Trevor Noah to host 2021 Grammy Awards; Beyoncé leads nominations with 9
“The Daily Show” host and comedian Trevor Noah has been tapped to host the 2021 Grammy Awards.
It would mark Noah’s first time hosting the Grammys, which will be held Jan. 31.
Earlier this year, Noah competed for his first Grammy Award: The 36-year-old Emmy winner was nominated for best comedy album with “Son of Patricia,” but lost to Dave Chappelle.
“Despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the GRAMMYs have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event,” Noah said in a statement. “I think as a one-time GRAMMY nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award! (This is a metaphorical shoulder, I’m not trying to catch Corona). See you at the 63rd GRAMMYs!”
Nominations were announced shortly after the host was named, with Beyoncé’s anthem about Black pride scoring multiple nominations, making her the leading contender.
Beyoncé picked up song and record of the year bids with “Black Parade,” which she released on Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free. The song, which reached the Top 40 on the pop charts, is also nominated for best R&B song and best R&B performance.
Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” film that highlighted Black art, music, history and fashion is up for best music film while “Brown Skin Girl,” a song dedicated to dark- and brown-skinned women, is nominated for best music video. The singer also earned three nominations for her slick guest appearance on Megan Thee Stallion’s No. 1 hit “Savage,” including record of the year, best rap performance and best rap song.
A winner of 24 Grammys, Beyoncé becomes the second-most nominated act in the history of the awards show with 79 nominations. She is tied with Paul McCartney, who earned a nomination this year for best boxed or special limited edition package.
Beyoncé is only behind her husband Jay-Z and Quincy Jones, who have both earned 80 nominations each. Jay-Z picked up three nominations this year for his contributions to Beyoncé’s songs: He co-wrote “Black Parade” and “Savage,” thus earning nominations for song of the year, best R&B song and best rap song. Jay-Z has won 22 Grammys throughout his career.
Beyoncé’s domination this year came as a surprise since the singer did not release a new album. Other surprises, well snubs, include pop star the Weeknd being completely shut out and earning zero nominations despite having a No. 1 album, multiple hit singles and winning the coveted Super Bowl halftime performance slot. Luke Combs, who dominated the country charts and set records on streaming services this year, was also surprisingly shut out of nominations.
When Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording’s interim president and CEO, was asked if he was surprised the Weeknd didn’t earn a single nomination, he told The Associated Press: “You know, there’s so many nominations and there’s only so many slots, it’s really tough to predict what the voters are going to vote for in any given year. I try not to be too surprised.”
Instead, multiple nominations went to Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch, who each earned six nominations and followed Beyoncé as the second-most nominated acts.
Lipa, who won two Grammys last year, earned bids for album of the year with “Future Nostalgia” as well as song and record of the year for her hit “Don’t Start Now.” Swift, whose last two albums didn’t garner nominations for album of the year, is competing for the top prize with her surprise album “folklore.” If she wins, she would become the first artist to win album of the year three times.
Other album of the year nominees include: Post Malone’s multi-hit “Hollywood’s Bleeding”; Coldplay’s “Everyday Life,” which featured world music sounds and politically-charged lyrics; HAIM’s sophomore release “Women In Music Pt. III”; Jhené Aiko’s atmospheric R&B project “Chilombo”; English musician Jacob Collier’s multi-genre release “Djesse Vol. 3”; and the deluxe edition of Black Pumas’ self-titled debut album.
Tracks competing with Beyoncé’s “Black Parade” and “Savage” for record of the year include DaBaby and Ricch’s “Rockstar,” Malone’s “Circles,” Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted,” Black Pumas’ “Colors” and Doja Cat’s “Say So.” The latter track was produced by controversial music figure Dr. Luke, and he earns his first Grammy nominations since 2014, the year his former collaborator Kesha accused him of sexual assault. Dr. Luke, who used the moniker Tyson Trax on the credits for Doja Cat’s song, has vigorously denied the allegations.
“Black Parade,” “Don’t Start Now,” “Everything I Wanted” and “Circles” are also nominated for song of the year – a songwriter’s award – along with Swift’s “cardigan,” Ricch’s “The Box,” JP Saxe and Julia Michaels’ “If the World Was Ending” and H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe,” her protest anthem addressing police brutality.
Several songs that emerged following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor were nominated for Grammys, including Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” (best rap song, best rap performance), Anderson .Paak’s “Lockdown” (best melodic rap performance, best music video), Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me” (best country solo performance) as well as Beyoncé’s “Black Parade.”
“I think it’s meaningful. I think it’s reflective of what’s gone on in our world,” Mason Jr. said of multiple protest songs earning nominations this year. “Musicians and artists and writers and producers, they write about what’s going on in their lives. We tend to be fairly emotional people. When there’s things happening, it’s going to come out in our music and our art. It only makes sense that those types of songs would be nominated and celebrated by our voters. It really resonated with people. You listen to some of those songs and can’t help but be moved.”
Megan Thee Stallion, who released her highly anticipated debut album last week after finding success with hit singles and mixtapes since 2018, scored four nominations including best new artist. She will compete with rapper-singer Doja Cat, pop singer Noah Cyrus, country singer Ingrid Andress, multi-genre DJ-producer Kaytranada, rappers Chika and D Smoke, and indie rocker Phoebe Bridgers, who earned four nominations and helped female acts dominate in the rock categories.
Nominees for best rock performance and best rock song include Bridgers, Fiona Apple, HAIM, Grace Potter, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Big Thief, led by Adrianne Lenker. Female performers also dominated in best country album, including Andress, Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and Ashley McBryde. The foursome Little Big Town, which features two female vocalists, round out the five nominees.
Howard, who released her first solo album “Jaime” last year, earned five nominations, including bids in R&B and American Roots categories. Eilish, DaBaby, John Beasley, David Frost and Justin Bieber – nominated for three pop awards and a country one for “10,000 Hours” with duo Dan + Shay – earned four nominations each.
K-pop kings BTS earned their first-ever Grammy nomination after years of having success on the pop charts. They will compete for best pop duo/group performance with their No. 1 hit, “Dynamite.”
Other first-time nominees include the Strokes, Megan Thee Stallion, Michael Kiwanuka, Jay Electronica and Harry Styles, who became the first One Direction member to earn a Grammy nomination. He’s up for best pop vocal album with his second solo release “Fine Line,” best pop solo performance for “Watermelon Sugar” and best music video for “Adore You.”
Several acts earned posthumous nominations, including John Prine (best American Roots performance, best American Roots song), Nipsey Hussle (best rap performance), Leonard Cohen (best folk album) Pop Smoke (best rap performance) and songwriter LaShawn Daniels (best gospel performance/song).
And A-list entertainers hoping to reach EGOT status are getting a chance to earn their Grammy Award, including Renée Zellweger, who is nominated for best traditional pop vocal album for “Judy” – a performance that won her a second Academy Award – while Meryl Streep is nominated for best spoken word album for “Charlotte’s Web.” Streep’s competition includes MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, journalist Ronan Farrow and “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings, who is nominated for reading “Alex Trebek – The Answer Is…” Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and Bill Burr are nominated for best comedy album.
Kanye West, who has won 21 Grammys, only scored a single nomination this year – for contemporary Christian music album for “Jesus Is King.” Others who were snubbed include country performers the Chicks and Morgan Wallen, R&B singers Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor, Chris Brown and Brandy, and late rapper Juice WRLD.
Songs and albums released between Sept. 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2020 were eligible for nominations this year. Winners will be announced at the live show on Jan. 31.
– Album of the year: “Chilombo,” Jhené Aiko; “Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition),” Black Pumas; “Everyday Life,” Coldplay; “Djesse Vol. 3,” Jacob Collier; “Women In Music Pt. III,” HAIM; “Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa; “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” Post Malone; “folklore,” Taylor Swift.
– Record of the year: “Black Parade,” Beyoncé; “Colors,” Black Pumas; “Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch; “Say So,” Doja Cat; “Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish; “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa; “Circles,” Post Malone; “Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé.
– Song of the year (songwriter’s award): “Black Parade,” Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Derek Dixie, Denisia Andrews, Stephen Bray, Brittany Coney, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice; “The Box,” Roddy Ricch and Samuel Gloade; “cardigan,” Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner; “Circles,” Post Malone, Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk and Billy Walsh; “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick and Emily Warren; “Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish and Finneas; “I Can’t Breathe,” H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas; “If the World Was Ending,” Julia Michaels and JP Saxe.
– Best new artist: Ingrid Andress; Phoebe Bridgers; Chika; Noah Cyrus; D Smoke; Doja Cat; Kaytranada; Megan Thee Stallion.
– Best pop solo performance: “Yummy,” Justin Bieber; “Say So,” Doja Cat; “Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish; “Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa; “Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles; “cardigan,” Taylor Swift.
– Best pop duo/group performance: “UN DIA (ONE DAY),” J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy; “Intentions,” Justin Bieber featuring Quavo; “Dynamite,” BTS; “Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande; “Exile,” Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver.
– Best pop vocal album: “Changes,” Justin Bieber; “Chromatica,” Lady Gaga; “Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa; “Fine Line,” Harry Styles; “folklore,” Taylor Swift.
– Best traditional pop vocal album: “Blue Umbrella,” Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian; “True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter,” Harry Connick, Jr.; “American Standard,” James Taylor; “Unfollow the Rules,” Rufus Wainwright; “Judy,” Renée Zellweger.
– Best dance/electronic album: “Kick I,” Arca; “Planet’s Mad,” Baauer; “Energy,” Disclosure; “Bubba,” Kaytranada; “Good Faith,” Madeon.
– Best rock album: “A Hero’s Death,” Fontaines D.C.; “Kiwanuka,” Michael Kiwanuka; “Daylight,” Grace Potter; “Sound & Fury,” Sturgill Simpson; “The New Abnormal,” the Strokes.
– Best alternative music album: “Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” Fiona Apple; “Hyperspace,” Beck; “Punisher,” Phoebe Bridgers; “Jaime,” Brittany Howard; “The Slow Rush,” Tame Impala.
– Best progressive R&B album: “Chilombo,” Jhené Aiko; “Ungodly Hour,” Chloe x Halle; “Free Nationals,” Free Nationals; “F— Yo Feelings,” Robert Glasper; “It Is What It Is,” Thundercat.
– Best R&B album: “Happy 2 Be Here,” Ant Clemons; “Take Time,” Giveon; “To Feel Loved,” Luke James; “Bigger Love,” John Legend; “All Rise,” Gregory Porter.
– Best rap album: “Black Habits,” D Smoke; “Alfredo,” Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist; “A Written Testimony,” Jay Electronica; “King’s Disease,” Nas; “The Allegory,” Royce Da 5’9”.
– Best country album: “Lady Like,” Ingrid Andress; “Your Life Is a Record,” Brandy Clark; “Wildcard,” Miranda Lambert; “Nightfall,” Little Big Town; “Never Will,” Ashley McBryde.
– Best jazz vocal album: “ONA,” Thana Alexa; “Secrets Are the Best Stories,” Kurt Elling featuring Danilo Pérez; “Modern Ancestors,” Carmen Lundy; “Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper,” Somi with Frankfurt Radio Big Band; “What’s the Hurry,” Kenny Washington.
– Best jazz instrumental album: “On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment,” Ambrose Akinmusire; “Waiting Game,” Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science; “Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard,” Gerald Clayton; “Trilogy 2,” Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade; “RoundAgain,” Redman Mehldau McBride Blade.
– Best gospel album: “2econd Wind: Ready,” Anthony Brown & group therAPy; “My Tribute,” Myron Butler; “Choirmaster,” Ricky Dillard; “Gospel According to PJ,” PJ Morton; “Kierra,” Kierra Sheard.
– Best contemporary Christian music album: “Run to the Father,” Cody Carnes; “All of My Best Friends,” Hillsong Young & Free; “Holy Water,” We the Kingdom; “Citizen of Heaven,” Tauren Wells; “Jesus Is King,” Kanye West.
– Best Latin pop or urban album: “YHLQMDLG,” Bad Bunny; “Por Primera Vez,” Camilo; “Mesa Para Dos,” Kany García; “Pausa,” Ricky Martin; “3:33,” Debi Nova.
– Best Latin rock or alternative album: “Aura,” Bajofondo; “Monstruo,” Cami; “Sobrevolando,” Cultura Profética; “La Conquista del Espacio,” Fito Páez; “Miss Colombia,” Lido Pimienta.
– Best reggae album: “Upside Down 2020,” Buju Banton; “Higher Place,” Skip Marley; “It All Comes Back to Love,” Maxi Priest; “Got to Be Tough,” Toots and the Maytals; “One World,” The Wailers.
– Best spoken word album: “Acid for the Children: A Memoir,” Flea; “Alex Trebek – The Answer Is…,” Ken Jennings; “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth,” Rachel Maddow; “Catch and Kill,” Ronan Farrow; “Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White),” Meryl Streep (and full cast).
– Best comedy album: “Black Mitzvah,” Tiffany Haddish; “I Love Everything,” Patton Oswalt; “The Pale Tourist,” Jim Gaffigan; “Paper Tiger,” Bill Burr; “23 Hours to Kill,” Jerry Seinfeld.
– Best compilation soundtrack for visual media: “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”; “Bill & Ted Face the Music”; “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”; “Frozen 2”; “Jojo Rabbit.”
– Best score soundtrack for visual media: “Ad Astra,” Max Richter; “Becoming,” Kamasi Washington; “Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir; “1917,” Thomas Newman; “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams.
– Producer of the year, non-classical: Jack Antonoff; Dan Auerbach; Dave Cobb; Flying Lotus; Andrew Watt.
– Best music video: “Brown Skin Girl,” Beyoncé; “Life Is Good,” Future featuring Drake; “Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak; “Adore You,” Harry Styles; “Goliath,” Woodkid.
– Best music film: “Beastie Boys Story,” Beastie Boys; “Black Is King,” Beyoncé; “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme,” Freestyle Love Supreme (including Lin-Manuel Miranda); “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” Linda Ronstadt; “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” ZZ Top.