For as soon as, the nation music patriarchy is using shotgun.
Nation could also be famend as a style the place the ladies don’t at all times get a good shake, however you wouldn’t guess that from how the nominations for the 2021 Grammys shook out. Feminine solo artists or bands with girls as main lead singers accounted for all 5 of the nominations in the very best nation album class. Furthermore, female-fronted materials was awarded 4 out of 5 slots in two different classes, greatest nation music and greatest nation solo efficiency. That 80-to-100% imbalance is, in fact, just about the precise inverse of what a fan of the music will hear on the airwaves.
If the Grammys have been making an announcement, the Recording Academy wasn’t simply making it in nation. There was an identical readjusting of the scales occurring in among the rock classes. For greatest rock efficiency, all six nominees are girls or have a feminine lead singer. Finest rock music and greatest various album are additionally female-dominated, with girls commanding three out of 5 slots in these two divisions.
Do these sturdy and generally all-consuming showings by girls in two of probably the most male-dominated genres signify a case of activism by rock and nation’s respective nominating committees? Perhaps. But it surely may be a case of a 12 months in which feminine artists’ contributions have been plain, even with out a vested curiosity in undoing institutional sexism. On the very least, the separate committee that narrows down the nominees in the highest 4 classes was on the identical web page, as artists like Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, Brittany Howard and Ingrid Andress additionally landed nominations in the genre-agnostic divisions.
Andress, who was nominated for greatest new artist, is a part of the sector for greatest nation album, too. Her “Woman Like” debut is up towards Brandy Clark’s “Your Life Is a Document,” Miranda Lambert’s “Wildcard,” Little Massive City’s “Dusk” and Ashley McBryde’s “By no means Will,” representing a particularly aggressive discipline with no clear front-runner.
For greatest nation music, Andress’ No. 1 hit “Extra Hearts Than Mine” faces off towards Maren Morris’ crossover smash “The Bones,” Lambert’s “Bluebird” and the Highwomen’s “Crowded Desk,” 4 juggernauts all. Male artists get a surely-not-token nod with Outdated Dominion’s “Some Individuals Do” touchdown the fifth slot.
Finest nation solo efficiency has Lambert and Clark once more in the race, for the songs “Bluebird” and “Who You Thought I Was,” respectively. Mickey Guyton additionally picks up a nomination there for her racially charged anthem, “Black Like Me.” The opposite two slots go to Vince Gill’s “When My Amy Prays” and Eric Church’s “Put That in Your Nation Music.”
Guyton, in fact, is not only representing for ladies in nation: Together with her nomination, she turns into the primary Black, feminine solo artist ever to be nominated for a rustic Grammy… and the primary Black lady artist nominated in the sector in any respect for the reason that Pointer Sisters improbably picked up two nation Grammys with a crossover hit in the mid-Seventies.
Solely the very best nation duo/group efficiency class suggestions barely again towards males, with Little Massive City’s “Sugar Coat” and Woman A’s “Ocean” competing towards a return look of the Outdated Dominion music, plus Brothers Osborne’s “All Night time” and “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber. (Though Dan + Shay have been a dominating crossover presence on the American Music Awards, their take a look at the Grammys is proscribed to simply this one nomination.)
In rock, the very best rock efficiency class has six nominees, indicating a tie, with male frontmen accounting for none amongst that half-dozen. The nominees: “Shameika” by Fiona Apple, “Not” by Massive Thief, “Kyoto” by Bridgers, “The Steps” by HAIM, “Keep Excessive” by Howard and “Daylight” from Grace Potter.
Finest rock music is near a carbon copy of greatest rock efficiency, as Apple, Bridgers, Howard and Massive Thief put the identical songs into play there as in the opposite class. Tame Impala’s “Misplaced in Yesterday” sneaks in for the fifth slot.
Finest various music album finds Apple’s “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” Bridgers’ “Punisher” and Howard’s “Jaime” up towards Tame Impala’s “The Sluggish Rush” and Beck’s
If anybody needs to contend that the rock committee was making its selections with some type of SJW bias, the very best proof towards which may be the alternatives for greatest rock album, the place Grace Potter’s “Daylight” is the lone female-fronted contender towards albums by the Strokes, Sturgill Simpson, Fontaines D.C. and Michael Kiwanuka.
In the event you’re searching for bias, you may have the ability to argue you discover higher hints of it in the highest 4 all-genre classes… but it surely’s not towards girls, since they command most of these slots this 12 months too. If something, it may be towards nation itself, as a style. Andress’ greatest new artist nod is the one nomination for a rustic artist in any of these 4 prime classes, a lonesome presence amongst 23 complete nominees. Gabby Barrett, who was additionally predicted to be a greatest new artist nominee, didn’t land a nomination in any class. And the all-star group the Highwomen, who have been thought of a wild card for album of the 12 months, needed to accept their one nation nomination. A minimum of it wasn’t simply nation girls the committee dealing with the highest 4 classes left underserved; extremely business nation males like Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen additionally did not discover a place there (or anyplace, for that matter). Clark and McBryde have been seen as contenders for the all-genre prime album class, as nicely, and Guyton had been regularly talked about for greatest new artist, too, had the nominating committee been extra country-conscious.
Whereas rock didn’t precisely dominate the highest 4 classes, both, HAIM and Bridgers did a minimum of land album of the 12 months nods, with the sarcastically titled “Women in Music Pt. III” and “Punisher,” respectively. Black Pumas’ funk-rock sounds landed file and album of the 12 months spots. To the extent that anybody needs to think about Coldplay a rock and never pop act, they, too, received in for album of the 12 months, the band’s solely Grammy rating this 12 months. Apple’s lack of presence in album of the 12 months for “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” arguably the 12 months’s most universally well-reviewed album, represents a obvious oversight to many, nevertheless.