The Recording Academy’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards is expected to turn heads as artists of color and female artists will rightfully attain the accolades they deserve for their hard work, dedication and talent in the music industry.
The category for Best New Artist contains nominees Khalid, Alessia Cara, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert and Julia Michaels. This means that the winner will either be female, African American or in SZA’s case, both. Not only is this important regarding representation, but every artist is unique their styles, and perhaps even within their own genre as they do not simply release vocals or lyrics that can be deemed “traditional” or “cookie cutter.”
The Grammy’s have opened up new doors for vocalists who would have typically been considered “low-key” such as the poised SZA, a college dropout who never envisioned herself as a musical artist. Aside from Best New Artist, she was also nominated for Best R&B Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Contemporary Artist and Best R&B Performance. She was nominated for five Grammys, which is the most any female has been nominated for across all categories for the 60th award ceremony. Even if she does not take home any awards, she will have made a difference in the eyes of those she inspires every day.
Tyler the Creator, an eccentric character who has explored just about every art form including fashion, acting and music, has been nominated for Best Rap Album. He will be performing at the Alliant Energy Center on March 1, so he is an artist should be on every University of Wisconsin student’s radar. His latest release, Flower Boy, is not only a cohesive project that demonstrates his own talent, but also that of his friends and close collaborators.
Rapper Logic was nominated for Best Song of the Year and Best Music Video. His track “1-800-273-8255” is actually the phone number of the Suicide Prevention Hotline, and so his song is innovative in that it could actually save lives. Features from Khalid and Alessia Cara add more to its production value through their mesmerizing vocals along with Logic’s rap that came straight from his heart. He identifies as biracial and is an advocate for mental health.
Some of your favorite artists from middle school seemed to have aged quite nicely as they continue to thrive in the music world such as P!NK, Kesha and Lady Gaga. They have been nominated across the categories of Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. They have all produced iconic music since before I had braces, and up until now when I am almost old enough to legally drink. All I can say is, I support these women.
Odesza has not only made a splash on their latest tour, A Moment Apart, that crossed through town this past November, but they have also been nominated for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album. Clay Knight, one half of the music duo, grew up in Madison so not only can he create an energy in his audience that seems virtually unparalleled, he can also appreciate some decent cheese curds when he sees them.
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Although Beyoncé is typically an artist that steals the spotlight, her husband Jay-Z has soaked up some more of the limelight as he has been nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Music Video and Best Rap Performance. He may be a savage for having 21 wins under his belt already, but eight nominations in one year would elevate him to an even higher level of prestige.
Despite the results, it seems as if there will be no sore losers this year as I am sure that all nominees would agree that it was even an honor to be nominated. Hopefully, this year’s award ceremony will serve as a form of redemption for artists who have faced adversity, as they should all feel proud of making it to this point in their career no matter their age.
The Grammy Awards will be broadcasted on Jan. 28, 2018 from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. CT on CBS.