Gearing Up for the Grammys: Record of the Year


(Courtesy Wei-Cheng Wu | Unsplash)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor


Awards season is officially in full swing, from the American Music Awards to the Golden Globes, and now, music’s biggest night is right around the corner — the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Airing on Jan. 26, the Grammys boast 84 categories to recognize the achievements of those involved in music creation.

As a passionate music fan, I look forward to the Grammys each year in the hopes that my favorite artists will be recognized for their musical talent. In recent years, however, I have been disappointed in the Recording Academy’s nominations. The Grammys have a habit of favoring the same artists year after year while snubbing many chart-topping and popular artists. Meanwhile, female representation in both the general field and genre categories has been seriously lacking. Despite my previous disappointments, I still looked forward to this year’s nominee announcement and I was pleasantly surprised with the artists and inclusivity in each category.

Among those categories is Record of the Year — an award recognizing the artists, producers and engineers who contributed to that recording. For a second year, this category includes eight nominees up for the award.


Record of the Year — The Nominees

Following a massive rise to fame in 2019, Billie Eilish has now been nominated for “Bad Guy,” from her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” The record, produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell, pokes fun at how others present themselves while Eilish makes fun of herself too. “Bad Guy” is one of the more upbeat, humorous tracks featured on her dark, gory and lucid dream-inspired album. This is Eilish’s first time at the Grammys, and she’s nominated for six awards, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year.

Lizzo, another first-time nominee, earned her nomination for the 2017 chart-topping single, “Truth Hurts.” In my opinion, this is Lizzo’s best track to date, with her powerhouse vocals blending with a slight comedic flair. In “Truth Hurts,” instead of turning a failed relationship into a pity party, she looks inward with self-affirmation and love. Lizzo is the Grammys’ leading artist this year with eight nominations.

The final newcomer up for Record of the Year is Lil Nas X, who was nominated for his wildly popular “Old Town Road” remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. After the original track was pulled from Billboard’s country charts, he reached out to Cyrus to add a bit of country twang. It proved to be a successful choice, as the song spent 19 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record for the longest-running No. 1 song.

Nominated alongside these breakout artists are previous Grammy nominees and winners. Grammy award-winning alt-rock group Bon Iver is nominated for “Hey, Ma,” off their 2019 album “i,i.” I have not listened to the album in full, but in listening to “Hey Ma” I was unsure why it was nominated for Record of the Year. It felt like a step back in terms of lyrical strength and cohesive sound the group has delivered with previous songs.

Fellow Grammy award winner Ariana Grande is also a contender with “7 Rings” from her iconic album “thank u, next.” I was not surprised that Grande was nominated — “Thank U, Next” was her boldest and most successful album yet and one of my favorites from the year.

Last year’s Best New Artist recipient, Khalid, is nominated for “Talk,” an electro-R&B track from his sophomore album “Free Spirit.” This infectious love song about defining a relationship was written by Khalid and co-produced by British electronic duo Disclosure with Denis Kosiak.

The next nominee for Record of the Year is “Hard Place” by H.E.R. Following her first-ever nominations and two wins at the 61st Grammys, R&B singer H.E.R. released the track in April on her compilation album “I Used To Know Her.” “Hard Place” is an insightful track on the album, and H.E.R.’s velvety vocals and painful lyrics about a troubled relationship create a beautiful emotional ballad.

The last Record of the Year nominee is Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower,” from Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” soundtrack. This sweet, bright, melodic track is my favorite from the soundtrack and a defining song from the film. This duo is also nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.


Record of the Year — My Prediction

It’s difficult to predict how the recording academy will vote each year. Personally, I would like to see H.E.R. or Post Malone and Swae Lee win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lizzo or Billie Eilish receive the award as they are some of the biggest stars in the industry. I would be excited to see any of these incredibly talented artists take home the Grammy. 

Additional information on the nominees for this year’s ceremony can be found here


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