The Grammys honor a combo of critical success and commercial performance across their 80-plus categories, so every recognizable name in music picks up at least a nomination at some point — except Ellie Goulding. While this British songbird has been snubbed, her pop contemporaries Katy Perry and Justin Bieber at least have had multiple nominations.
Having contended for four Billboard Music Awards and 10 World Music Awards, Goulding is certainly popular enough to have been nominated for a Grammy by now. Indeed, four of her music videos each have been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube, including 2015’s “Love Me Like You Do,” which set a record for most views in one week, with 15 million.
Released in January as the lead single from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” soundtrack, that track is her most successful to date, having topped the charts in almost 30 countries. It will be eligible at the Oscars for Best Original Song. However, as the film was released on Feb. 13 — i.e., before ceremony at which the previous year’s Oscars were handed out — it might be forgotten by the time of nominations this winter. And the music branch rarely recognizes mainstream sensations anymore.
“Love Me Like You Do” stands a much better chance in the equivalent Grammy category: Best Song Written for Visual Media. In the last two years, that category has recognized Oscar-snubbed songs by other twentysomethings Ed Sheeran, Colbie Caillat and Lana Del Rey. Also working in its favor is co-writer/producer Max Martin, who won last year’s Producer of the Year Grammy. According to the early results of our recently-launched Grammy Awards predictions center, the track has 66/1 odds in both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Both of Goulding’s studio albums to date have garnered “generally favorable reviews” on MetaCritic with scores of 65 for “Lights” (2011) and 69 for “Halcyon” (2012) — far better than the 52 for Katy Perry’s Album of the Year nominee “Teenage Dream” in 2010. Goulding has won two Brit Awards: the special Critics Choice trophy back in 2010 and Best Female Solo Artist in 2014.
She did not release an album during this eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2015), but is Grammy-eligible for her featured work on other albums. “Outside,” her song with deejay ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, was her fourth top-40 single in the United States. Harris is a Grammy winner and four-time nominee, so he may be able to carry Goulding. However, their last collaboration, 2013’s “I Need Your Love,” was snubbed in favor of his collaboration with Florence and the Machine lead singer Florence Welch on “Sweet Nothing”; both songs featured on Harris’s album “18 Months.”
Goulding’s next album, “Delirium,” comes out in November, and its lead single “On My Mind” — another Max Martin production — was released last month in the final two weeks of eligibility. That timing could keep it top-of-mind during the nomination phase in the next four weeks, and the song represents Goulding’s highest debut yet (number-22) on the Billboard Hot 100.
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Photo: Ellie Goulding. Credit: Katch/REX