Here’s Where the 2023 Grammys Categorized Genre-Blending Albums by Beyoncé, Demi Lovato & More
The walls that separate genres are coming down, which is a good thing in many ways. But it complicates things for the screening committees that decide where records should compete in the annual Grammy Awards process.
Here are some albums that probably gave the screening committees pause – and where they are competing in the 65th annual Grammy Awards process.
Demi Lovato’s Holy F*ck, Avril Lavigne’s Love Sux and Tears for Fears’ The Tipping Point are all on the line between pop and rock; all are competing for best rock album. Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres and 5 Seconds of Summer’s 5SOS5 are also somewhere on that line; they are competing for best pop vocal album.
Florence + the Machine’s Dance Fever is vying for best alternative music album. Two previous albums by the English indie rock band – Ceremonials and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – were nominated for best pop vocal album.
Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak topped Billboard’s folk, country and rock album charts — and reached No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200. At the Grammys, it’s competing for best country album.
Lizzo’s Special and Beyoncé’s Renaissance danced on the line between pop, dance and R&B. Special is competing for best pop vocal album. Renaissance is vying for best dance/electronic music album. Bey won best contemporary R&B album three times (for Dangerously in Love, B’Day and I Am…Sasha Fierce) and best urban contemporary album twice (for Lemonade and Everything Is Love, a collab with her husband Jay-Z as The Carters.
The line between R&B and progressive R&B is often blurry. The Grammys have classified Summer Walker’s Still Over It and Chris Brown’s Breezy as R&B, but have slotted Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights and Brent Faiyaz’s Wasteland as progressive R&B.
Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) is vying for a nod as best country album. The original Red album was nominated in that category nine years ago but lost to Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer, Different Park. In terms of genre album awards, Swift has won best country album once (for Fearless) and best pop vocal album once (for 1989).
Jason Aldean is competing for best country album with Macon, Georgia, a combination of his two single-disc albums Macon (released on Nov. 12, 2021) and Georgia (released on April 22).
The Encanto soundtrack, which topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, is competing for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, not best pop vocal album.
The four Latin albums that made the top 10 on the Billboard 200 in the Grammy eligibility year (Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30) are competing in three different categories. Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti and Daddy Yankee’s Legendaddy are vying for best música urbana album. Romeo Santos’ Formula Volume 3 is competing for best tropical Latin album. Eslabon Armando’s Nostalgia is vying for best regional Mexican music album (including Tejano).
Several stars didn’t submit their albums for Grammy consideration, for a broad range of reasons. Silk Sonic didn’t submit An Evening With Silk Sonic. They probably figured (correctly) that they were amply rewarded last year when they won four Grammys for “Leave the Door Open” and they would be better off letting other artists have some Grammy shine. No artist wants to run the risk of having people say, “Haven’t they won enough?”
Drake and The Weeknd didn’t submit Honestly, Nevermind and Dawn FM, respectively. They are probably still nursing past disappointments. Drake, one of the most successful musicians of the past 15 years (and, really, in recording history) has won just four Grammys. (As noted, Silk Sonic won that many earlier this year alone.) The Weeknd was inexplicably snubbed in the year that he released “Blinding Lights,” one of the biggest and most universally admired hits of recent years — though, for the record, has also collected four Grammys over the years.
Other albums that aren’t to be found on the entry list include Meek Mill’s Expensive Pain, Roddy Ricch’s Live Life Fast, Lil Durk’s 7220, Rod Wave’s Beautiful Mind and Tory Lanez’s Sorry 4 What.