Sometimes, it’s not who gets nominated for a Grammy Award but who doesn’t. Since the debacle of 2020, when The Weeknd failed to score a single nomination for his After Hours album – including anything for “Blinding Lights,” the song Billboard dubbed “The Top Hot 100 Song Of All Time” – the Grammy nominations faced a great deal of scrutiny. Despite the end of “secret committees,” someone was going to get snubbed, one way or the other. However, few thought Taylor Swift would get overlooked for Album of the Year for the 2023 Grammy Nominations. Following the success of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version), fans expected Taylor’s re-recorded Red to get a shot at AOTY redemption.
Not so! Thought Taylor was nominated for Song of The Year (“All Too Well (10 Minute Version)(The Short Film),” Best Country Song (“I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version),” Best Song For Visual Media (“Carolina,” for Where The Crawdads Sing), and Best Music Video (“All Too Well: The Short Film”), she was denied a slot in the Album of the Year category. Whether or not Red (Taylor’s Version) was eligible – albums need to have enough original material to be considered – but note that the deluxe edition of Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous was nominated.
Nicki Minaj clashed with Latto over the latter’s “Big Energy” being considered rap by the Grammys, while Nicki’s “Super Freaky Girl” was going to be considered for the Pop categories. Ultimately, the Grammys sided with Latto, giving a live version of “Big Energy” a Best Melodic Rap Performance nod. Nicki got zilch.
Demi Lovato’s foray into metal and punk, her Holy F-ck album, was forgotten by the Grammys. So was Carrie Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones, John Legend’s Legend, and Megan Thee Stallion’s Traumazine. BLACKPINK got overlooked, despite being the first female K-Pop group to land a No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as did Elton John, whose Lockdown Sessions was ignored by the nomination committee. Even his duet with Britney Spears failed to foster any nominations.
While the 2023 Grammy Nominations didn’t include any work by accused rapist Dr. Luke, Morgan Wallen (the country star caught using a racial slur on camera), or the antisemitism-spewing Kanye “Ye” West, the Recording Academy did nominate Louis C.K., the comedian who admitted to sexual misconduct, and Dave Chappelle, whose compared trans women to blackface on his now-Grammy-nominated special. Win Butler, accused of sexual misconduct, may attend the 2023 ceremony since his band, Arcade Fire, got nominated for Best Alternative Album.
The definition of “snub” is varied. For some, being shut out from any nominations is the snub above snub. When the 2022 Grammy nominations were revealed, there was a little sourness coming from Machine Gun Kelly because his album, Tickets to my Downfall, wasn’t recognized. “wtf is wrong with the Grammys,” he tweeted (expect no tantrum from MGK, since Mainstream Sellout scored a Best Rock Album nod.) Similarly, when Midnight Sky failed to earn a nomination, Miley Cyrus tweeted a Best Life article titled “30 Artists Who Haven’t Won Grammys.” Queen, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, Nicki Minaj, Bjork, Martina McBride, Diana Ross, Busta Rhymes, The Notorious B.I.G., and Iggy Pop were among those listed. “In good company,” she said.
Some of the greatest Grammy snubs are robberies when certain artists lose to others. For example, Beyoncé’s Lemonade lost to Adele’s 25, and Taylor Swift lost Album of the year to Daft Punk. Similarly, Blood, Sweat & Tears self-titled 1970 album also took the top prize over Johnny Cash’s At San Quentin, Crosby, Stills & Nash’s self-titled, and The Beatles’ Abbey Road. Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down won over Prince’s Purple Rain and Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. Plus, for as many Grammys that Kanye “Ye” west has won, he lost Best New Artist to Maroon 5, Song of the Year to John Mayer (“Daughters” won over “Jesus Walks”), and Album of the Year to U2 (Late Registration to How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb). (h/t Vulture)