- 29 Nov 21
A belated change in the number of nominees in the four all-genre categories opened the door for the stars.
According to a New York Times report, Taylor Swifts and Kanye West’s Grammy award nominations were added just a day before the contenders for the prize were announced.
Their addition was due to a change in the number of nominees in the ‘Big Four’ categories - those categories which encompass all music rather than being genre-specific. In a surprise reveal, the number of contestants was increased from eight to ten.
“It lines up perfectly everything that we’ve been trying to do in the last year in a half,” Harvey Mason Jr, CEO of the Recording Academy, explained, “which is to honour excellence in music, serve our music community, and do it in a thoughtful but proactive way.”
“For us, this is all positive movement,” Mason added. “This is us honouring more great artists, more great music, giving artists an opportunity to shine and showcase.”
Little Nas X and ABBA also benefited from the change, both being nominated for Record of the Year. Doja Cat’s Kiss Me More and Brandi Carlile’s Right on Time were added to the mix for Song of the Year, while Arooj Aftab and Baby Keem were put in contention for Best New Artist.
The Grammys have denied accusations that the addition of the high profile artist was due to their commercial "appeal". Swift and West specifically have been singled out, as the two have previously been involved in a feud. Famously, the rapper interrupted Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video, stating that Beyonce - who was also in contention for the award - had "one of the best videos of all time."
This year's edition of the awards has already come under fire due to its inclusion of controversial artists such as Marilyn Manson and Da Baby. Comedian Louis CK - who retreated from the public sphere in 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct came to light - has also been nominated due to his comeback special Sincerely Louis CK.