This article originally ran December 6th. We’re re-posting in anticipation of this weekend’s 59th Grammy Awards.
If you woke up December 6th to a giant thud, it wasn’t an earthquake or a big truck driving down your street. It was the announcement of the 59th annual Grammy nominations. And, as is the case every year, people were up in arms about what didn’t get nominated as much as they were filled with joy to see their favorites honored.
So what did the Grammys get right? Well, a lot really. Beyoncé and Adele lead the field, in large part because they should. Say what you will about their music, but no two artists have been leading the conversation more in the past year, be it Adele through her commercial accomplishments or Beyoncé with her artistic ones. Beyoncé has nine chances to win this year, putting her within reach of Allison Krauss to become the all-time winningest woman in Grammy history. She’d need eight wins to match her.
Elsewhere, we have some of music’s most beloved rap artists, Kanye West, Drake, and Chance the Rapper, all competing in a number of categories. West and Drake both have eight nominations in total while Chance will hear his name called seven times. These are the artists that music writers love to talk about and music listeners love to think about, so if the Grammys’ job is capture the zeitgeist, it seems like they’ve indeed done that.
Of the snubs, the most surprising is that David Bowie is shut out of all the big categories. This caps off a career of disappointing Grammy recognition for Bowie, something many figured the voters would make up for in light of his death. Many expected Coldplay to be a bigger factor in the rock categories, but the longtime Grammy fave didn’t put out their strongest effort and weren’t rewarded. Some thought Zayn, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna would figure more prominently, but with only so many spots (and inclusions for less-acclaimed material from Lukas Graham, Twenty One Pilots, and Mike Posner), those pop stars find themselves feeling left out.
So now that we know who is competing, it’s time to guess who will actually win these things.