The Grammys are music’s highest honor, and they usually don’t mirror the pop charts. They have their faves—U2 comes to mind—and they love to honor older-skewing acts. But this year, the Grammys are either bowing to popular taste or are trying to reflect it: Top nominees echo the top artists of the year. Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, unstoppable Beyoncé and the country’s biggest selling artist in terms of albums for the past two years, Taylor Swift, each received multiple nominations.
MTV News reports that this has been a trend for the Grammys the past few years, wanting to appeal to a younger audience, but the 2010 nominees make the Dave Matthews Band look old. Ink was spilled on the fact that Lady Gaga would not be eligible for Best New Artist, because she had been nominated last year for “Just Dance” in the apparently overlooked category of Best Dance Recording, up against “Disturbia” (!) and Madonna, and losing to Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger”. (The Recording Academy noted that at the time of the nominations, there was no album to anchor “Just Dance.”) Although Keri Hilson is a Best New Artist nominee, she has written songs for other artists like Britney Spears and Ne-Yo, and was featured prominently in Timbaland’s massive 2007 hit “The Way You Are”…so she’s not really that new. But, it looks like she’s never been nominated before, either for her songwriting skills or for her collaborations, so she’s considered “new”.
Looking at the list, there are plenty of lesser-known songs that occupy most of the nominations; there are many categories where one superstar song, like Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”, sticks out because of sheer omnipresence. Hopefully this will mean that B will perform come January 31, along with many of those other top-tier acts. With a list this strong, you can't not have them.