Among the biggest surprises in the 2019 Grammy nominations were Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande being completely snubbed from the top four general field races, even with those categories expanded to eight nominees each. But it wasn’t all bad news for the fan-favorites. They’re both nominated in the pop field where they could get their revenge just like Ed Sheeran last year.
At the last Grammys, Sheeran was widely expected to win Record of the Year for his ubiquitous chart-topper “Shape of You,” and he seemed like a safe bet for an Album of the Year nom for “Divide,” but the recording academy locked him out of the general field. They did nominate him twice in pop categories, though, and he ended up winning them both: Best Pop Solo Performance for “Shape of You” and Best Pop Album for “Divide.”
This year Swift and Grande suffered a similar fate in the general field. We thought Grande would make the cut for Album of the Year (“Sweetener“) and Song of the Year (“No Tears Left to Cry”). And we were predicting Swift to be nominated in the same categories for her album “Reputation” and her song “Delicate.” But they were blanked in those categories and now must hope for a consolation prize.
Swift’s nomination for Best Pop Album for “Reputation” is her only bid this year, which is her worst shortfall ever when she has had an album in contention. However, her sheer popularity may give her an advantage, and any Swift die-hards in the recording academy have nowhere else to go if they want to recognize her this year. She’s already a 10-time Grammy champ, and she won this award the last time she was up for it (for “1989” in 2016), so one should never underestimate her in a Grammy contest.
Meanwhile, Grande is still looking for her first Grammy win. Her disappointment in the general field might have put a damper on her chances, but she could rebound for Best Pop Album or Best Pop Solo Performance, where she’s nominated for “God is a Woman.” The Pop Album prize usually goes to the highest-profile artist, or whoever is also nominated for Album of the Year, but there are no Album of the Year nominees in this year’s lineup, and the recording academy often goes for powerhouse female vocalists even if they’re not nominees in the top race.
Consider that Kelly Clarkson won this award twice, for “Breakaway” (2006) and “Stronger” (2013); neither was nominated for Album of the Year, and both times she was up against an artist who was. But while that fact looks like it might help Grande, it might help Clarkson more since the “American Idol” alum and current “Voice” coach is back in the race this year with “Meaning of Life.”
What do you think? Will Grande’s “Sweetener” get its just desserts? Will Swift’s “Reputation” be restored? Or will Clarkson pull off another upset?
Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their music is faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on Sunday, February 10. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.