Nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards were announced on Friday.
Some of the nominees are bound to raise eyebrows, including Drake and Morgan Wallen.
Other nominations are simply out of place, like Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night" for song of the year.
The 66th annual Grammy Awards will take place in just a few months, and on Friday morning, the Recording Academy announced which artists will compete in those prestigious categories.
As expected, the 2024 nominee slate is full of buzzy upstarts and accomplished musicians. Many fans were excited to see Ice Spice, Noah Kahan, and Troye Sivan become first-time nominees, while Swifties had several reasons to celebrate — including Taylor Swift's record-breaking seventh nod for song of the year. SZA leads the pack with nine nominations for her critically acclaimed album "SOS."
However, a handful of unfit contenders are hiding in plain sight.
Keep reading to see the most eyebrow-raising nominations this year.
Drake ended his Grammys boycott for one of his worst albums: his and 21 Savage's "Her Loss."
Drake released two albums in 2022. "Her Loss," a collaborative effort with 21 Savage, is the lesser of the pair. In fact, it's one of the least impressive showings of Drake's entire career.
Somehow, "Her Loss" still received four nominations, including best rap album.
This is even more egregious when you consider what Drake had to sacrifice in exchange. The rapper took a rare and admirable stand against the Grammys in 2020 when they failed to nominate The Weeknd's brilliant "After Hours."
For the past few years, Drake has declined to submit his music for consideration. He even asked the Recording Academy to remove him from the ballot in 2022. They weren't just empty words, and as one of the biggest and best-selling artists in the world, this was no small gesture.
Well, let me rephrase. They weren't empty words — until now. Back in October, Billboard confirmed that Drake had ended his short-lived crusade and submitted "Her Loss'" in several categories. Who needs a backbone, right?
Morgan Wallen should not be nominated for a Grammy Award.
Back in 2021, the music industry came so close to the moral high ground after Morgan Wallen was caught on video casually using the N-word.
In response, Big Loud Records suspended Wallen's contract and several radio stations pulled his music from rotation. Although Wallen continued to rack up streams, the swift rebuke from major tastemakers was promising, at least symbolically.
But as the Wu-Tang Clan wisely noted, cash rules everything in the music industry.
Despite a long string of controversies, which also includes partying during the pandemic and canceling concerts at the last minute, Wallen's fanbase remains devoted. "One Thing At a Time" charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 16 weeks, longer than anything since Adele's "21."
Maybe album sales eclipse morals, or maybe the Grammys just couldn't resist the potential viewers he'll draw. Wallen's "Last Night," described by Pitchfork as "acoustic Chainsmokers," was nominated for best country song.
The good news? Best country song is a songwriter's award, and Wallen is not credited among the track's four cowriters.
Are we really still doing this with Chris Brown?
I write a version of this rant every year, but it will never feel normal to see Chris Brown's name among the most respected artists in the industry.
Brown received just one nomination this year for best R&B performance, but for a man who's faced repeated accusations of violence against women, including threats, stalking, and even rape, one is still too many. It would feel icky even if he were making great music — which, to be clear, he is not.
Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night" didn't need to be nominated for song of the year.
Song of the year is a category that celebrates the craft of songwriting (as opposed to its broader counterpart, record of the year, which is awarded to performers, producers, and engineers).
Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night" was created for a choreographed disco party in the "Barbie" movie. It's a catchy song, to be sure, and it fits the scene's tone.
But "Dance the Night" is hardly a lyrical masterpiece. It's certainly not the most well-written song of the year; it's not even the most well-written song on the "Barbie" soundtrack. That honor belongs to "What Was I Made For?" by Billie Eilish, which was nominated for record of the year. (Perhaps they got swapped by mistake?)
"Dance the Night" was also nominated for best song written for visual media. It's up against four other "Barbie" songs, and they're all better than Lipa's.
"Endless Summer Vacation" by Miley Cyrus isn't strong enough for album of the year.
I'm thrilled to see Miley Cyrus finally getting some recognition after many years of being snubbed. (Justice for "Plastic Hearts.")
Her No. 1 hit "Flowers" will rightfully compete for both record and song of the year, as well as best pop solo performance. "Endless Summer Vacation" was nominated for best pop vocal album, and the underrated cut "Thousand Miles" received a nod for best pop duo/group performance.
All of these are well-deserved, but album of the year is a stretch.
"Endless Summer Vacation" has an unreliable tracklist that simply isn't good from start to finish, despite highlights like "Jaded," "River," and "Violet Chemistry."
An album that competes in the top Grammys category should be consistent and impactful enough to keep listeners coming back — never mind the fact that Cyrus all but abandoned the album after its release, which meant that it struggled to play a role in the year's pop culture discourse.
I'm not saying Cyrus should go on tour if it makes her uncomfortable, but the "Endless Summer Vacation" era did lack a sense of gravity and follow-through.
Taylor Swift and Ice Spice's "Karma" remix is not Grammy-worthy.
Personally, I love the glitter-gel-pen sparkle of "Karma," the 11th track on Taylor Swift's "Midnights." Even the most absurd lyrics ("Karma is a cat, purring in my lap 'cause it loves me") are fun to sing along to, especially if you're familiar with Swift's lore.
All that said, nobody asked for the "Karma" remix, not even Swifties. It doesn't make the song better. The "facts" ad-lib in the bridge is basically a meme at this point.
Does "Karma" deserve to compete against songs like "Never Felt So Alone" and "Ghost in the Machine" for a Grammy Award? Unfortunately not.
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