- Grammy nominations were released this morning, with Lizzo leading the count at eight.
- The news comes a day after the nomination counts were believed to have been leaked on the Grammy’s website.
- There were many questions surrounding song eligibility, seeing as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was nominated several times, despite first being released in 2017.
- There was also debate around potential snubs, like BTS, who did not get any nominations.
Nomination Counts Leak
Lizzo led Wednesday’s Grammy nominations as many had expected thanks to a suspected nomination count leak that happened a day before the official list was announced.
Lizzo earned eight nods, while Billie Eilish and Lil Naz X picked up six. Ariana Grande followed close behind with five. These numbers confirmed fan theories that the Grammys accidentally released nomination counts since they matched up with the information that appeared online Tuesday.
The Grammys website has pages for nominated artists. On those pages, you can see how many wins and nominations each artist has. As of yesterday, Grande had been nominated for six Grammy awards. For a period of time, however, fans saw that number increase to 11. Similar instances occurred for Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and more. Many fans assumed that these totals reflected nominations that tat the time, had not been announced.
The updated number accounts did not stay up throughout all of Tuesday. The numbers were eventually edited to show their correct totals. On Wednesday, after nominations were announced, the updated counts went live again.
The leaks were not the only controversy surrounding the nominations. With Lizzo’s strong lead came questions about her eligibility for certain categories. Her eight nominations include Best New Artist, Album of the Year for Cuz I Love You (Deluxe), as well as Record and Song of the Year for “Truth Hurts.”
There are a number of reasons why Lizzo’s 2017 hit was eligible this year. When it comes to Song of the Year, the Grammys says a song can be considered “if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year.” Since “Truth Hurts” didn’t climb the charts until this summer, it meets that criteria.
It also meets standards because it had never been submitted for a Grammy in the past, and even though its first release was in 2017, it also appeared on the deluxe version of Lizzo’s 2019 album Cuz I Love You.
Many also had similar questions about Lady Gaga and the A Star is Born Soundtrack. The album, along with songs on it, received three nominations this year. It’s biggest song, “Shallow,” already earned itself two wins at last year’s ceremony, raising more questions about eligibility.
The answer is pretty straight-forward. The Shallow was released as a single for the film early enough to compete last year. The full album, however, was released later and only made the cut for the 2020 window.
BTS and Taylor Swift Snubs
A lot of discussion on the nominations also centered around artists who were believed to have been snubbed from nominations. Many BTS fans were upset the band did not get any recognition from the Recording Academy.
Their 2019 album Map of the Soul: Persona sold over four million copies and became the best-selling album in South Korean history. Many fans think this merits attention from the Grammys.
This is not the first time BTS fans have been upset by the way American award shows treat K-Pop music. Earlier this year, the MTV Video Music Awards nominated them in a controversial new Best K-Pop category instead of just nominating them in the major slots.
Fans are not the only ones pointing out that BTS has had a crazy year in terms of commercial success just for it to not translate into Grammy nominations. Rolling Stone published a piece saying that the Grammys “failure to acknowledge K-pop at awards shows stands in stark contrast to the music industry’s day-to-day reality.”
Their report also noted that over the past year, major American labels have all worked to add a K-Pop act to their slate. Elias Leight, the author of the piece, said that this goes further than just BTS. He said that it shows the Grammys has a blindspot when it comes to acknowledging the market for international music.
“The problem extends beyond BTS: American listeners are ranging more widely than ever before, increasingly enthralled by singers from South Korea, but also by artists from Nigeria, Colombia, and Spain,” he wrote. “But the Grammys, as per usual, lag behind.”
Another snub getting a lot of online attention is Taylor Swift’s seventh album, Lover, not getting nominated for Album or Record of the year. This is Swift’s second album in a row to not be nominated here, marking what some see as a lull for her and the Grammys.
This lull came as a surprise to critics, though. Many expected Lover to be a rebound for her and thought she would get nominated in all the major categories. Swift did earn herself three nominations, but that still is not the comeback that some expected and that fans were hoping for.
Swift’s biggest nomination for Lover is for Song of the Year. She is the only solo songwriter nominated in that category this year. Also at stake for Swift is one of her major records. When she won Album of the Year for Fearless, she was just 20 years old, becoming the youngest person to win the award. 17-year-old Billie Eilish is nominated this year, and would take the crown if she won.o
Women and the Grammys
Another element many are keeping an eye on is something that has long been a contentious point for the Grammys: Its inclusion of women, or lack thereof.
In 2018 the Recording Academy got a lot of flack when only one woman won a televised award. That same year, Lorde was the only woman nominated for Album of the Year, but was also the only artist from that category not asked to perform during the show.
This year will be the first ceremony under the Recording Academy’s first female president, Deborah Dugan. Many are wondering if this will impact the show at all.
As far as nominations are concerned, it appears good for women. Five out of the eight Album of the Year nominations belong to women. Many of the most-nominated artists are also female, which could translate into more female wins and performances come show night.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Lil Nas X Starts Bail Project Fund After Releasing Prison-Set Video for “Industry Baby”
The singer said he is working to address “the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community.“
Lil Nas X Starts Bail X Fund
Following the release of his latest single “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X launched a partnership with The Bail Project that aims to cover bail funds for people across the country.
The music video for the song took place in the fictional “Montero State Prison,” a reference to the title of his upcoming album and the singer’s real name. While Lil Nas X spent much of his time online promoting the video with memes, he put a pause on the jokes Saturday to announce the Bail X Fund and bring attention to issues regarding incarceration in the United States.
“On a serious note, I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family,” Lil Nas X tweeted. “And the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community. That’s why I teamed up with @bailproject to create the Bail X Fund.”
The Bail Project aims to eliminate cash bail in the U.S. It has posted over $47 million in free bail for over 17,000 low-income people across the country. It also provides post-release support and services to those who need them.
“Music is the way I fight for liberation. It’s my act of resistance,” Lil Nas X wrote in a statement on the fund’s website. “But I also know that true freedom requires real change in how the criminal justice system works. Starting with cash bail.”
The Fight to End Cash Bail
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, like many issues within the criminal justice system, cash bail disproportionately harms Black Americans. The group claims that Black and brown defendants are somewhere between 10% to 25% “more likely than white defendants to be detained pretrial or to have to pay money bail.” It also argues that Black men are 50% more likely to be detained pretrial than white defendants, and says Black and brown defendants generally “receive bail amounts that are twice as high as bail set for white defendants – and they are less likely to be able to afford it.”
Lil Nas X said he is “doing something” to address these issues and invited his fans to join him. He hopes that his efforts will encourage other artists to use their platforms to likewise speak about these injustices.
“Ending cash bail is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time,” he wrote. “Donate what you can to the Bail X Fund. Let’s bring people home & let’s fight for freedom and equality.”
A donation tab was attached to the song’s music video, where it says nearly $44,000 has been raised for the Bail X Fund. The video has blown up on YouTube, racking up over 31 million views. It remains the number one trending video in music as of Monday morning.
The song has likewise found success on Spotify, where it debuted at number two and eventually reached the number one spot.
Fire at Home Reportedly Owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Under Arson Investigation
Officials said there were no injuries or evacuations during the fire, which was put out in around two hours.
Fire Breaks Out at Famed Couple’s Reported Residence
A Wednesday fire at a historic home in New Orleans, Louisiana believed to be owned by music titans Beyoncé and Jay-Z is being investigated as a possible arson.
On Thursday, a New Orleans Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that it had received a tip about a suspicious person in the area. Further details about the suspicious person and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.
Neighbors told local media that there is an unlocked gate on the property that outsiders sometimes use to gain entry.
Officials told The New York Post that it took 22 firefighters over two hours to extinguish the blaze, with no reported injuries or evacuations. The extent of the damage currently remains unclear, but a spokesperson told The Post that given the age of the residence, the situation could have been far more severe.
“If [the firefighters] didn’t get there when they did, it could have been much worse,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a historic home.”
About the Home
The building was first built in the Garden District neighborhood of the city in the 1920s as a church. It was later used as a ballet school and then became a high-end residence in 2000. Realtor.com says it is currently valued at $3 million.
The home was purchased in 2015 by Sugarcane Parkin LLC. According to The Washington Post, this company has the same registered address as other entities owned by Beyoncé. Sugarcane Parkin is also allegedly managed by Beyoncé’s mother, Celestine Lawson, better known as Tina Knowles.
Representatives for the “Lemonade” singer and her husband have not issued any public statements about the incident, nor have they confirmed that the home is owned by the couple.
In March of this year, storage units in Los Angeles belonging to Beyonce were burglarized. According to TMZ, over a million dollars of goods were stolen, including expensive dresses and handbags.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post) (NOLA)
Cleveland’s Baseball Team Changes Name From Indians to Guardians
The move marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Name Change Announced
Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will change its name after the 2021 season from the Indians to the Guardians.
The team announced the name change with a just over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.
“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the clip. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city.”
This marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Despite long-running calls to change racist and offensive team names — including the Washington Redskins — such campaigns did not gain significant momentum until the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Officials behind the Cleveland team first pledged to change the name last year and previously removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms following the 2018 season.
It toyed with several options before ultimately landing on Guardians, which draws from Cleveland’s architectural history.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a news release.
“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14), and Indians (1915-2021).