The Grammys were like, four days ago, so normally we wouldn’t even be thinking about them anymore. We’ve got the Super Bowl this weekend, and then the Oscars after that, so yeah, it feels like the Grammys were six months ago. But you never know when messy drama is going to strike, and today there’s some Taylor Swift/Grammys messiness that we absolutely must talk about.
As you’ll know if you watched the Grammys on Sunday, Taylor Swift was not in attendance. There were reports that she was going to make a surprise appearance to perform her song “The Man,” but it apparently wasn’t meant to be. Because Taylor Swift was never actually announced as a performer, there was no announcement made about the cancelation, but people still speculated about why she chose not to show up. Initially, many thought the reason was likely tied to former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, who recently filed a legal complaint against the Academy, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment (more on Deborah Dugan in a minute).
But a new Page Six report suggests a much slimier reason for Taylor Swift’s conspicuous Grammy absence. According to multiple “music insiders,” Taylor didn’t go because they wouldn’t promise her that she’d win. This year, Taylor was nominated for three Grammys, but the one she supposedly really wanted was Song of the Year. A Page Six source says that her team “called and wanted to be assured that she would win the Grammy. And while it wasn’t an explicit demand, they certainly were fishing to find out if Taylor was a winner.” What’s more, the source claims, “It was understood in the conversation that if she’s not winning, she’s not coming to the Grammys.”
Another source backed this up, saying “It’s widely known in the industry that called to find out if she was getting a Grammy, they wouldn’t tell her, so she didn’t go. It’s not uncommon to want to know. And everyone knows Taylor loves to win, win, win.”
When I first read these quotes about Taylor’s DL phone call, I felt like it was pretty shady behavior. I mean, just go to the Grammys, what else are you doing that day? But thinking about it more, I kind of understand why she would do it. Let’s be real, Taylor Swift is a busy woman, and she doesn’t really need the Grammys at this point in her career. She’s already won Album of the Year twice, and I’m sure the novelty of walking a red carpet has fully worn off. It’s understandable that she wouldn’t really feel like going if there wasn’t something ~in it for her~.
Okay, yeah, so we all know Taylor Swift loves to win, but who doesn’t? To me, the most telling part of these quotes is the bit about how “it’s not uncommon for an artist to want to know.” Of course everyone wants to know if they’re going to win an award before they sit through a four-hour music industry circle-jerk, but what kind of bullsh*t awards voting process is this, if all the artists feel like they can expect to find out (or even influence) the results before the show happens? I thought the only people who were supposed to know ahead of time were like, two accountants with briefcases handcuffed to them?
This report about Taylor Swift comes at a time when the processes surrounding the Grammys are already under intense scrutiny. Last week, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a huge complaint against her former employer with the EEOC. Along with shocking and disturbing sexual misconduct allegations, she also detailed the corruption within the Grammy systems. According to the complaint, board members have “secret committees” which decide nominations, often favoring artists with whom they have personal relationships. She also accused these committees of prioritizing artists who they want to perform at the Grammys, even if they didn’t get the most votes.
If all of this is true, it doesn’t seem that crazy that a major artist like Taylor Swift would be able to pick up the phone and get some advance info. For what it’s worth, a rep for Taylor fully denied the report, saying that “These statements by anonymous, unidentified ‘sources’ are absolutely 100 percent false and laughable. She just didn’t go to the Grammys. You guys need to calm down.” LOL, leave it to Taylor Swift’s publicist to troll us with a TS lyric in a statement like this. Bravo, I’m impressed.
Personally, I believe the phone call rumor, because I just love a good scandal involving Taylor Swift and a supposed phone call. In all seriousness, given everything we’ve heard about the Grammys behind the scenes, it doesn’t even seem that crazy that artists might do this. If I was going to put myself through the torture that is sitting through the entire Grammys in person, and not being able to switch to Netflix, I’d want to make sure it was going to be worth my while too. Don’t hate the player, hate the absurdly long award show!
This morning, the nominations were announced for the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, which means awards season has officially begun. As expected, many of this year’s biggest stars cleaned up in the top categories, with Billie Eilish and Lizzo included in all of the big four categories, and Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey scoring their first Album of the Year nominations. Lizzo is the artist with the most nominations this year, which is undeniably well-deserved. Even “Old Town Road” got a Record of the Year nomination, which is a good thing, because I was gonna riot if Lil Nas X got snubbed.
But even though the nominations went according to plan for a lot of major artists, there are some others who are probably rage texting their managers/agents/publicists right now. Some of them are more surprising than others, but here’s who got snubbed in this year’s GRAMMY nominations.
Over the course of her career, Taylor Swift has basically been the teacher’s pet of the GRAMMYs. She’s won 10 awards, including two for Album of the Year, but this wasn’t really her year. For her new album, Lover, she came away with three nominations, including one for Song of the Year, but missed out on Album and Record of the Year—the two biggest categories. Considering that her last album, Reputation, only got one nomination, this is still an improvement, but it’s a far cry from 1989, which got a total of 10 nominations for all its songs.
Another year has passed, and Halsey has still never gotten a GRAMMY nomination for her own song (she’s been nominated twice as a featured artist). After “Without Me” became her biggest solo hit to date, I felt sure that this would be her year, but it wasn’t meant to be. Her next album will be out in January, and her songs “Graveyard” and “Clementine” missed the eligibility window for this year’s awards, so I’m sure she already has her prayer candles lit for next year.
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
Despite “Señorita” being one of the biggest songs of the year, and their intense awards campaign of making out in public places, Shawn and Camila fell flat in this year’s GRAMMY nominations. They were nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, but weren’t included in Record or Song of the Year. Maybe now they can give their PR stunt of a relationship a rest?? Shawn was also probably hoping for nominations for “If I Can’t Have You,” which didn’t happen. Sad!
Okay, so maybe I was foolish to hope that the Jonas Brothers were going to get an Album of the Year nomination, but I’m a little surprised that “Sucker” didn’t sneak into Record of the Year. Like Shawn and Camila, they were only nominated for Pop Duo/Group Performance, which I guess is a small victory. If you had told me a year ago that the Jonas Brothers would be noninated for a GRAMMY in 2020, I literally wouldn’t have believed you. Still, I wanted more for them. Oh well, they’ll always have their Teen Choice Awards surfboards.
If you didn’t remember that Beyoncé released an album this year, low-key same. But her The Lion King: The Gift album actually got four nominations. For anyone else, this would basically be a dream scenario, but Beyoncé isn’t like anyone else. Along with last year’s joint album with Jay-Z, this is the second year in a row that Bey hasn’t gotten noms in the big four categories. I’m not saying The Gift was her absolute best work, but Beyoncé isn’t used to being relegated to the genre categories.
Ed Sheeran’s collaborations album had about 100 famous people on it, but the GRAMMY nominations voters weren’t impressed. He was nominated for Pop Vocal Album, but literally nothing else. Even Justin Bieber’s appearance on “I Don’t Care” wasn’t en0ugh for a single nomination. Now that Ed is taking an 18-month hiatus from music, I guess he’ll be absent from the GRAMMY nominations for the next couple of years, but it looks like the voters won’t even miss him that much.
This year’s GRAMMY Awards are on January 26th, so you have a couple months to make your final predictions. Personally, my bets are on a Lizzo sweep, but who knows if all the old people who actually vote for this sh*t will do what they should. And honestly, it’s not like it matters all that much. Cheers!