Upsets and Surprises of the 2020 Grammys

Chloe Yang ‘23

On November 20th, the 62nd annual Grammy nominations were announced, with nominations in 84 different categories. Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys hosted the ceremony, having hosted 2018’s ceremony as well. 


For the second year in a row, Taylor Swift did not get an Album of the Year nomination. In 2019, her album Reputation lost the nomination and this year, her album Lover once again lost the chance for the Grammy. Swift, who had two prior wins in the Album of the Year category, has been denied a chance to capture a third win for the second year. Many Swift fans are upset, seeing as the nomination was given to what they think are less deserving artists, such as a rushed EP from blow up star Lil Nas X.


Rap fans were upset when artist Megan Thee Stallion had no Grammy nominations. Just nine months after Cardi B made industry history by becoming the first solo woman to win Best Rap album, many expected Megan the Stallion to follow suit. Next year, the 2020 Grammys will be seeing Cardi B as the only woman competing in the rap field, as a featured artist on a song alongside her husband.


A few fan favorites missing from the nominations list are Solange, Maren Morris, Halsey and Miley Cyrus, just to name a few. However, despite the many upsets of the nominations list, there were various happy surprises as well. 


Reflecting the changing industry views and likes, many more indie artists are beginning to see the light. The top four categories are nominating eight artists instead of the usual five artists, with a lot more room for indie artists to blossom. Lana Del Rey, for example, is showing up in both Album and Song of the Year and Bon Iver made similar appearances in Album and Record of the Year as well.


Three band new, evolving artists are emerging in the scene, with Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X taking over the top of the nominations leaderboard. Eilish and Lil Nas X, both first-time nominees, are both under the age of 21, not even old enough to drink in the United States. Combined with a 22-year-old SoundCloud rapper YBN Cordae nominated for Best Rap Album, the future for the next generation seems bright.

A few more surprises of the Grammy nominations are Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother, who was nominated for Producer of the Year. Imogen Heap’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scored was nominated into the Best Musical Theater Album category. Michelle Obama, former first lady, was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album, an award her husband has won twice in the past.