The 2020 Grammy Award Breakdown
By: Sidney Mansueto
Awards season in the world of arts and entertainment is an exciting and busy time period. It is a time when pop culture’s biggest highlights are honored and recognized during an extravagantly glamorous celebration.
The Grammys are no different. The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards are set to take place on January 26, 2020 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Known as music’s biggest night, the 2020 ceremony will honor musical achievements and milestones of the year 2019.
Among the most number of nominations are pop artists Billie Eilish and Lizzo, and country rapper Lil Nas X. A vast array of musical genres will be honored at the upcoming awards show, including the major categories in Pop, Country & Western, Rap and RnB.
Only time will tell who is going to earn the biggest award of the night for Record of the Year. A music fan’s equivalent to the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards are a major event to audiences of all backgrounds.
Taking a look at the Grammys from a numerical view, RnB/Pop artist Lizzo leads the pack with 8 nominations. Lizzo is best known for her smash hit “Truth Hurts,”a breakup anthem from her album “Cuz I Love You,”an album that is nominated in the Album of the Year category. “Truth Hurts” is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, in the area of major award categories.
17-year old singer Billie Eilish is nominated for six awards, making her tied with “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X, who also received six nominations. Scoring 5 nominations was pop star Ariana Grande, who took the entertainment world by storm with hit songs of 2019 such as “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next.”Not to mention Grande’s highly publicized romance with comedian Pete Davidson, which kept people glued to the starlet’s drama on and off the stage.
Most audiences can assume that the breakup was a huge influence on the pop project’s overall commercial success. A Florida native, Grande is nominated in major categories including Album of the Year (“Thank U, Next”), Record of the Year (“7 Rings”), Best Pop Solo Performance (“7 Rings”), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (“Boyfriend”), and Best Pop Vocal Album (“Thank U, Next”). The live, televised broadcast will reveal the winners this winter.
The eligibility period for the 2020 ceremony ran from October 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. There are specific rules for eligibility, and for Song of the Year, the rule is “A song is eligible if it was first released, or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year.”
When Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” was nominated for Song of The Year, many were confused as to how and why a song from 2017 managed to be nominated. Released in 2017 as a single, “Truth Hurts” failed to chart or make any radio and streaming impact.
The song eventually caught on to Billboard in April of 2019, and many cite the usage of the song in the Netflix movie Something Great for the song’s success, two years after its release. After reaching top status on Billboard in September, the song was eyed by audiences and Grammy administrators everywhere.
How did the song score a significant nomination? It was later learned that the song “qualifies for the 2020 Grammys because the song was never submitted for contention in the Grammys process and it appears on an album released during the eligibility period for the upcoming show” (Newsweek publication, November 2019). Lizzo might have proved that good music really has no expiration date.
A musical genre that saw a rise in popularity in recent years is Country & Western. When you either love it or hate it, there is no in between. Country crooner Tanya Tucker leads the nominations in country music with 4 nominations. Tucker’s song, “Bring My Flowers Now” is nominated in three categories, Song of the Year, Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song.
Her first album in 17 years, While I’m Livin’, is also nominated for Best Country Album. Country-Pop duo Dan + Shay are nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song for their hit “Speechless”. Country superstar Blake Shelton is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance with the prideful and patriotic hit “God’s Country”. Other nominees across the country categories include Brothers Osbourne, Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, and Eric Church.
As rap and hip hop continue to peak across the charts, so does their Grammy nominations. Tyler, The Creator’s critically-acclaimed album Igor is one of five albums up for Best Rap Album. The album’s aesthetic and artistic feel made the album a modern favorite among rap fans.
The album’s subliminal themes of romance, sexuality, being trapped in a love triangle, and good versus evil showcase Tyler, The Creator’s talent and bring out a gothic, dark romantic side of the musician. This is strengthened by his metaphorical use of the character Igor, who serves as a representation of a distraught and misunderstood Tyler.
The rapper mentions the character in two songs, “Igor’s Theme” and “What’s Good”. Alongside Tyler, the Creator are other hip hop front runners, J. Cole and SoundCloud rapper DaBaby.
As the official voters cast their ballots, music fans everywhere can support the nominees and their talents and cheer on from now until the big night in January. Honoring pop culture is a form of giving back to the things that make us smile, laugh, and cry.
The Grammys are an awards show that connect artists and fans through performances and achievements. The occasion only gets better every year. The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards air live on January 26th, 2020 on CBS.