At Last Minute, Kanye West, Taylor Swift Added as Top Grammy Nominees

The group behind the Grammy Awards determined at a gathering on Monday — simply 24 hours earlier than this yr’s nominees have been introduced — that the highest classes ought to broaden to 10 nominees from eight, a last-minute transfer that added stars like Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Abba and Lil Nas X to the present slate of potential winners.

When the nominations were revealed on a stay webcast the subsequent morning, Harvey Mason Jr., the chief govt of Recording Academy, hailed the shock shift as a means “to make room for extra music, extra artists and extra genres, and to embrace the spirit of inclusion.”

However among the many added names have been a few of pop’s largest stars and individuals who have been already on the poll elsewhere.

For album of the yr, the 2 contenders added to the poll have been Swift’s “Evermore” and West’s “Donda,” becoming a member of titles by Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Tony Bennett and Girl Gaga, Doja Cat, H.E.R., Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Jon Batiste.

The nod for “Evermore” was Swift’s sole nomination for her personal music on Tuesday. (She can also be nominated as a songwriter on Rodrigo’s “Bitter.”) West’s nomination for “Donda” introduced his profession complete to 75.

It was potential to find which artists benefited from the growth as a result of their names have been absent from an early model of the “remaining nominations record” that had been created a number of days earlier than the announcement and included solely eight names in these classes. That model had begun circulating exterior the Recording Academy earlier than the nominations have been introduced on Tuesday, and a duplicate of it was obtained by The New York Instances.

The growth within the prime classes comes after the academy has trumpeted a brand new period of openness and transparency in its awards course of. The sixty fourth annual Grammys would be the first in additional than 30 years with out using anonymous nomination review committees, which have been charged with whittling down voters’ selections to create the ultimate poll — a step that was meant to safeguard the awards’ integrity however was accused of permitting manipulation behind the scenes.

Mason defended the transfer so as to add extra nominees as an indication of a newly nimble, responsive Recording Academy, and mentioned that the added names introduced new sounds, types and faces to the highest classes. “For us that is all constructive motion,” he mentioned. “That is us honoring extra nice artists, extra nice music, giving artists a chance to shine and showcase.”

Mason mentioned that the artists added to the record have been merely the ninth and tenth most voted by the academy’s members, and have been decided by Deloitte, the academy’s longtime accomplice in gathering and tabulating votes.

Within the document of the yr class, Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Name Me by Your Title)” and Abba’s “I Nonetheless Have Religion in You” joined tracks by Rodrigo, Bieber, Bennett and Gaga, Batiste, Doja Cat, Eilish, Silk Sonic and Brandi Carlile. This was Abba’s first-ever Grammy nomination.

For tune of the yr, which acknowledges songwriters, the change introduced in Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me Extra,” which options SZA, and “Proper on Time” by Carlile, who was already on the record for one more tune, “A Stunning Noise,” with Alicia Keys. Finest new artist added the rapper Child Keem and the Pakistani American composer and vocalist Arooj Aftab.

Representatives for every of the added artists declined to remark.

As just lately as the 2018 Grammys, there have been solely 5 slots within the prime discipline. In an interview on Wednesday, Mason mentioned that the growth had been thought of for years, however that this yr’s change was impressed by his go to final week to the Latin Grammys, at which as many as 12 artists competed in some top categories. He mentioned he and his staff moved shortly to suggest and implement the change.

“It strains up completely every little thing that we’ve been attempting to do within the final yr in a half,” Mason mentioned, “which is to honor excellence in music, serve our music group, and do it in a considerate however proactive means.”

Valeisha Butterfield Jones, the academy’s co-president, added, “Whereas it might appear rushed, it actually was a considerate, nicely intentioned course of that was additionally data-driven,” pointing to inner numbers that confirmed a rise in voting by its members.

The revelation that nomination lists have been expanded on the eve of their launch — unbeknown to voters till the total poll was introduced — is the most recent twist within the Grammys’ tumultuous latest historical past, with the academy’s last chief dismissed after accusing the establishment’s management of rampant conflicts of curiosity and of protecting up accusations of sexual harassment and rape.

The transfer to finish the nomination assessment committees for the 2022 Grammys got here after years of complaints by artists, particularly Black musicians in rap and R&B, who mentioned that they had been relegated to the style classes however not in the end acknowledged within the 4 basic discipline awards.

Forward of the newest Grammys ceremony, the pop star the Weeknd — who acquired no nominations for his top-selling album, “After Hours” — said he would boycott the awards sooner or later, calling the Grammys “corrupt.”

The academy mentioned that with out the committees this yr, the artists who appeared on the ultimate poll have been those that obtained probably the most votes from their music business friends, and that the growth to 10 nominees from eight within the prime 4 classes was made with out realizing which artists would profit.

The winners shall be decided by votes from the 11,000 members of the Recording Academy, who should qualify as working musicians. The ceremony will happen Jan. 31 in Los Angeles.

Mason additionally mentioned that the addition of Swift and West — superstars in their very own proper, whose rivalry is a perennial media spectacle — was solely a matter of the votes they acquired and that they weren’t chosen for his or her attraction on the Grammys’ tv present.

“A thousand % no,” Mason mentioned. “That was not a consideration.”

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