What you need to know about the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will be held on March 14, here is what Butler students think about this year’s nominations. Photo courtesy of The GRAMMYs.

ERIC NOFZIGER | STAFF REPORTER | enofzige@butler.edu 

After being postponed from its original Jan. 31 date, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will be held onMarch 14. Trevor Noah will host the show.

On Jan. 5, the Recording Academy announced “music’s biggest night” would not be held in January due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in its host city of Los Angeles, and would instead be moved to March. The news came just over a month after the nominations were announced and was subsequently met with criticism and confusion, as per usual. 

Snubs and head-scratchers

Ahead of Sunday’s show, Marcos Navarro-Garcia, a junior critical communications and media studies and Spanish double major, said he had qualms with the list of nominees.

“Where is The Weeknd?” Navarro-Garcia said. “‘After Hours’ broke records upon its release and it’s nowhere to be seen, like not even ‘Blinding Lights.’”

Despite his single “Blinding Lightsshattering records for most weeks spent in both the top five and top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and his album “After Hours” meeting commercial success and critical acclaim, The Weeknd did not receive a single Grammy nomination this year. 

Jamie Tarman, a junior arts administration major, echoed Navarro-Garcia’s sentiment regarding the snub.

“He was even… the Super Bowl halftime performer and [he] isn’t going to get a Grammy for the music he did to earn that spot,” Tarman said. “It’s not right.”

For every controversial exclusion on the Recording Academy’s part, there also seems to be a controversial inclusion. Justin Bieber, for example, is nominated for four awards including Best Pop Solo Performance for his hit-or-miss TikTok-core song “Yummy”.

“When [‘Yummy’] came out, it was such a big deal because yay, a new Bieber song,” Tarman said. “And then it was a joke because it was horrible. Everybody on the internet, we all made fun of it for like three days and then completely forgot about it.” 

Picks and favorites

Despite a few glaring errors, music fans are still excited to hopefully watch their faves take home some hardware. The nominees are not all bad, Navarro-Garcia, who is pulling for a Bad Bunny win said, citing the Puerto Rican artist’s prolific standout year.

“I don’t see how it could go to anyone else,” Navarro-Garcia said about Bad Bunny’s nomination for Best Latin Pop Album or Urban Album. “2020 was his year… three albums? I don’t think anyone is going to be able to match that.”

Tarman on the other hand, a lifelong Swiftie, hopes Taylor can add to her double-digit collection of Grammy awards. Tarman commended Swift on her pastoral masterpiece “folklore,” citing the toned-down acoustic album as the perfect medicine for the chaos of 2020. 

 “[‘folklore’] felt like a nice hug,” Tarman said. “It felt like it was just a sound of somebody who understood what you’re going through. We needed that in the time that it came out.”

Swift is up for six awards this year, including Album of the Year for the aforementioned “folklore,” a category she is more than familiar with, given her Grammy history. 

Ruling over the awards show, though, is living legend Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Queen Bey leads the field with nine nominations, despite not releasing an album this past year. Seven of these nominations come from “Black Parade,” her charity single that doubles as a celebration of Black culture and heritage, and the “Savage” remix with Best New Artist shoe-in and resident Hot Girl, Megan Thee Stallion, who is up for four awards herself. If Beyoncé wins big like she is poised to do, the Recording Academy might finally avenge “Lemonade”’s loss to Adele’s “25” for the 2017 Album of the Year, a move even Adele iconically disagreed with. 

Women who rock

Speaking of Women in Music — HAIM reference, anyone? — the rock and alternative categories are surprisingly loaded with female artists and woman-fronted bands, including indie mainstay Fiona Apple and rising star Phoebe Bridgers. Bridgers, off the heels of an extensive talk show tour and smashing Saturday Night Live performance, is also up for four awards. 

C.J. Robinson, a junior music industry studies major, discussed the difficulty of being a woman making music today.

“I think that female artists in the music industry get bashed on so much,” Robinson said. “And I think it’s just because people still don’t like to see women succeed in certain areas.”

Honoring late rappers

Elsewhere in the nominations list, Roddy Ricch leads the rap field with six total nominations, including Record and Song of the Year. Although noticeably lacking in women, the rap categories do honor rappers Pop Smoke and Nipsey Hussle who have passed away within the past few years. However, another notable omission in this area is Mac Miller, who did not receive a single nomination for his posthumous album “Circles”.

Who to watch on stage

In March 7, the Recording Academy announced the full list of performers for the awards. Big-name nominees like Taylor Swift, DaBaby, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Post Malone are set to perform, among others.

Navarro-Garcia said he is excited to see main pop girls, such as Doja Cat and Dua Lipa, light up the stage.

“I think [it will] be cool to see Doja Cat,” Navarro-Garcia said. “And Dua Lipa, she’s had a year.”

 Doja Cat is nominated for three awards, while Dua Lipa’s retro-pop earned her six nominations.

Robinson, on the other hand, is excited for a performance from a certain ex-boyband-member-turned-national-sex-symbol.

“I think an automatic crowd-pleaser [is going to] be Harry Styles,” Robinson said. “People love him, as they should.”

No matter the performers or the nominees, Robinson says she is just happy for any celebration of music during the pandemic.

“I really missed music events this year,” Robinson said. “During high school, I would work many hours to go to concerts and see my favorite artists. Any time that there is a music gathering, it’s one of my favorite times. So I would say I’m excited.”

The Grammy Awards will air on CBS on March 14 at 8 p.m.

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