2024 Grammy Awards snubs & surprises: Miley Cyrus gets her flowers, Morgan Wallen gets shut out, SZA sizzles and more

The most pleasant surprise is the fact all of the 66th annual Grammys’ leading nominees are women.

Miley Cyrus and SZA lead the 66th Grammy Awards nominees, while Morgan Wallen (center) is passed over again. (Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus and SZA lead the 66th Grammy Awards nominees, while Morgan Wallen (center) is passed over again. (Getty Images)

The 66th annual Grammy Awards nominations have been announced, and among the 94 categories are many surprises — the most pleasant surprise being the fact that all of the top nominees are women. In an age when the Recording Academy is still trying to live down former CEO/chairman Neal Portnow’s controversial comment about female artists needing to “step up” if they want to receive more nominations, this year’s list is refreshing and course-correcting, indeed.

SZA leads with nine nods, Victoria Monét has seven, and Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Billie EilishBrandy Clark, and the trio Boygenius (aka Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus) each have six. Janelle Monae, Lana Del Rey, and Dua Lipa have also made strong showings, and a whopping seven of the eight artists each up in two marquee categories, Album and Record of the Year, are women.

The one outlier in both of those categories is Academy favorite Jon Batiste, whose repeat multiple nominations come as a bit of a surprise. Below are the other head-scratchers and jaw-droppers among the 2024 nominees.

SURPRISE: Miley Cyrus finally gets her flowers

Cyrus is one of the most massive pop stars of her generation, but she has historically been ignored by the Recording Academy — her only two past nominations were for Best Pop Vocal Album eight years ago, for Bangerz (she lost to Sam Smith), and as a guest on Lil Nas X’s Album of the Year nominee, Montero. This year, she’s finally getting her due, with nods in three of the “Big Four” categories: Record and Song of the Year for “Flowers,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, and Album of the Year for Endless Summer Vacation. Grammy night will likely be a party in the USA for Cyrus. (Fun fact: Miley and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, are one of only three parent/child duos to both receive Record of the Year nominations, the other two being Frank/Nancy Sinatra and Nat King/Natalie Cole.)

SNUB: Morgan Wallen can’t get even one Grammy nod at a time

Wallen is one of country music’s biggest stars, and his most recent album, One Thing at a Time, was No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for 28 weeks. But One Thing isn’t even up for Best Country Album, and Wallen has actually never been nominated in any Grammy category. The Recording Academy has likely not forgiven Wallen for his 2021 scandal, when he was caught on camera using a racial slur; while the subsequent fallout never hurt his record or ticket sales, it seems to have hurt his Grammy chances. (Note: Wallen’s single “Last Night” is up for Best Country Song, but that award goes to the songwriters — and Wallen did not pen that tune).

SURPRISE: Victoria Monét seems headed to victory

It may surprise non-industry types that Monét is this year’s second-biggest nominee, and that she’s the only Best New Artist nominee who is also recognized in another Big Four category (Record of the Year, for “On My Mama”). The 34-year-old R&B singer-songwriter is hardly a new artist — she’s actually a behind-the-scenes veteran who has produced and written songs for Ariana Grande, Blackpink, Fifth Harmony, T.I., Chloe x Halle, Nas, Machine Gun Kelly, Brandy, and her fellow Best New Artist nominee, Coco Jones, and she has received three past Grammy nominations for those efforts. But she’s hardly a household name. However, that might soon change, after she picks up a few awards on Grammy night.

SNUB: He’s just Ken

Barbie fittingly cleaned up in this female-led year, picking up nominations for Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media and Score Soundtrack for Visual Media; five nominations, including Record and Song of the Year, for Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”; and a Song of the Year nod for Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night.” But Ryan Gosling’s anthem from the film’s Kenergetic musical extravaganza, “I’m Just Ken,” is only up for Song Written for Visual Media — where it will have to compete against Eilish, Dua Lipa, and “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice featuring Aqua. Anywhere else, he’d be a 10… but this year’s Grammy Awards are simply too stacked.

SURPRISE: Life in plastic is fantastic for Aqua

More than a quarter-century after the Danish pop group was sued by Mattel over “Barbie Girl,” they’re up for two Grammys — Song Written for Visual Media and Best Rap Song — for “Barbie World,” which heavily samples Aqua’s 1997 hit and credits Aqua as co-writers. These are the first Grammy nominations ever for the band. Hopefully they have something pink to wear to the ceremony!

SNUB: “Bell Bottom girl” Lainey Wilson doesn’t rise to the top

Wilson was the leading nominee and big winner at this week’s CMA Awards, taking home trophies for Entertainer and Album of the Year. But she was passed over in all of the Big Four Grammy categories, even Best New Artist. Instead, Wilson received only one solo nomination for Best Country Album, plus a Best Country Duo/Group Performance nod for her appearance on actual Best New Artist nominee Jelly Roll’s “Save Me.”

SURPRISE: Hazel Monét makes her mama proud as youngest-ever Grammy nominee

As a newborn, Victoria Monét’s daughter Hazel, now age 2, appeared on Victoria’s Jaguar II track “Hollywood.” With that song, which also features the much older Earth, Wind & Fire, receiving a nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Hazel has officially made history the Grammy Awards’ youngest nominee — beating the previous record held by Leah Peasall, who appeared on the Grammy-nominated O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack at age 8. Hazel can thank her mama for this.

SNUB: Doja Cat won’t be painting the Grammy town red

Doja Cat is a 13-time Grammy nominee who’s been up for Record of the Year for the past three consecutive years. But this time around, her No. 1 smash “Paint the Town Red” — one of the biggest hits of her career — was passed over in that Big Four category, as well as for Song of the Year. Instead, she’ll have to settle for a Pop Solo Performance nod for that single, along with nominations for Rap Song and Melodic Rap Performance for “Attention.”

SNUB: Ed Sheeran won’t be adding many Grammys to his mantel

The onetime Grammy darling, who has four past wins and 16 nominations to his credit, did earn a Best Pop Vocal Album nomination this year — competing against Swift, Cyrus, Rodrigo, and Kelly Clarkson — for his sixth studio album, (Subtract). But that’s his only nomination. Even his lauded documentary, The Sum of It All, was passed over in the Best Music Film category.

SNUB: The Grammy voting committee forgets Milli Vanilli’s number

According to Billboard, Milli Vanilli, Paramount+’s documentary about the disgraced Europop duo whose Best New Artist Grammy was historically rescinded in 1990, was eligible for Best Music Film this year. But surviving member Fabrice Morvan and the late Rob Pilatus won’t get their Grammy redemption, because Milli Vanilli was overlooked. Well, at least they’re in good company: Other snubbed films in this category, along with the above-mentioned Sheeran doc, include Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming with Dave Letterman, Jason Isbell’s Running With Our Eyes Closed, Mary McCartney’s Abbey Road documentary If These Walls Could Sing, Netflix’s Wham!Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger StadiumLove to Love You, Donna Summer, and Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen: A Journey, A Song.

SNUB: Luke Combs’s “Fast Car” slows it roll

Combs’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” won Single and Song of the Year at this week’s CMA Awards, and it was a crossover smash — receiving airplay at pop and adult-contemporary radio and peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (which is actually four spots higher than Chapman’s chart placement in 1988). It could have been assumed that Combs’s “Fast Car” would also be a sentimental favorite among older Grammy voters, since Chapman’s version received Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance 35 years ago, winning the latter. But Combs was overlooked in the major categories, only receiving one nom, for Best Country Solo Performance.

SNUB: Are u coming, Måneskin, to the Grammys? Apparently not…

The Italian rockers and Eurovision winners were nominated for Best New Artist at the last Grammy Awards, and seven of the tracks on their recent album Rush! were co-penned by 2024 Songwriter of the Year nominee Justin Tranter. But Måneskin won’t be rushing to the podium at next February’s ceremony, because they’ve been entirely shut out.

SNUB: Latin music does not get a caliente reception

For the most part, country and rock artists did not fare well in the pop-dominated General categories this year, and neither did Latin performers. Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito was expected to be up for Album of the Year but only received a nomination for Best Música Urbana Album, while Peso Pluma’s Génesis did get a nod for Best Mexicana Urbana Album, but Pluma was surprisingly shut out of the Best New Artist race.

SURPRISE: Jon Batiste continues his World domination

Two years ago, the former Stephen Colbert bandleader-turned-Grammy darling was an 11-time nominee and the unexpected recipient of the Album of the Year award. And the surprises keep coming this year, with his seventh studio album, World Music Radio, earning him six more nods, including Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Will Batiste be the big winner again, edging out the female competition? We’ll find out when the 66th annual Grammy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 4 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

 

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