Despite controversies over its alleged snub to chart toppers The Weeknd, the 63rd edition of Grammy Awards has made history with all-female nominations in the previously male-dominated Best Rock Performance category. Nominees for 2021 Grammys in this category include Fiona Apple, Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Brittany Howard, and Grace Potter.
This is the first time that all-women nominations have taken place in this category since it was introduced in 2012. Till 2016, the Foo Fighters and Coldplay dominated the category with three and two nominations each. Even though the band Alabama Shakes had been nominated twice before, it was only in 2016 that they won an award for their song Don’t Wanna Fight.
This year’s Grammy will be the second time that a woman will win the award since then. Brittany Howard, who holds the record for the highest nominations in the Best Rock Performance category (five), shares four of them with the band, Alabama Shakes.
Even as charges of sidelining black artists continued, the Grammy Awards seem to have tried to make a statement. Women dominate not only the Best Rock Category, but in fact almost all nominations. Both Beyonce and Dua Lipa lead the race with five nominations each. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have four and three nominations respectively.
This year’s Best Country Album category too is making history with women accounting for all five nominations in the category. Four out of the five nominations in both the Best Country Song and the Best Country Solo Performance categories were women.
Mickey Guyton, who was nominated for her racially empowering Black Like Me in the Best Country Solo Performance, is the first ever Black female solo artist to be nominated for a country Grammy. She is the second Black woman to be nominated for a country performance Grammy after the Pointer Sisters won two awards in the mid-1970s.
The nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards were announced through a livestream on November 24. The awards will air on January 31 on CBS. The Daily Show host and comedian Trevor Noah will host the event. Noah said in a tongue-in-cheek statement, “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.”
Nominations for Best Rock Performance:
SHAMEIKA – Fiona Apple
NOT – Big Thief
KYOTO – Phoebe Bridgers
THE STEPS – HAIM
STAY HIGH – Brittany Howard
DAYLIGHT – Grace Potter
Nominations for 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