The nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards, the music industry’s top awards show, were announced Wednesday morning with some surprises, both good and bad.
It’s becoming more and more obvious, the American music industry doesn’t know what to do about BTS.
The K-pop group got royally snubbed by the Grammy’s. They didn’t receive a single nomination. Not a one, to the consternation of its legion of fans and fellow artists.
However, AAPI artists were not entirely ignored or shunted aside. Filipino American artists H.E.R. garnered five nominations in the major categories of album of the year nomination for I Used to Know Her, H.E.R. is up for record of the year and song of the year for Hard Place, and her hit featuring Bryson Tiller, Could’ve Been, is up for best R&B song and best R&B performance.
In 2019, H.E.R. also had five nominations and walked away with two trophies. So when she was told about 2020 nominations, she was taken aback.
“I was like, ‘What? Again?!'” said H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Wilson who grew up in Vallejo, California.
“I did not think the second time I would be nominated for five,” she admitted to Billboard. “That makes it 10 nominations in two years, which is kind of unheard of. I feel really special and grateful.”
BTS deserved a nomination after the year the group has had. They regularly outperform their White and/or Western contemporaries in terms of album sales, streams, video views and concert draw, but not drawing a single nomination may be revealing something deeper.
In April, the group released Map of the Soul: Persona, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first group since the Beatles in 1996 to score three chart-toppers in less than a year. (They also hit No. 1 with 2018’s Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer.)
The 6-member boy band recently finished its Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour, which grossed nearly $117 million. They also scored their highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit to date in collaboration with Halsey for Boy with Luv, which peaked at No. 8, boosting the K-pop stars’ crossover appeal.
The Grammy’s have been a little sensitive about race with Black performers not getting adequate recognition for their performances, videos or the music they created while mediocre artists reap the awards.
Halsey was disappointed in not receiving a nomination for her big hit Without Me, she tweeted that BTS’s snub didn’t surprise her: “deleting and ignoring all negativity. BTS deserved many nominations. I am however, unsurprised that they weren’t acknowledged,” she wrote. “the US is so far behind on the whole movement. the time will come.”
BTS’ Army couldn’t hide their disappointment.
Other AAPI artists received nominations, including comedian Aziz Ansari.
Ansari got nominated for Best Comedy Album of the Year, marking his comeback from the sexual misconduct allegation two years ago. At the end of the album he addresses the incident that almost derailed his career
“I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again, and it almost felt like I died. In a way, I did. That old Aziz who said, ‘Oh treat yo self’ or whatever, he’s dead. And I’m glad. ‘Cause that guy was always looking forward to whatever was next. I don’t think that way anymore. ‘Cause I’ve realized it’s all ephemeral. All that stuff, it can just go away like this. And all we really have is the moment we’re in and the people we’re with.”
AAPI artists earned nominations in other less-known categories (See list below).
Eva Noblezada and David Lai received nominations for their work in Lin Manual Miranda’s Hadestown cast album; Yuji Wang for Best Classical Solo; Amy Hānaiali’i, Imua Garza & Kimié Miner received nominations for the Best Regional Roots Album. AAPI nominees and categoriesRecord of the Year“
Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Hard Place” — H.E.R.
“Talk” — Khalid
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“Sunflower” — Post Malone & Swae Lee
Album of the Year“
I, I” — Bon Iver
“Norman F—ing Rockwell!” — Lana Del Rey
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” — Billie Eilish
“Thank U, Next” — Ariana Grande
“I Used To Know Her” — H.E.R.
“7” — Lil Nas X
“Cuz I Love You” (Deluxe) — Lizzo
“Father of the Bride” — Vampire Weekend
Song of the Year“
Always Remember Us This Way” — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
“Hard Place” — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris. H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)
“Lover” — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
“Norman F—ing Rockwell” — Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
“Someone You Loved” — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pere Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)
“Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)
Best R&B Song: “Could’ve Been” — Dernst Emile Ii, David “Swagg R’celious” Harris, H.E.R. & Hue “Soundzfire” Strother, Songwriters (H.E.R. Ft. Bryson Tiller) “Look At Me Now” — Emily King & Jeremy Most, Songwriters (Emily King) “No Guidance” — Chris Brown, Tyler James Bryant, Nija Charles, Aubrey Graham, Anderson Hernandez, Michee Patrick Lebrun, Joshua Lewis, Noah Shebib & Teddy Walton, Songwriters (Chris Brown Ft. Drake) “Roll Some Mo” — David Brown, Dernst Emile Ii & Peter Lee Johnson, Songwriters (Lucky Daye) “Say So” — Pj Morton, Songwriter (Pj Morton Ft. Jojo)
Best R&B Performance
Daniel Caesar – Love Again [ft. Brandy]
H.E.R. – Could’ve Been [ft. Bryson Tiller]
Lizzo – Exactly How I Feel [ft. Gucci Mane]
Lucky Daye – Roll Some Mo
Anderson .Paak – Come Home [ft. Andre 3000]
Best Regional Roots Music Album: Kalawai’anui — Amy Hānaiali’i
When It’s Cold – Cree Round Dance Songs — Northern Cree
Good Time — Ranky Tanky
Recorded Live At The 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — Rebirth Brass Band
Hawaiian Lullaby (Various Artists) — Imua Garza & Kimié Miner, Producers
Best Comedy Album: Quality Time — Jim Gaffigan
Relatable — Ellen Degeneres
Right Now — Aziz Ansari
Son Of Patricia — Trevor Noah
Sticks & Stones — Dave Chappelle
Best Musical Theater Album: Ain’t Too Proud: The Life And Times Of The Temptations — Saint Aubyn, Derrick Baskin, James Harkness, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope & Ephraim Sykes, principal soloists; Scott M. Riesett, producer (Original Broadway Cast)
Hadestown — Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada & Patrick Page, principal soloists; Mara Isaacs, David Lai, Anaïs Mitchell & Todd Sickafoose, producers (Anaïs Mitchell, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)
Moulin Rouge! The Musical — Danny Burstein, Tam Mutu, Sahr Ngaujah, Karen Olivo & Aaron Tveit, principal soloists; Justin Levine, Baz Luhrmann, Matt Stine & Alex Timbers, producers (Original Broadway Cast)
The Music Of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – In Four Contemporary Suites — Imogen Heap, producer; Imogen Heap, composer (Imogen Heap)
Oklahoma! — Damon Daunno, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Ali Stroker, Mary Testa & Patrick Vaill, principal soloists; Daniel Kluger & Dean Sharenow, producers (Richard Rodgers, composer; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist) (2019 Broadway Cast)
Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “The Berlin Recital” — Yuja Wang
“Higdon: Harp Concerto” — Yolanda Kondonassis; Ward Stare, conductor (The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)
“Marsalis: Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite” — Nicola Benedetti; Cristian Măcelaru, conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra)
“The Orchestral Organ” — Jan Kraybill
“Torke: Sky, Concerto For Violin” — Tessa Lark; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)
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