Gearing Up for the 2021 Grammy Awards



(Courtesy Pexels)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor


The 2021 awards season for the entertainment industry is now upon us with music’s biggest night right around the corner — the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. Airing on March 14, 2021 the Grammys boasts 83 categories aiming to recognize those involved in creating music — from the artists and producers to sound engineers. 

Typically, I look forward to the Grammy Awards, waking up as soon as the nominations come out in late November to see if my favorite artists have been nominated. However, I’ve become increasingly disappointed in the Recording Academy, not for who they nominate, but for the artists they snub. It’s no secret that the Recording Academy tends to favor the same artists year after year, and this year is no different. Despite my growing disillusionment with the Grammy Awards, my congratulations go out to all those who were nominated this year. 

Here is a breakdown of the nominees in the four main categories — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. 

Album of the Year

As usual, this category includes eight nominees vying for the award. 

The first nominee in this category is Jhene Aiko for her third studio album “Chilombo,” released on Mar. 6. Aiko is also nominated for Best Progressive R&B Album — formerly Best Urban Contemporary Album — and R&B performance, her first nominations since 2015. Also receiving their first nominations since 2015 is HAIM — composed of sisters Danielle, Alana and Este Haim — for their album “Women in Music Pt. III.” In addition to being nominated for Album of the Year, they are also nominated for Best Rock Performance. 

Texas soul-funk duo Black Pumas — who scored a Best New Artist nomination last year — are now Album of the Year contenders for the deluxe version of their self-titled LP. Released in the summer of 2019, the deluxe album features 11 new songs, live versions and covers. Former Best New Artist winner and rising pop star Dua Lipa is also nominated for her ‘80s disco-infused album “Future Nostalgia.” Lipa is a leading nominee this year, scoring six nominations along with Beyonce and Post Malone. Malone is nominated in this category as well for his third studio album “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” 

Grammy veterans Coldplay and Jacob Collier are nominated once more for Album of the Year for their respective albums “Everyday Life” and “Djesse Vol. 3.”

The final nominee in this category is Taylor Swift for her surprise eighth studio album “folklore,” released on July 24. 

Record of the Year

Following a massive rise to fame, Grammy newcomer Doja Cat is a nominee for the hit track “Say So” from the album “Hot Pink.” This track became particularly popular on TikTok in the early days of quarantine. Another TikTok favorite, “Rockstar” by DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, is nominated for Record of the Year as well. 

Album of the Year nominees Black Pumas, Dua Lipa and Post Malone are also nominated in this category. The Black Pumas are nominated for their track titled “Colors,” while Dua Lipa is nominated for her hit single “Don’t Start Now” and Post Malone is nominated for “Circles.”

Alongside Dua Lipa and Post Malone is fellow nominee leader Beyoncé, who has two songs recognized in this category. The first is “Black Parade,” a surprise drop on Juneteenth of 2019. “Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power,” she wrote in an Instagram post announcing the track. She is also nominated as a featured artist for the remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” This is Stallion’s first time being nominated for a Grammy Award.

Completing the nominations for Record of the Year is former winner Billie Eilish for the single “everything i wanted.” Eilish took home five Grammy Awards at last year’s event — sweeping the four main categories thanks to her widely successful debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” 

Song of the Year

Not to be confused with Record of the Year, this category aims to recognize those who wrote the songs nominated in this category, while Record of the Year honors the performing artist first and foremost. 

Four of the eight songs from the previous category are also nominated for Song of the Year — “Black Parade,” “Don’t Start Now,” “Circles” and “everything i wanted.” 

The other half of the nominations include “cardigan” performed by Taylor Swift, “The Box” performed by Roddy Rich, “I Can’t Breathe” performed by H.E.R. and “If the World Was Ending” performed by JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels.

The performing artists for each song were also co-writers and would receive the award alongside the additional songwriters. 

Best New Artist

The Best New Artist category is the final of the main four — recognizing an artist whose eligible releases broke into the mainstream and notably impacted the musical landscape.

The nominees for Best New Artist are Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat, Kaytranada and Megan Thee Stallion. 


The Grammy Awards are unpredictable, as it’s difficult to wonder how the recording academy will vote each year. Here is a list of my predictions for each of the four categories — despite these predictions, I would be excited to see any of the incredibly talented nominees take home each award.

Album of the Year: “folklore” by Taylor Swift

Record of the Year: “Say So” by Doja Cat

Song of the Year: “Black Parade” performed by Beyoncé

Best New Artist: Megan Thee Stallion


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