The music industry's begrudgingly biggest night is upon us as the nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards have been announced. Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations for her magnum opus Lemonade, including all the big ones—Album of the Year and both Record and Song of the Year for "Formation."
She'll be competing in all those categories with Grammy darling Adele, whose 25 and hit single "Hello" nabbed five nominations. Drake and Rihanna are both nominated for eight awards each, including Record of the Year for their knockout collabo, "Work." Meanwhile, young, fresh, and new MC Chance the Rapper ran away with seven nominations including Best New Artist.
Lemonade was nominated across multiple genres from pop to rock to rap—though “Daddy Lessons” sadly missed out on a country nod—making her now the most nominated woman in Grammy history with 62 across her career. Though she's snatched 20 so far, Bey has never won Album of the Year. Should she win this time around she'll be the first black woman to nab the top honor since Lauryn Hill in 1999.
Should Adele win for 25, she'll follow Taylor Swift as the second woman to win that award twice. Then, of course, as it is famous for doing, the Recording Academy could shaft everyone and give it to the critical darling dark horse, country singer Sturgill Simpson's A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.
Those types of shenanigans have led to numerous criticisms of the Grammys and to Frank Ocean formally protesting the annual trophyfest by refusing to submit his album Blond for consideration.
That bit of shade didn't go unnoticed by Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who defended the Grammys' process to The New York Times as "democratic and transparent," noting that "the vast majority of artists" think—contrary to popular belief—that the Grammys are "important."
One such artist, who also happens to be the most vocal critic of the awards, is Kanye West, whose The Life of Pablo received eight nominations, though in none of the major categories. Of course, Yeezy promised to boycott the Grammys if Ocean wasn't nominated—before Ocean's own boycott—so maybe it's all for the best anyway. Mr. West sounds like he could use a night off.