Snubbed! Blackpink, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Elton John ignored in 2023 Grammy nominations


By AGENCY

Despite the K-pop group's achievements in 2022, it received zero Grammy nominations. Photo: YG Entertainment

Sometimes, the Grammy Awards nominations irritate us.

There are years when they prompt an acknowledgement that, OK, maybe Recording Academy voters got it right. Or at least close to right.

And then there are times like this, when ABBA inexplicably lands four nominations – including album of the year – about 40 years after they should have been recognised for truly groundbreaking pop. (Hi, Mamma Mia and Waterloo – you have not been forgotten, even if you were never fittingly awarded.)

The 65th annual awards ceremony will take place in the Grammys' longtime home of Los Angeles on Feb 5. The nominees, announced Tuesday (Nov 15), are rife with expected major names in pop, rap and R&B, including Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Adele and Harry Styles.

There are a few surprises sprinkled in, such as Bonnie Raitt tucked into the song of the year lineup with Just Like That and the oddly large number of Christmas albums in the best traditional pop vocal album category.

But there are even more significant snubs. Here are the biggest rebukes.

Elton John

That an artiste as influential and enduring as John possesses only five competitive Grammy Awards from his illustrious career is galling enough.

But to ignore his continued creative output – evidenced by The Lockdown Sessions, his chameleonic collection of collaborations with artists ranging from Lil Nas X to Stevie Nicks – is shameful.

His attempt to revitalise Britney Spears' career with Hold Me Closer, their modified duet of 1971's Tiny Dancer, also yielded zero recognition.

Kanye West

With plenty of material to submit including Life Of The Party featuring Andre 3000 and selections from Donda 2 (True Love, City Of Gods), Ye perhaps deserves an award for productivity.

But amid his anti-semitic rants, controversial racial commentary and relationship drama, maybe Recording Academy voters, like most of us, have tired of the endless Kanye-ness of it all.

Carrie Underwood

With eight Grammys on her shelf – including 2022's best roots gospel album for My Savior – Underwood has hardly been ignored.

But given the warm reception to her ninth studio album, Denim & Rhinestones, as well as the success of single Ghost Story, her name was expected in a country category or two.

Ed Sheeran

The ginger Brit has an erratic relationship with the Grammys. Sometimes, they shower him with kudos (Thinking Out Loud, Shape Of You) and other times, when he's released some of the most poignant work of his career, he's unduly ignored.

Though he's up for best pop duo/group performance with Camila Cabello for Bam Bam, Sheeran's fifth studio album, Equals, should have been recognised not only for ubiquitous hits Shivers and Overpass Graffiti, but real gems The Joker And The Queen, Tides and Visiting Hours.

Alicia Keys

Along with her Ye collaboration (City Of Gods), the frequent Grammy darling with 15 trophies on her resume also released an album in December.

Keys offered a duet with Brandi Carlile (Paper Flowers) and Best Of Me, a seemingly obvious best R&B song contender.

Demi Lovato

Arguably the most potent album of her career, Holy Fv— should have gobbled up nominations merely for its raw honesty.

And then remember that the 16 songs on the album are bold, mostly guitar-heavy, melodic rockers that ebb and flow under the guidance of Lovato's volatile emotional states and, really, where is the love?

Nicki Minaj

The Super Freaky Girl recently complained that the Recording Academy decided to categorise her latest hit – which samples Rick James' Super Freak – as pop, while Minaj wanted her work recognised in rap.

As it turned out, Minaj was blanked on her submissions in any genre.

John Legend

Considering the omnipresence of Legend, a genial guy with a knack for smooth grooves, it's especially dumbfounding that he would be ignored by the Grammys for his solo work (he's nominated for one award as part of DJ Khaled's God Did).

His double album, Legend, expands on his musical palette – some funk, some dance – and singles All She Wanna Do and Wonder Woman felt like instant awards bait.

Jon Batiste

That was a quick love affair, no? After commanding last year's Grammy Awards with five trophies (out of a staggering 11 nominations), the eclectic jazz-pop-soul musician will not be up for Grammy Celebration Redux.

None of his interesting work, including Sweet with Pentatonix and Diane Warren, and L.O.V.E. with Yung Bae, EarthGang and Sherwyn, received a nod.

Megan Thee Stallion

The rapper's saucy album Traumazine contains 18 tracks of unabashed authenticity.

How voters didn't appreciate her collaboration with Dua Lipa (Sweetest Pie) or her frank lesson in Plan B ("Ladies, love yourself, 'cause this... could get ugly") is one of the many mysteries of the 2023 nominee list.

Blackpink

The global superstars – who became the first female K-pop group to land a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart this year with "Born Pink" – seemed like an obvious contender for album of the year, or even song or record of the year for their slinky Pink Venom.

But voters disregarded their 2022 achievements, with zero nominations.

Taylor Swift

Though Swift's four nominations, including song of the year and best music video for her extended version of All Too Well, are deserved and commendable, fans will likely bristle that her re-recorded Red (Taylor's Version) didn't make the album of the year cut.

At the 2014 ceremony, Swift was up for album of the year and best country album for the original Red, but didn't triumph in either. – USA Today/Tribune News Service

Beyonce (right) leads this year's pack of Grammy nominees with nine chances at gold, ahead of rapper Kendrick Lamar coming in at eight, and balladeers Adele (left) and Brandi Carlile scoring seven each. Photos: AFPBeyonce (right) leads this year's pack of Grammy nominees with nine chances at gold, ahead of rapper Kendrick Lamar coming in at eight, and balladeers Adele (left) and Brandi Carlile scoring seven each. Photos: AFP

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