An 11th hour decision by the Recording Academy to expand the number of finalists in the Grammys’ “Big Four” categories from eight to 10 resulted in Kanye West and Taylor Swift each receiving Album of the Year nominations.
According to the New York Times, West’s Donda and Swift’s evermore were absent from an early version of nominees that had been circulated prior to last week’s official announcement. Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, told the Times that the last-minute expansion in the number of Grammy nominees was done “to make room for more music, more artists and more genres, and to embrace the spirit of inclusion.”
Mason said that the artists added to the list were the ninth and tenth most voted by the Recording Academy’s members. “For us this is all positive movement,” Mason added. “This is us honoring more great artists, more great music, giving artists an opportunity to shine and showcase.” Mason also rejected the insinuation that the additions of West and Swift were due to the artists’ “appeal” to the telecast.
Other artists benefiting from the expansion include Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and ABBA’s “I Still Have Faith in You” in the Record of the Year category; Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” and Brandi Carlile’s “Right on Time” in the Song of the Year category; and Baby Keem and Arooj Aftab in the Best New Artist category.
Ahead of next year’s Grammy Awards, the Record Academy instituted several other changes to the voting process and voting body, including the elimination of secret nominating committees from the former and the invitation of over 2,700 musicians and industry professionals to the latter, with 55 percent of those coming from “traditionally underrepresented groups.”
The 2022 Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, January 31st. You can see the full list of nominees here.