There are some conspicuous omissions in the general-field categories — and there’s no rap or country at all in Song, Record, and Album of the Year
The nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards are here — and that means it’s time for some artists to break out the champagne, and others to call their managers in a huff. No awards show can recognize everyone, and that means there will always be snubs to be found in any group of nominees. The biggest omissions in this year’s Grammy class include newly minted superstars, long-deserving veterans, and, in some cases, entire genres that didn’t get their due.
As a reminder, music released between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 15, 2023 was eligible for these nominations. The winners will be announced at the Grammy ceremony on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles.
Here’s who got the cold shoulder this year.
Peso Pluma Shut Out of Best New Artist
No one ran more victory laps in 2023 than Peso Pluma. The breakthrough Mexican artist landed back-to-back number one hits on Spotify’s Global charts with “Ella Baila Sola,” the Eslabon Armado collaboration that was a runaway favorite for the song of the summer, and the ultra-viral “BZRP Music Session #55” with Argentine producer Bizarrap. Later, his album Genesis shot to Number Three on the Billboard 200. He made history playing the VMAs and closed out a successful U.S. tour as one of this year’s biggest new artists. And yet, despite having such a barrier-breaking come-up, he’s conspicuously missing from the Best New Artist category. (“Ella Baila Sola” is notably missing from Song of the Year and Record of the Year, too.) The move is even more baffling given that Peso represents a much bigger movement: He’s become the face of música Mexicana, a genre that had unmatched commercial and cultural momentum in 2023. But the Grammys only saw fit to give him one nomination, in the dedicated category for that genre. By leaving him out of the general-field awards, they aren’t just snubbing a lone artist here. They’re brushing off an entire new wave of talent that’s been changing the musical landscape. —J.L.
No Love for Rap
For the first time in more than a decade, rap was completely shut out of three out of the Grammys’ big four categories: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. (The last time that happened was at the 2013 awards, 11 years ago.) The omission is glaring because there were rap singles worthy of nomination for Record and Song of the Year. Drake and 21 Savage’s “Rich Flex” was a highly streamed, highly-memed single from Her Loss that spent three weeks at Number Two on the Billboard charts. Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red” was a smash that broke rap’s Number One Billboard Hot 100 drought in September. Gunna’s “Fukumean” was the song of the summer for many people, and he was completely snubbed by the Grammys.
How about Album of the Year? Travis Scott’s star-studded beat-switch clinic Utopia seems like the kind of maximalist project that the Grammy committee loves to nominate (à la Kanye West’s Donda at the 2022 awards) — except they didn’t. Ditto for Her Loss: You might expect the Recording Academy to jump at the chance to nominate Drake, who rarely submits his music for consideration, but they weren’t interested.
Maybe none of these were obvious, undeniable choices for the top three categories, but there were plenty of plausible ones. Instead, the Grammys decided to snub rap altogether and continue their contentious relationship with the most impactful genre in the world. Good job. —A.G.
Where’s the Country?
Country music had its biggest year in recent memory, as artists like Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, and Zach Bryan all topped Billboard’s Hot 100 with songs that had major crossover appeal. Not to Grammy voters, apparently: Not a single country artist or song was nominated in the all-genre categories of Song, Record, or Album of the Year. The omission of Combs and Wallen in particular is a big surprise. Combs’ recording of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit “Fast Car” was a cultural juggernaut and introduced the classic song to a whole new generation, while Wallen’s “Last Night” was the best-selling song of the year, besting hits like Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” (which did get Song and Record nods). Wallen’s monster LP One Thing at Time and Lainey Wilson’s Bell Bottom Country — which just won the CMA Award for Album this week — were also snubbed in the all-genre Album of the Year race. If you’re looking for an explanation for Wallen’s shutout, there’s no shortage of controversies to point to; similar reasons likely account for the total absence of the two culture war anthems adopted by the right wing in the past year (Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” and Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond”). But country is much more than that, even if the Grammys don’t see it. —J.H.
Gunna Left Out in the Cold
When Rolling Stone made its 2024 Grammys predictions, Gunna’s A Gift & A Cursewas my choice to win Best Rap Album, and I forecasted “Fukumean” for a Best Rap Song nomination. But he was completely left out in the cold, with zero nominations. His omission is this year’s example of the Grammy committee’s consistent inability to read the room when it comes to rap. There were few 2023 mainstream rap albums that carried consensus support for album of the year; A Gift & A Curse was one of them. The 15-song project, released five months after he came home from his controversial ensnarement in the YSL RICO case, was a back-against-the-wall exhibition of Gunna’s mesh of harmony and effortless cool. The project was buoyed by “Fukumean,” a hit that peaked at Number Four on the Billboard Hot 100 and had one of the most fun hooks of the year. But apparently, none of that was enough to warrant him a nomination in any category. When real rap fans talk about 2023 in the future, they’ll remember the year Gunna had — it’s a shame the committee didn’t. —A.G.
PinkPantheress Goes Missing
PinkPantheress has maintained a firm grip on the vibes of the past year — her collaboration with the equally buzzing Ice Spice, “Boy’s a Liar pt. 2,” was inescapable on social media. Yet it’s oddly absent from the Song and Record of the Year categories, and PinkPantheress herself went missing in the Best New Artist nominations, despite continuing to drop formidable hits following her viral surge in popularity last year. While it’s undoubtedly great to see Ice Spice get recognition this year, the Grammys remain a bit out of touch with what the kids really listen to. —J.I.
Lucinda Williams Gets Ignored
Lucinda Williams returned after recovering from a stroke with one of the best albums of her career, the gritty New York serenade she called Stories From a Rock n Roll Heart. A pioneer of the Americana genre, Williams was all but assured a nomination in that field, and maybe in the rock categories too. Alas, it was not to be. Williams, the album, and even her two Bruce Springsteen collabs were snubbed, making for one of the most egregious shutouts of this year’s nominations — and breaking our rock & roll hearts. —J.H.