One of this year’s major Grammy contenders is now out of the running. Billboard reports that Frank Ocean did not submit his albums for consideration. In August he released a visual album, “Endless,” and then a surprise studio album, “Blonde.” The latter received abundant critical acclaim, scoring 87 on MetaCritic, and it might have earned him a second nomination for Album of the Year.
Ocean made a strong first impression in 2012 with the release of his universally praised debut album, “Channel Orange.” That earned him Grammy bids for Album of the Year, Record of the Year (for “Thinkin Bout You”) and Best New Artist. He lost those three contests, but did prevail in two other races: Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Channel Orange” and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “No Church in the Wild” with Kanye West and Jay-Z.
The R&B/hip-hop artist earned two more Grammy nominations in subsequent years: Best Rap Song for co-writing Kanye West‘s “New Slaves” (2013) and Album of the Year as a featured artist on Beyonce‘s self-titled 2014 album, which was a surprise release just like Ocean’s 2016 albums turned out to be.
It took four years for Ocean to release his own new material after “Channel Orange.” And with the August releases “Endless” and “Blonde” seemed to position him well for the Grammys, whose eligibility period ended on September 30. That would have kept him fresh in the minds of voters as they mark their ballots this fall in advance of the nominations announcement on December 6.
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