After controversy about the Grammys’ failure to recognise women’s achievements at the 2018 ceremony, female artists dominate key categories in the nominations for the 2019 awards. Rapper cardi b, pop futurist Lady Gaga could all take home major awards at the 61st Grammy award ceremony in Los Angeles next February.
Elsewhere, Kendrick Lamar and Drake dominate proceedings, with eight and seven nominations respectively. Along with Childish Gambino, AKA Donald Glover, they could rectify the other dispute that emerged from this year’s awards – namely the Recording Academy nominating but not awarding major hip-hop artists.
Cardi B, Brandi Carlile, Drake, HER, Post Malone, janelle monae, Kacey Musgraves and Lamar’s Black Panther OST are up for album of the year, the Recording Academy’s most prestigious prize.
Guardian music critic Alexis Petridis said: “It seems like a concerted effort on the part of the Grammys to reward slightly less obvious artists than you might expect, and there’s something really pleasing about seeing talented but more tangential Nashville acts such as Brandi Carlisle being nominated in major categories.”
Many of pop’s biggest acts will be disappointed. Taylor swift, who received seven Grammy nominations for her previous album, 1989, received just one for Reputation, and in best pop album, a minor category. The Carters, AKA Beyonce and Jay-Z, as well as Ariana grandeand Travis Scott, were also left out of major categories, receiving nods in genre categories. Kanye West received one nomination as producer of the year.
More than half of the 2019 nominees in each of the four major categories (album of the year, best new artist, song of the year and record of the year) are women, with songwriter Brandi Carlile and R&B singer HER among the lesser-known. Female artists also dominate the country categories – a trend that flies in the face of the genre’s male dominance.
Only four women were nominated across all four major categories at the 2018 Grammies. Portnow compounded the issue when he said women artists needed to “step up” if they wanted to be recognised, comments he said he later regretted. In response to the outcry, the Recording Academy announced a taskforce to tackle anti-woman bias in the music industry, led by Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Tina Tchen.