Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

The Grammys' Fuzzy Math

Usually one look at Music’s Biggest Night will reveal an overarching narrative, like Adele’s dominance two years ago, but this year’s list of nominees inspires more head-scratching than high fives

Posted on

Jay Z and JT’s Faux Dominance
Jigga leads everybody with nine nominations surrounding his album Magna Carta…Holy Grail. But don’t expect the Grammys (which air at 8 p.m. Jan. 26 on CBS) to be the Jay Z show; he’s not nominated in any of the three major categories (Album, Record, and Song of the Year), and he’s up against himself twice. Same goes for Justin Timberlake, who nailed down seven nods for The 20/20 Experience without a mention in the Big Three.

Lorde’s Lack of Newness
With a chart-topping single and a killer backstory, Lorde seemed primed to take home the Best New Artist prize — but she’s not even nominated. Instead she cedes the category to non-newcomers like Ed Sheeran and James Blake. Even more confusing? She wasn’t snubbed otherwise: She’s got four total nominations, including ones for “Royals” in the all-important Record and Song of the Year groups.

Sara Bareilles’ Rise
Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest was a moderately reviewed, modestly successful album that somehow scored a nod for Album of the Year, boxing out higher-profile releases by Timberlake, Lorde, Kanye West, and Bruno Mars. And it’s not like the voters suddenly bought into a Bareilles juggernaut — she has only one other nomination, for her single “Brave.”