Year after year, the Grammys epitomise the whitewashed music industry, particularly within the Album of the Year category. In 2015, Mumford & Sons took Best Album over Frank Ocean’s seminal Channel Orange; A year later, Taylor Swift’s 1989 was considered more culturally important than Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and, similarly this year, Adele’s 24 beat Beyonce’s revolutionary work of intersectional feminism, Lemonade.
Now, for the first time since 1999, no white men have been nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. The nominations are Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino, Melodrama by Lorde, Jay-Z’s 4:44, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and Bruno Mars’s 24k Magic. Considering that people of colour are so often excluded, limited or even tokenised at awards shows, this is a promising move towards equity and equality.
Responding to accusations of the Grammy Awards ceremony being whitewashed and not recognising POC artists’ contribution to modern music, the voting pool was opened to a larger group of voters and the Academy incorporated online voting for the first time this year.
The Grammys will air live on CBS from Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, 28th of January. The final round of Grammy voting runs from 7th of December to the 21st. The complete list of nominees can be seen here via Billboard.