Grammy Nomations: Surprises and Snubs

Story posted December 6, 2020 in

It’s that time of the year again when people get mad about the Grammy nominations, and this year is no different. The nominations for Grammys 2021 were revealed last week, and it caused quite a controversy with many snubs and surprises.

Snub:

Although “The New Abnormal” was nominated for “Best Rock Album,” The Strokes deserved more. Through excellent production from Rick Ruben, every single song was packed with raw-emotion, beauty and the singles that are ever so catchy.

“The Adults are Talking,” or “Bad Decisions” deserved at least a nomination for Best Rock Song or Performance. - Caelan Chevrier

Surprise:

Taylor Swift is back! The singer received six nominations this year with her surprise album release “Folklore.”

Swift’s emotional duet with Bon Iver, “Exile” is also nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, even though it wasn’t an official single from the album.

It’s been five years since Swift was last nominated for Album of The Year, and it is great to see that “Folklore” hasn't been snubbed like Swift’s last two albums. - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

Harry Styles has been consistently delivering great music, and his album “Fine Line” just got added to Rolling Stones’ list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” However, the album was shut out of the Album of The Year category despite being one of the strongest male pop star releases this year. - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

Mac Miller and Juice WRLD both have the biggest rap releases this year with “Circles” and “Legends Never Die,” and yet both were not seen anywhere in the rap categories. - Jimmy Lu


Surprise:

Despite having many mixed and negative reviews, and putting out one of the weakest pop albums of the year, Justin Bieber still landed three nominations for “Yummy,” “Intentions (feat. Quavo)” and “Changes.” Singers like Selena Gomez could easily replace Bieber with her album “Rare” and her critically acclaimed single, “Lose You To Love Me.” - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

One of the biggest and most shocking snubs in Grammys history goes to The Weeknd, receiving no nominations at all despite releasing one of the year's most critically and commercially successful albums, “After Hours.” The singer, along with Halsey,  have since made posts on social media accusing Grammys of being “corrupt.” - Jimmy Lu

Surprise:

Post Malone snagged three Grammy nominations this year, two for his single “Circles” and one for “Hollywood’s Bleeding” for Album of The Year. For a mediocre record at best, it comes as a surprise that his 2020 studio release wasn’t nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album or Best Rap Album instead. - Caelan Chevrier

Snub:

Halsey was completely shut out of the nominations like the Weeknd. Her studio album “Manic,” easily one of the year's best releases, deserves at least several nominations — much like last year when “Without Me” received no nominations while being one of the biggest songs in 2018. - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

British-Japanese singer Rina Sawayama has made quite a noise this year with her debut album “Sawayama.” The album received universal acclaim from critics and it ended up on several publications lists of best albums of 2020. “Sawayama” is a genre-bending album that deserves to compete in the big four categories or at least a nom for Best New Artist. - Jimmy Lu

Surprise:

BTS finally got their first nomination for the song “Dynamite” after years of dominating the streaming services and being one of — if not the biggest — bands on the planet right now. - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

The critically acclaimed double-album “Eternal Atake” by Lil Uzi Vert received no love from the Recording Academy either. Despite releasing some of the year's most entertaining singles and versatile projects as a whole, the rapper was once again shut out. With a record expecting to age phenomenally, this was truly a miss. -  Caelan Chevrier

Surprise:

Although Coldplay’s eighth studio album “Everyday Life” was hailed as one their greatest albums, it is certainly unexpected to see it being nominated as Album of The Year when there are many other artists who made a bigger impact in 2020. - Jimmy Lu

Snub:

Super duo Killer Mike and El-P from Run the Jewels received no nominations for “RTJ4.” With a record touching on so many important topics such as police brutality and corruption in politics, it comes to a complete surprise that nothing from the record, not even their stellar singles, were nominated for anything.  - Caelan Chevrier


Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu

Caelan Chevrier is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu's photo

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu

Senior / Telecommunications

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior from Taiwan majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. He is a contributing writer for the CommRadio arts & entertainment department. If you’d like to contact him, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Caelan Chevrier's photo

Caelan Chevrier

Second Year / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism and marketing with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).