The Recording Academy announced a rule change in June that allows for streaming-only music to be nominated. That means Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book,” the first streaming-only album to make the Billboard 200, is eligible. He took out a particularly unique “for your consideration” ad.
Best new artist guidelines also changed, removing the necessity for an artist to have released an album within the eligibility period. Instead, new rules say an artist must have released at least five singles, or one album, but no more than 30 singles or three albums; must have entered in the category no more than three times; and must have “achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the eligibility period.”
Who isn’t eligible
Given the cutoff date, some pretty major album releases this year can’t get consideration, including Lady Gaga’s “Joanne,” The Weeknd’s “Starboy,” Bruno Mars’s “24k Magic,” Metallica’s “Hardwired … To Self-Destruct” and A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service.”
But just because music came out within the time frame doesn’t mean it can be nominated; Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” released Aug. 20, wasn’t submitted for Grammy consideration. Ocean, who won two Grammys in 2013, has indicated it was not an oversight.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” Ocean explained to the New York Times last month. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down,” he added, referring to how few black artists have won the album of the year category in his lifetime.
Who will likely be nominated
While the Grammys have a gazillion categories (well, 83 to be more precise), there are the four major ones that really matter. And Adele and Beyoncé will likely get some big nods.
Album of the Year: This is the top prize. Likely nominees include Adele’s “25,” Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and David Bowie’s “Blackstar.” Other possible nominees include Drake (“Views”), Rihanna (“Anti”) and Radiohead (“A Moon Shaped Pool”). Some longer shots: Sturgill Simpson (“A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”), Paul Simon (“Stranger to Stranger”) and Chance the Rapper (“Coloring Book”).
Song of the Year: This category recognizes songwriters. And Adele’s “Hello” will most certainly get nominated. Other likely nominees include Lukas Graham for “7 Years,” Justin Bieber for “Love Yourself” and David Bowie for “Lazarus.” The academy may also put up Sia’s “Cheap Thrills,” Maren Morris’s “My Church” or Beyoncé’s “Formation,” although that last one may have a better shot at Record of the Year.
Record of the Year: Beyoncé’s “Formation” dropped and 24 hours later the woman was singing it at the Super Bowl halftime show. Adele’s “Hello” became a cultural phenomenon, too. They’re likely shoo-ins for this category, which recognizes the artist’s performance and the overall contributions of producers, mixers and others who made the track possible. Chart-toppers “One Dance” by Drake, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake and “Love Yourself” by Bieber are likely contenders as well.
Best New Artist: Although Chance the Rapper has come out with music before (2013’s “Acid Rap” won a BET award), expect him to snag a nod for best new artist this year. Other likely nominees include Maren Morris, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes and The Chainsmokers.
About that ceremony
We won’t know who wins until the Grammy ceremony Feb. 12. James Corden will take over hosting duties, replacing LL Cool J, who has hosted the Grammys every year since 2012. Expect at least one, if not more, “carpool karaoke” bits.