The 58th Grammy Awards nominations were announced this morning and, in a surprising twist of events, they were not that bad. You may even call them "good."
Kendrick Lamar picked up 11 nominations in nine different categories, including an Album of the Year nod for his 2015 record To Pimp a Butterfly. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift, his “Bad Blood” collaborator, grabbed seven nominations, including an Album of the Year nomination for 1989 and a record of the year nomination for "Blank Space." She tied The Weeknd, who also grabbed Album and Record nods, with the second most nominations.
Like I said: actually pretty good!
By recognizing Lamar and Swift with so many nominations, the Grammys have correctly identified two of the most popular, relevant, and aesthetically singular artists of the last year. That’s what these giant awards shows are for, right? We want to see pop icons “compete” in sports-like narratives that have little bearing on the meaning, complexity or personal nature of their work. Plus, the presence of Swift and Lamar will make it even more surprising when Alabama Shakes or Chris Stapleton pull off the patented Beck-esque upset win in the Album of the Year category.