While the Grammy Awards have often been criticized for being out of touch, there’s plenty to celebrate about the 2019 nominations.
The late rapper Mac Miller secured a posthumous nod for “Best Rap Album,” while the outrageously gifted Kendrick Lamar led the pack with the most nominations. Janelle Monáe‘s groundbreaking “Dirty Computer” is up for “Album of the Year.” Female nominees dominated many of the major categories, including “Best New Artist.”
But as many fans know, for every success from a major award show, there is usually a source of rage or confusion.
Here are INSIDER’s picks for the 14 biggest snubs, in no particular order.
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Mitski’s singular nomination for “Best Recording Package” is just plain rude.
“Best Recording Package” is an award that honors the visual look of an album, not its sonic achievements.
It is also the only category that recognized “Be the Cowboy,” the fifth album from Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski, and easily her most masterful to date — despite landing within the top five in every major roundup of this year’s best albums.
Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” didn’t get much love.
“This feels like the most ‘me’ an album has ever felt. It just feels super close to home,” Grande recently revealed. “A lot of people were like, ‘How does it feel stepping out of your comfort zone?’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, I don’t feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. I feel like I found it.'”
But while “Sweetener” did secure a nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Album,” it was shut out of most major categories, including “Album of the Year.”
Grande’s hit single “God Is a Woman” was thankfully recognized for “Best Pop Solo Performance,” but the most glittering, nuanced, and impeccably crafted tracks on the album (most notably “No Tears Left to Cry,” “Get Well Soon,” and “R.E.M.”) were completely ignored.
Travis Scott was one of the most successful artists this year, but his No. 1 album “Astroworld” was nearly ignored.
Travis Scott has never been a Grammys darling, but “Astroworld” demonstrated a growth in skill and musical maturity that many thought would change his fate; after all, he somehow managed to get Drake, John Mayer, and Stevie Wonder on the same album.
“A real driver on this album too was when we got snubbed for the Grammys in 2016,” Scott’s A&R told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “We were like, man, are they not respecting us? That’s when it was like, ‘No, y’all got it f—ed up.’ We went back and wanted to make an album that was undeniable.”
And yet: Scott secured a nomination for “Best Rap Album,” but was still denied entry to the coveted “Album of the Year” category.