Getty Image/Merle Cooper
The 2024 Grammy Awards nominations have been announced, and as usual, there are plenty of surprises and snubs to discuss. Although the Recording Academy added some new categories this year to accommodate the emergence of Afropop as a global force, it looks like another growing genre was left out in the cold. Meanwhile, as country music experiences a resurgence, some of the genre’s most dominant stars missed out on the biggest looks of the year. And even though the Grammys have taken huge steps in addressing the awards’ shortcomings in rap and R&B, they appear to have overlooked some of the year’s most talked-about projects and artists.
Here are the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2024 Grammy nominations.
PinkPantheress Wasn’t Nominated Despite A Breakout Year
“Boy’s A Liar” was one of the biggest hits of the past year, sticking its index finger directly on the pulse of the zeitgeist. From predicting the resurgence of the 2-step/garage sounds that shaped huge hits like “Seven” and “Super Shy” (more on them later) to introducing the non-rap-fan population to the pop culture juggernaut that is Ice Spice, “Boy’s A Liar” was an inescapable phenomenon and the fact that PinkPantheress couldn’t get a record, song, or Best New Artist nomination speaks to both how competitive the field was this year and how much further the Academy has to go in bridging that pesky generation gap.
Barbie Took Over
Here’s how dominant the Barbie soundtrack was this year: the Best Song Written For Visual Media category only features ONE non-Barbie song (Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from Wakanda Forever) and a Barbie song is nominated in both eligible Big Four categories, as well as for Rap Song of the Year. The doll who does it all is practically guaranteed at least one win at this year’s awards — even at the cost of me and my editor’s bet about “Peaches” from Mario and “Dear Alien” from Asteroid City. And Across The Spider-Verse deserved more.
Foo Fighters Weren’t Nominated For Album Of The Year
In somewhat of a break from Grammy tradition, Foo Fighters’ But Here We Are wasn’t nominated for Album Of The Year, despite the recent death of drummer Taylor Hawkins and the album’s emotional material. It’s grim to think about, but in past years, you could reliably expect a consolation posthumous nomination. It’s downright disheartening to think that this time the Grammys ignored the macabre tradition.
Country Dominated The Charts But Got (Mostly) Shut Out Of The Big Four
The general awards are always controversial but there’s an argument to be made here. While the Big Four are almost never actually tied to commercial achievement — hello Esperanza Spalding — Zach Bryan, Luke Combs, and Morgan Wallen all utterly dominated the charts this year, yet it appears that if this was taken into consideration, it wasn’t enough to lift them out of their respective niches. Perhaps the ideological fractures in that fanbase had an effect. At least there is Jelly Roll.
Where Are The K-Pop Stars?
During the eligibility period this past year, a bunch of songs from K-pop acts took over the American charts. Fifty Fifty’s “Cupid” has been impossible to get away from (I may or may not have tried), New Jeans’ “Super Shy” became a mall P.A. mainstay, and Jung Kook’s solo hit “Seven” peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100. What makes K-pop’s absence from this year’s nominations stranger is how ubiquitous K-pop has been at the Grammys for the past handful of years, with BTS performing “Dynamite” in 2021 and “Yet To Come” earning a history-making nomination in 2022.
Reggaeton And Latin Trap Were Locked Out Of The Big Awards, Too
Take everything said about K-pop above and translate it into Spanish. Sure, there’s a Latin Grammys, but that smells suspiciously of “separate but equal,” you know? You’d think Peso Pluma or Karol G would warrant a nod, even if Grammys voters could hardly be expected to tunnel all the way down to discover newer breakout artists like Myke Towers or Rauw Alejandro. Again, with the Latin Grammys coming just a few weeks after the “standard issue” ceremony, perhaps interested voters were just too distracted to manage both sets of ballots. Still, it’s a black mark for sure.
Gunna Didn’t Make The Cut For Best Rap Album
Yes, awards nominations are subjective, but there’s a general consensus among rap fans online — corroborated by chart performance — that Gunna had one of the standout albums of the year, if not the only one with any real staying power. Yet, it seems Grammy voters went for the lowest-hanging fruit: Killer Mike and Nas are obvious “prestige” picks for the Gen X hip-hop heads that mostly make up the part of the Academy most well-versed in rap (heyo), while Drake and Travis Scott are brand-friendly pop mainstays. However, Utopia only spent four weeks on the Billboard 200 — a massive drop off from his last two projects, and reception was largely lukewarm. Metro Boomin is a nice addition, but again, for the wrong album (Across The Spider-Verse getting snubbed is going to give me heartburn for the rest of the year).
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.