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How The Weeknd upended the 2022 Grammy nominations

Call it The Weeknd impact.

After the “Blinding Lights” singer was shockingly shut out of the Grammy nominations final yr — main the artist to vow that he would boycott the awards in the future — his presence was strongly felt when the 2022 contenders for music’s high prize had been introduced Tuesday. A shock last-minute rule change — not introduced till moments earlier than the contenders had been revealed  — expanded the variety of nominees in the Big 4 classes (Album, Record and Song of the Year, plus Best New Artist) from eight to 10.

This is little doubt to keep away from having one other obvious omission similar to when The Weeknd got here up empty after his blockbuster “After Hours” album had produced a string of hits. Ironically, The Weekend nabbed three nominations after final yr’s shutout. He’s up for his collaborations on Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” and Kanye West’s “Donda,” together with the single “Hurricane.” Although it’s fairly secure to say that he gained’t present up when the awards are held Jan. 31.

But the rule change has additionally made the main classes appear to be a large open free-for-all emphasizing amount over high quality.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga scored a shocking Record of the Year nomination for the 2022 Grammys.
Getty Images for LN

Take Album of the Year, as an illustration. It’s laborious to argue with Lil Nas X’s “Montero,” Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” and Justin Bieber’s “Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)” —  particularly after the Biebs didn’t rating any main nods for final yr’s “Changes.” Ditto for Olivia Rodrigo’s debut “Sour,” which was each a essential and business success.

And though Jon Batiste’s “We Are” is considerably of a shock as certainly one of 11 nominations which have the “Late Show” bandleader main the discipline, it’s the form of outlier by an achieved, well-respected musician that always occasions works its method in the combine. Likewise, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “Love for Sale” LP is the form of sentimental favourite that generally sneaks in when voters go extra with their coronary heart than their head.

But after profitable Album of the Year this yr for “folklore,” did Taylor Swift actually must be nominated once more for its lesser sequel “evermore”? R&B songstress H.E.R., nominated for “Back of My Mind,” additionally seems like the form of standard suspect who’s simply padding out the class. And in a extra selective area, it’s uncertain that there can be room for Doja Cat’s “Planet Her (Deluxe)” and even West’s “Donda,” which surprisingly acquired a nod over Drake’s extra profitable “Certified Lover Boy.”

Taylor Swift
After profitable the Album of the Year Grammy for “folklore,” Taylor Swift has been nominated once more in that class for “evermore.”
Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Similarly, the expanded Record of the Year discipline appears to permit for together with extra chart-driven selections (Doja Cat that includes SZA’s “Kiss Me More,” Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon’s “Peaches”) — making the Grammys look extra like the fan-voted American Music Awards — in addition to head-scratchers similar to Bennett and Gaga’s “I Get a Kick Out of You” and Abba’s “I Still Have Faith in You.”

It diminishes the honor of being nominated when it’s not such an unique membership anymore. To paraphrase Oprah, it’s nearly like, “You get a nomination! And you get a nomination! And you get a nomination!”

Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish is nominated for Album, Record and Song of the Year for her “Happier Than Ever” LP and it’s title monitor.
Getty Images,

Indeed, amongst the 10 Best New Artist nominees, there are most likely solely 5 — nation star Jimmie Allen, Eilish’s producer-brother Finneas, Bieber collaborator the Kid Laroi, rapper Saweetie and Rodrigo — who most music followers would even know.

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