For the First Time, No White Men Among Grammy Album of the Year Nominees
After years of criticism for their lack of diversity among its music categories, this year’s Grammy nominations impressively represents artists of color.
For the Album of the Year category, the nominees are JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Bruno Mars. This marks the first time since 1999 that no white men have been nominated for the coveted Album of the Year trophy. Additionally, the aforementioned artists are up for Record of the Year as well for the “Story of O.J.,” “Humble,” “Redbone” and “24k Magic,” respectively.
If you look at the other categories you will see names like Khalid, SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, Cardi B, Migos, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and other, which shows a diverse group of artists are vying for awards as well. Overall, this is a good step in the right direction in terms of diversity at the Grammy Awards.
Last year, fans were outraged when Beyoncé's Lemonade was snubbed for Album of the Year in favor of Adele's 25 album. Even Adele herself protested her win over Queen Bey while accepting her AOTY award live on air. She then asked backstage, “What the fuck does she (Beyoncé) have to do to win album of the year? That’s how I feel.”
Since then, the Grammys have faced intense criticism from fans and artists alike for a perceived lack of diversity. This may explain why Drake didn't submit his album, More Life, for Grammy consideration.
In the end, it will be interesting to see what JAY-Z will say if he does in fact win Album of the Year at the 2018 Grammy Awards Jan. 28. Honestly, the category is stacked with great albums so whoever wins the award it will be a win-win for both the artist and for diversity.
Let's hope the Recording Academy continues with this practice moving forward.