Grammy nominations: “Room for more music, artists and genres”

Status: 11/24/2021 10:47 a.m.

After harsh criticism of its criteria when awarding the coveted Grammys, the Recording Academy has visibly endeavored to achieve more diversity. The artist Jon Batiste entered the race with the most nominations.

By Nicole Markwald, ARD Studio Los Angeles

It was the name that came up the most: Jon Batiste. Batiste received a total of eleven nominations – and they already show the versatility of the musician from New Orleans. It appears in R&B categories, in jazz, in American roots music and even in classical music.

Nicole Markwald
ARD-Studio Los Angeles

His music video for the song “Freedom” was also nominated for a Grammy: Most Americans probably know Batiste from television – he has been the band leader on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert since 2005. He received most of the nominations for his album “We Are”, the rest for his musical contribution to the Pixar film “Soul”.

Nominees between 18 and 95 years old

Canadian singer Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and singer HER follow with eight nominations each. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo each have seven Grammy chances. While Rodrigo is the youngest nominee at the age of 18, the 95-year-old crooner Tony Bennett has another Grammy chance: his album “Love for Sale”, on which he reinterpreted songs by Cole Porter with Lady Gaga, was won six times for the coveted music prize nominated.

The German composer Hans Zimmer was nominated for his work on the film “Dune”. Also the WDR-Bigband has a chance of winning the award: Their collaboration with the band Yellowjackets on the album “Jackets XL” was nominated in the category Best Jazz Ensemble. Ann-Katrin Zimmermann made it into the finalists in the Best Album Text for her work on “Beethoven: The Last Three Sonatas” by the Korean pianist Sunwook Kim.

The Grammys are awarded by the Recording Academy, which has around 12,000 members. In the past few years, the organization was accused of lacking transparency and diversity.

Changes have been made, assured Harvey Mason Jr., who runs the academy. For example, the controversial so-called review commissions, which are said to have favored certain artists, have been abolished: “We have abolished the commissions – that’s why, for the first time in 30 years, only our voting members decided on the nominations.”

More finalists in certain categories

In certain categories, the number of finalists has been increased in order to expand the field of participants. Harvey Mason Jr said: “This will make room for more music, more artists, more genres and include even more than before.”

Last year, the artist The Weeknd had strongly criticized the academy’s lack of transparency and accused it of corruption. Although he had one of the most successful albums, the Canadian hadn’t been nominated for a single Grammy. The Weeknd announced that they no longer want to submit their music. Nonetheless, his name appeared on the nominees list again this year – for his collaboration with Doja Cat and Kanye West.

The Grammys will be awarded on January 31st in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles: Grammy nominations announced

Nicole Markwald, ARD Los Angeles, currently Austin, Texas, 11/24/2021 9:30 a.m.

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