.
Drake expressed distaste for the award show in solidarity with The Weeknd after his snub and was frustrated with the underrepresentation of Black artists. West won an award for his album “Jesus is King” in 2021, despite releasing a video of him peeing on a previous GRAMMY last year.
It is anyone’s guess who the GRAMMY’s winners will be this year, as the lack of secret committees is unknown how much certain artists will affect. The GRAMMY’S have historically not been kind to Black artists in winning the general categories.
Still, it remains unclear if the sweeping changes of the Recording Academy will lead to a more diverse catalog of winners.