Grammy Awards: Olivia Rodrigo dominates nominations for 2022

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Olivia Rodrigo is the biggest breakthrough artist of 2021

Olivia Rodrigo has emerged as the front-runner for next year’s Grammy Awards, with nominations in all four of the main categories.

The 18-year-old is up for best album, best new artist, record of the year and song of the year, for Drivers License.

She faces competition from Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X in all of those categories, except best new artist.

Abba also received their first ever Grammy nomination in the record of the year category.

The Swedish band are recognised for their bittersweet comeback single, I Still Have Faith In You, which was released in September.

Taylor Swift also picks up her second consecutive album of the year nomination, for Evermore. She won the award earlier this year for its companion album, Folklore.

British musicians are relatively thin on the ground, but Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits is up for song of the year; while Arlo Parks and Glass Animals make the shortlist for best new artist.

Coldplay also receive their 36th Grammy nod, for the single Higher Power, which is in the running for best pop group performance.

Although relatively unknown in the UK, the jazz keyboardist Jon Batiste leads the nominations, with 11 in total – recognising both his eclectic solo album We Are and the soundtrack to the Pixar film, Soul.

Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R. follow with eight nominations apiece. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo are close behind with seven.

Meanwhile, Korean pop sensation BTS miss out on the main categories, receiving a single nomination for pop duo/group performance.

BTS made history as the first K-Pop act to earn a Grammy nomination last year

The group’s monster hit Butter, which spent 10 weeks at number one in the US, is nominated alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s I Get A Kick Out Of You, Justin Bieber’s Lonely, Coldplay’s Higher Power and Doja Cat’s Kiss Me More.

This year’s ballot also makes Jay-Z the most-nominated artist in Grammy history.

He had been tied with legendary record producer Quincy Jones on 80, but surges ahead with three new nominations, including two in the best rap song category, for collaborations with DMX and Kanye West.

The nominees were announced at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, with help from Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Eurovision winners Måneskin and BTS themselves.

With almost 22,000 songs and albums submitted for consideration, the shortlists in the main categories were expanded from eight to 10 nominees for the first time.

“We’re living in a time of extraordinary growth in music,” explained Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. “Over 60,000 songs a day are being released. With so much more music available. There’s a lot more excellence to recognise and celebrate.”

The Grammys also made sweeping changes to their rules for 2022, after The Weeknd was controversially shut out of this year’s awards.

Organisers subsequently scrapped dozens of anonymous committees that had the ability to overrule votes in 72 of the 86 categories, allowing rank-and-file voters to choose the shortlists instead.

Veiled in secrecy, the committees had been accused of vote-rigging, favouritism and racism. Several high profile artists including Drake, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd himself, boycotted recent ceremonies in protest.

The change seems to have boosted the chances of artists with broad appeal, such as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, whose duets album Love For Sale generated six nominations.

Who’s up for the biggest prizes?

The so-called “big four” are the Grammys’ most prestigious prizes. This year’s field looks like this.

Album of the year

  • We Are – Jon Batiste
  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Love For Sale
  • Justin Bieber – Justice
  • Doja Cat – Planet Her
  • Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
  • H.E.R. – Back Of My Mind
  • Lil Nas X – Montero
  • Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
  • Taylor Swift – Evermore
  • Donda – Kanye West

Song of the year (recognising the songwriters)

  • Bad Habits – Ed Sheeran
  • A Beautiful Noise – Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile
  • Drivers License – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Fight For You – H.E.R.
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Kiss Me More – Doja Cat ft Sza
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X
  • Peaches – Justin Bieber ft Daniel Caesar & Giveon
  • Leave The Door Open – Silk Sonic
  • Right On Time – Brandi Carlile

Record of the year (recognising the whole recording)

  • I Still Have Faith In You – Abba
  • Freedom – Jon Batiste
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
  • Peaches – Justin Bieber ft Daniel Caesar & Giveon
  • Right On Time – Brandi Carlile
  • Kiss Me More – Doja Cat ft Sza
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X
  • Drivers License – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Leave The Door Open – Silk Sonic

Best new artist

  • Arooj Aftab
  • Jimmie Allen
  • Baby Keem
  • Finneas
  • Glass Animals
  • Japanese Breakfast
  • The Kid Laroi
  • Arlo Parks
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Saweetie

Who didn’t get a nomination?

This year, the Grammys are actually recognising a 13-month time period, from 1 September, 2020, to 30 September, 2021.

Even so, that rules out some of pop’s biggest new albums, including Adele’s 30, Ed Sheeran’s = and Abba’s Voyage.

Also absent is The Weeknd, who is refusing to participate in the Grammys after being snubbed last year. Ariana Grande and Doja Cat also declined to submit their duets with the star for awards, in an apparent show of solidarity. But Kanye West didn’t get the memo: His single Hurricane, which features The Weeknd and Lil Baby, made it onto the best melodic rap song shortlist.

Taylor Swift also withheld her re-recorded version of Fearless from consideration. The original, released in 2008, is itself an album of the year winner.

And Dua Lipa failed to submit her 4x-platinum chart hit Levitating, apparently to avoid recognising featured rapper DaBaby after he made homophobic comments earlier this year.

Country star Morgan Wallen also failed to receive a nomination after being filmed using a racial slur earlier this year.

The singer, whose album Dangerous is the biggest-selling country record of 2021, was ruled ineligible at the Academy of Country Music Awards, but had been allowed to enter the Grammys, only for voters to pass him over in favour of acts like Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. (BBC)

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