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Beyoncé leads the pack for the 2021 Grammy nominees, “WAP” unconscionably excluded

Beyoncé (Photo: Travis Matthews/Parkwood Entertainment) and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion (Screenshot: YouTube)

Beyoncé (Photo: Travis Matthews/Parkwood Entertainment) and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion (Screenshot: YouTube)
Image: The A.V. Club

The nominees for the upcoming 63rd Grammy Awards have been announced, and as you might expect, Beyoncé is front and center. Appallingly, what is not front and center is the world-conquering (and Gilbert Gottfried-endorsed) “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, an oversight we will chalk up to the Recording Academy being comprised of total wusses. (Okay, maybe it was the fact that Cardi B didn’t submit it for consideration, preferring to save it for inclusion on her album, eligible next year. We like our theory better.) But Beyoncé’s “Black Parade” is the frontrunner, racking up nine nominations including Record Of The Year. Taylor Swift’s album folklore, along with releases from Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch, are close behind with six noms each. As expected, beloved artists like HAIM, Fiona Apple, Doja Cat, and more all earned multiple nominations, along with Coldplay getting an Album Of The Year nod, presumably because the nation’s real-estate-lawyer uncles still have some sway.

But while the Grammys are always an occasion to sit back and think, “Huh, there are a LOT of artists I have never heard of who are extremely popular!”, this year also marks a surprisingly large number of nominees who have been championed by The A.V. Club over the past 11 months, including Big Thief, Chloe X Halle, Thundercat, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, and more. Kudos to them for the plaudits they so assuredly earned. We wish we could give them all Grammys, but failing that, we’re happy to draw up some “The A.V. Club Likes You Better Than The Grammys Do” awards on construction paper.

Also, this marks the first year the Grammys have removed the term “urban” from some awards categories and language. As we recently noted, the term has been subject to increasing criticism, leading to the Best Urban Contemporary Album category being renamed the Best Progressive R&B Album category. (Ironically, the Best Latin Pop award has simultaneously been renamed Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album. The struggle continues.) And all of the Best Rock Performance nominees are women, which is pretty badass.

A partial list of nominees is below. The complete list is available at the Grammys website.

Record of the Year

“Black Parade,” Beyoncé
“Colors,” Black Pumas
“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
“Say So,” Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa
“Circles,” Post Malone
“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion

Album of the Year

Chilombo, Jhené Aiko
Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition), Black Pumas
Everyday Life, Coldplay
Djesse Vol. 3, Jacob Collier
Women in Music Pt. III, Haim
Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa
Hollywood’s Bleeding, Post Malone
Folklore, Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“The Box,” Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
“Cardigan,” Aaron Dessner and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Circles,” Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post and Billy Walsh, songwriters (Post Malone)
“Don’t Start Now,” Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa and Emily Warren, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
“I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
“If the World Was Ending,” Julia Michaels and JP Saxe, songwriters (JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels)

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Thee Stallion

Best Rock Performance

“Shameika,” Fiona Apple
“Not,” Big Thief
“Kyoto,” Phoebe Bridgers
“The Steps,” Haim
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard
“Daylight,” Grace Potter

Best Rock Album

“A Hero’s Death,” Fontaines D.C.
“Kiwanuka,” Michael Kiwanuka
“Daylight,” Grace Potter
“Sound & Fury,” Sturgill Simpson
“The New Abnormal,” The Strokes

Best Alternative Music Album

“Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” Fiona Apple
“Hyperspace,” Beck
“Punisher,” Phoebe Bridgers
“Jamie,” Brittany Howard
“The Slow Rush,” Tame Impala

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album

“YHLQMDLG,” Bad Bunny
“Por Primera Vez,” Camilo
“Mesa Para Dos,” Kany García
“PAUSA “Pausa,” Ricky Martin
“3:33,” Debi Nova

Best Rock Song

“Kyoto,” Phoebe Bridgers, Morgan Nadler, Marshall Vore, songwriters (Phoebe Bridgers)
“Lost In Yesterday,” Kevin Parker, Songwriter (Tame Impala)
“Not,” Adrianne Lenker, Songwriter (Big Thief)
“Shameika,” Fiona Apple, Songwriter (Fiona Apple)
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard, Songwriter (Brittany Howard)

Best R&B Performance

“Lightning & Thunder,” Jhené Aiko featuring John Legend
“Black Parade,” Beyoncé
“All I Need,” Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia and Ty Dolla Sign
“Goat Head,” Brittany Howard
“See Me,” Emily King

Best R&B Song

“Better Than I Imagine,” Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello)
“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Collide,” Sam Barsh, Stacey Barthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar and Benedetto Rotondi, songwriters (Tiana Major9 and Earthgang)
“Do It,” Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch and Vincent Van Den Ende, songwriters (Chloe X Halle)
“Slow Down,” Nasri Atweh, Badriia Bourelly, Skip Marley, Ryan Williamson and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Skip Marley and H.E.R.)

Best Progressive R&B Album

“Chilombo,” Jhené Aiko
“Ungodly Hour,” Chloe X Halle
“Free Nationals,” Free Nationals
“____ Yo Feelings,” Robert Glasper
“It Is What It Is,” Thundercat

Best Rap Performance

“Deep Reverence,” Big Sean Featuring Nipsey Hussle
“Bop,” DaBaby
“What’s Poppin,” Jack Harlow
“The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby
“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
“Dior,” Pop Smoke

Best Melodic Rap Performance

“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Drake featuring Lil Durk
“Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak
“The Box,” Roddy Ricch
“Highest in the Room,” Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

“The Bigger Picture,” Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew and Rai’shaun Williams, songwriters (Lil Baby)
“The Box,” Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron LaTour and Ryan Martinez, songwriters (Drake featuring Lil Durk)
“Rockstar,” Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro IV and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch)
“Savage,” Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé)

Best Rap Album

“Black Habits,” D Smoke
“Alfredo,” Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist
“A Written Testimony,” Jay Electronica
“King’s Disease,” Nas
“The Allegory,” Royce Da 5’9”

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Yummy,” Justin Bieber
“Say So,” Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa
“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles
“Cardigan,” Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Un Dia (One Day),” J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy
“Intentions,” Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
“Dynamite,” BTS
“Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
“Exile,” Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

Best Pop Vocal Album

“Changes,” Justin Bieber
“Chromatica,” Lady Gaga
“Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa
“Fine Line,” Harry Styles
“Folklore,” Taylor Swift

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Best Metal Performance

“Bum-Rush,” Body Count
“Underneath,” Code Orange
“The In-Between,” In This Moment
“Bloodmoney,” Poppy
“Executioner’s Tax (Swing Of The Axe)—Live,” Power Trip

Best American Roots Performance

“Colors,” Black Pumas
“Deep in Love,” Bonny Light Horseman
“Short and Sweet,” Brittany Howard
“I’ll Be Gone,” Norah Jones and Mavis Staples
“I Remember Everything,” John Prine

Best Music Film

“Beastie Boys Story,” Beastie Boys
“Black Is King,” Beyoncé
“We Are Freestyle Love Supreme,” Freestyle Love Supreme
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” Linda Ronstadt
“That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” ZZ Top

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