Grammy nominees - snubs, surprises and twists

Former United States first lady Michelle Obama
Former United States first lady Michelle Obama
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X

NEW YORK • Eyebrows were raised on Wednesday when former United States first lady Michelle Obama was nominated for a Grammy while a number of top names in music were omitted.

Once a perennial favourite, pop singer Taylor Swift got the nod for just three awards, and only one in a major category, with her seventh album Lover missing out on a potential Album Of The Year accolade.

Many fans expected wildly popular Korean boy band BTS to score at the 2020 gala, but they were completely ignored by Grammy voters.

Pop acts Ed Sheeran and The Jonas Brothers got one nod each.

The Queen of Pop was left out.

Madonna, a seven-time winner, was passed over for her 14th album Madame X.

The big surprises came when Best Album nominations were given to experimental indie act Bon Iver and buoyant alt rockers Vampire Weekend, though both records were critically acclaimed.

Genre-bending rapper Lil Nas X drew six nominations, as he rode the wave of his country-rap Old Town Road's overnight success.

Industry watchers expected the 20-year-old sensation to earn nods for Best New Artist and Record Of The Year - but the Album Of The Year nod for his critically panned EP, 7, was a head-scratcher.

Two rappers who spent time in the American detention system this year are up for Best Rap Album. Meek Mill and 21 Savage both faced controversial legal battles that roused accusations that they were facing racism.

Mrs Obama is up for an award on music's biggest night for Best Spoken Word Album for the audiobook of her memoir Becoming.

The Grammys will be held on Jan 26.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2019, with the headline 'Grammy nominees - snubs, surprises and twists'. Subscribe