The 2023 Grammy Award nominations are here. Will Beyoncé become biggest winner in history?
Will the third time be the charm for Beyoncé when the votes are tabulated and the winners of the 2023 Grammy Awards are announced?
For the third time in six years, Queen Bey — as the vocal superstar is fondly called by many of her fans — has a field-leading nine nominations, including Album of the Year (for “Renaissance”), and Record and Song of the Year (both for “Break My Soul”). The biggest question now is whether she will triumph in the most prestigious categories, or go home with only a few wins in minor categories — as was the case for her in both 2017 and 2021?
The 63rd annual edition of the music industry’s most prestigious annual awards show will be the first to be held during the coronavirus pandemic
Either way, if Beyoncé earns victories in four of the nine categories in which she is now nominated, she will become the biggest winner in Grammy history.
Beyoncé currently is tied for second with legendary producer Quincy Jones, with 28 each. At least for now, classical music conductor Sir Georg Solti — who died in 1997 — still heads the list with 31 Grammy wins.
The other top contenders announced Tuesday include hip-hop maverick Kendrick Lamar (with eight nominations) and Adele and Brandi Carlile (with seven each). Close behind, with six nominations apiece, are Harry Styles, Mary J. Blige, Future, Randy Merrill and DJ Khaled.
Beyoncé's husband and periodic musical partner, hip-hop superstar Jay-Z earned five nominations. That makes him and Beyoncé' the two most-nominated artists in Grammy history, with 88 each.
Of course, having the most nominations in any year is no guarantee of success, as Jay Z can attest. In 2018 he had a field-leading nine nominations but went home empty-handed.
Conspicuously absent from the list of Album of the Year contenders announced Tuesday at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles are several major artists, including Drake and The Weeknd, who — as part of their continuing protest over the nominations process — did not submit their albums for consideration this year.
Neither did Silk Sonic, the retro soul and funk duo co-led by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, which earned four trophies at this year’s Grammy Awards in April in Las Vegas. The duo’s wins included 2022 Song and Record of the Year honors, both for “Leave The Door Open.”
In Silk Sonic’s case, however, the decision to refrain from submitting their album appears to be a matter not of protest but of wanting to take a step back to bask in their recent Grammys success. (It may also be a tacit acknowledgement that a win this time around would be a long shot.
Murrieta-born singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo was also a multiple winner at the telecast, which included a stirring long-distance speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
“We thank the Grammys for allowing us to perform on their platform — not once but twice — and awarding us at last year’s ceremony,” Mars said in a statement last month. . “We’d be crazy to ask for anything more.
The Recording Academy, under whose auspices the Grammys are held, announced the nominees across all 91 categories Tuesday morning at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The announcements were livestreamed on the Grammys website.
Eager to create buzz with young music fans, who often pay little attention to the music industry’s most prestigious annual awards fete, the announcement of nominees was held concurrently on the Recording Academy’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram TikTok and Twitter channels.
The winners of the 65th annual edition of the Grammy Awards will be announced Feb. 5 in Los Angeles at Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in a telecast on CBS and Paramount+. The eligibility period for nominations was Oct.1 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022.
That makes the biggest-selling album of the year so far, Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” ineligible for consideration since it was released just 26 days ago.
Conversely, Swift’s late 2021 album, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” — which features newly recorded versions of the songs that first appeared on her 2012 album, “Red” — was released during the eligibility period, but failed to garner an Album of the Year nomination.
Swift is currently tied with Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra for winning the most Album of the Year Grammys. Her three wins in that category make her the only female artist to have done so.
The Album of the Year nominees announced Tuesday include recordings by four other women artists besides Beyoncé — Adele (for “30"), Brandi Carlile (for “In These Silent Days”), Mary J. Blige (for “Good Morning Gorgeous, Deluxe)” and Lizzo for “Special.”
The male nominees in this category include Kendrick Lamar (for “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers”), Harry Styles (for “Harry’s House”), Coldplay (for “Music of the Spheres”) and Puerto Rican trap-music superstar Bad Bunny (for “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the first all-Spanish release in Grammy history to notch an Album of the Year nomination).
Splitting the difference, the final nomination in this category went to the Swedish quartet Abba, a two-woman, two-man group. If Abba wins — which is unlikely given the higher-profile competition — it would mark the first Grammy in this category for the now 50-year-old foursome, which broke up in 1981 and did not release another album until last year.
Should Beyoncé prevail for Album of the Year, it will mark the first time in her career that she has won in the Grammys’ most coveted category. In 2017, Beyoncé lost to Adele — over Adele’s pointed objections during the telecast.
The nominations announced Tuesday included a number of new categories: Best Alternative Music Performance; Best Americana Music Performance; Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical; Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media; and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album. In addition, a new special merit award will be given out for Best Song for Social Change.
As is almost always the case with Grammy nominations, there was no lack of intrigue about who did — and didn’t — make the cut this time, especially in the 10 slots open for Album of the Year.
Among the acclaimed releases that were not nominated for Album of the Year are Spanish vocal star Rosalía’s acclaimed, genre-blurring “Motomami,” Alison Krauss & Robert Plant’s “Raise the Roof” and the soundtrack to the hit animated feature film “Encanto,” although all three were nominated in other categories.
Missing altogether from the nomination in any category is “Love for Sale,” the joint 2021 album of jazz standards by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Bennett, 96, retired from performing in August of last year after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. He would surely have been a favorite to win in any category in which he was nominated this time around, but it was not to be.
A total of 16,741 eligible entries were submitted for Grammy consideration this time around, according to the Recording Academy. Of those that made the cut and were nominated, nearly half were by women artists and more than half were by artists of color.
Those percentages are very important to the academy and its new CEO, Harvey Mason, Jr., who has been striving to bring more diverse and younger music industry professionals into the ranks of the academy’s approximately 12,000 voting members.
“The awards process completely depends on our membership,” Mason said in a March 2022 interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“So, I wanted to make sure our membership had the most up-to-date, relevant voters possible. We needed to be more diverse. We needed to be more inclusive. We wanted to see inclusivity across genres and genders. Those are some of those things I was hopeful we could continue to improve on. I think we’ve made some great strides.”
But some of the most illustrious nominees on this year’s ballot are notable for their age, not their youth, specifically comedian Mel Brooks, 96, country-music icon Willie Nelson, 89,English blues champion John Mayall, 88, and American blues dynamo Buddy Guy, 86.
A complete list of nominations in all 91 categories is available at grammy.com.
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