The Women's Wave is Headed for the Grammys

The 61st annual Grammy Awards are less than a week away. This Sunday, February 10, be sure to tune in at 8:00 to watch the star studded cast of nominees take the stage.

There were a few changes made at the Grammys for this year. For the first time, the four major categories, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist, have eight nominees rather than five. This change in the number of nominees was made in an attempt to open up the most coveted categories to more artists from diverse backgrounds and genres. The Recording Academy has also expanded its voting body to over ten thousand participants, and made an explicit effort to include more women and people of color on this body. These changes are the result of numerous complaints following the 60th Grammy Awards regarding the lack of nominations and wins for women and people of color.

However, these efforts may have gotten a little out of hand. This year’s list of nominees is heavily skewed-female, with female artists holding the majority of nominations in almost all categories. While this could be the result of female artists finally getting their deserved acknowledgement and admiration, some critics argue that the Recording Academy is trying to compensate for the debacles of last year, and have less than honest intentions.

The female artist with the most nominations is Brandi Carlile. While Carlile is not new to the music scene, her most recent album By the Way I Forgive You has gained more attention than any of her past work, and resulted in six nominations including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. Carlile is also the third most nominated artist, falling behind Kendrick Lamar with eight nominations, and Drake with seven. Carlile herself can hardly believe the success her newest album has had. By the Way I Forgive You  is full of folk and Americana inspired songs and what Carlile described as “the most revealing, painful and poignant thing I’ve ever done.” Carlile’s music is certainly worth a listen before the ceremonies begin this Sunday.

Another female artist who has gained a lot of attention going into the 61st Grammy Awards and two nominations is Janelle Monae. Monae, who is up for Album of the Year and Best Music Video, is also a veteran of the music industry but has recently found the spotlight after releasing her album Dirty Computer. Monae’s album has been so controversial due to its highly political nature and its exploration of sex and gender. Some critics argue that while albums like Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly were created as a result of the Obama era, Monae’s album, which draws on and continues the commentary of those artists, is a result of the Trump era. Monae created an unapologetic, sharp, and bold album that still contains memorable melodies that don’t leave a sour taste in your mouth.

There is still time left to hunker down in the library and listen to all the great albums, songs, and artists that you haven’t had the chance to hear yet before the festivities this Sunday. Be sure to keep a lookout for Brandi Carlile, Janelle Monae and the countless other female artists that will (hopefully) see the spotlight at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4