Despite its (arguably deserved) reputation as being out of touch with modern music trends, the Grammys are, for better or worse, music’s biggest night. (No seriously, that’s their trademarked phrase.)
Contrary to its history, however, this year’s Grammy nominations are actually pretty solid, with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and SZA garnering multiple nods, and living rap legend Jay-Z being the cream of this year’s crop with eight nominations alone. That said, there’s always a handful of notable omissions with every Grammy year, and the 2018 ceremony will be no different. Here are our top 5 picks for this year’s biggest Grammy snubs.
5. Calvin Harris
Doing a drastic 180 of his maximalist, club-banging EDM sound to a more laid-back, groovy hip hop/funk style should have paid dividends for Calvin Harris at the Grammys this year. But despite Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 being his best-reviewed body of work to date, and boasting summer anthems like the Frank Ocean and Migos-assisted “Slide” and the No Doubt-esque “Feels” featuring Pharrell, Katy Perry and Big Sean, the Scottish DJ/producer would only find himself with a nomination for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Considering he’s previously one-time winner and four-time nominee, the overall lack of recognition for his more sophisticated musical change-up is glaring.
4. Taylor Swift
Now, on to Harris’ ex: although T-Swizzle’s album reputation missed the cut-off date for this year’s awards (expect it to get a TON of nods in 2019), her first three singles from the project – notably her polarizing lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” – all failed to garner recognition for this year’s ceremony. While she did get two nominations in Best Song Written for Visual Media (for co-writing her duet with Zayn, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”), and Best Country Song for writing Little Big Town’s “Better Man”, the 10-time Grammy winner and arguable current queen of pop won’t see her darker, more vengeful image in the running for more hardware – at least, not this year.
3. Harry Styles
Love them or hate them, it’s still pretty hard to believe that no member of One Direction has ever garnered a Grammy nomination (ex-member Zayn’s duet with Taylor Swift, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, is nominated this year under Best Song Written for Visual Media, though that category is for songwriters only). With Harry Styles emerging in 2017 with a gobsmacking debut solo single “Sign of the Times” and a heavily rock-influenced self-titled debut album, the Grammys remained unmoved, and Styles finds himself without a single nomination this year. Perhaps if he successfully keeps up this sonic metamorphosis on future releases, he’ll finally win over the hearts of the Recording Academy and put numbers on the boards for both himself and his mega-successful boy band.
2. A Tribe Called Quest
It’s hard to say whether or not their staunchly anti-Trump performance of single “…We the People” at last year’s ceremony might have worked against the New York hip hop legends this year, but A Tribe Called Quest’s final LP We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was still one of the best rap albums to come out within this nomination window, after an 18-year wait and off the heels of the passing of group member Phife Dawg. Alas, Tribe have come up completely short at this year’s Grammys, in rap categories or otherwise, and group leader Q-Tip took to Instagram to express his anger over the group’s omission.
1. Ed Sheeran
The flame-haired wonder did get a couple nods this year for Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Vocal Performance, but it’s what he didn’t get nominated for that’s drawing the surprise of critics and fans. Although he’d become Spotify’s most streamed artist around the world this year, and his third album ÷ (Divide) would become 2017’s best selling album after Taylor Swift’s reputation, Ed Sheeran finds himself shut out in the Grammys’ biggest categories. Both his album and monster hit “Shape of You” could have easily slid into Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year respectively, but somehow, it isn’t to be.
Featured image credit: Mert & Marcus