There's always a few shockers on Music's Biggest Night!
The 2024 GRAMMY nominations were announced on Friday morning, and while there was plenty of recognition for some of the year's biggest artists, there was also some surprising inclusions (Jon Batiste is back again!) and shocking exclusions (where are the Latin artists in the Big 4?).
SZA is the top nominee at the upcoming 66th GRAMMY Awards, with nine nods, following by Phoebe Bridgers and Victoria Monét with seven apiece. Then, it's a seven-way tie, with Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Antonoff, Brandy Clark, and Jon Batiste scoring six nods each.
So, after you've finished perusing the complete list of nominees, read on for a rundown of the biggest snubs and surprises.
SNUB - Morgan Wallen Out Again
After his controversial past few years, Morgan Wallen was anything but a lock for a nomination this year, but given the success of his third studio album, One Thing at a Time -- which is still at the top of the Billboard Country charts after 28 weeks -- it was thought that this year might be a redemption tour of sorts, at least in the country categories. While Wallen's single, "Last Night," did score a nod for Best Country Song, that award goes to the songwriters -- John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, and Ryan Vojtesak -- and not the performer.
SURPRISE - Barbie Breaks Through
While Barbie: The Album -- the star-studded accompaniment to Greta Gerwig's record-breaking blockbuster, was a shoe-in for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, it was something of a surprise to see not one but two of the movie's original songs in the Big 4 categories. Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night" and Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" both scored nods for Song of the Year, and Eilish also earned a nod in the Record of the Year category.
Plus, for anyone worried about Ken, Ryan Gosling got his with a nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media for "I'm Just Ken." In fact four of the five nominees in that category are Barbie tracks -- "I'm Just Ken," "Dance the Night," "What Was I Made For," and Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice's "Barbie World." The only outsider is Rihanna's "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
SNUB - Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman Fail to Make History
While Luke Combs' cover of Tracy Chapman's hit single, "Fast Car," made her the first Black songwriter to win the CMA Awards' Song of the Year earlier this week, the pair failed to break through with a Record of the Year nomination, as many expected. If they had secured the nod, it would have made Chapman's song just the second track in GRAMMYs history to be the basis of two singles that received ROTY recognition. As a consolation, "Fast Car" did earn Combs a nod for Best Country Solo Performance.
SURPRISE - Jon Batiste Back Again
Batiste scored a surprise Album of the Year win for We Are two years ago, and he was back in the Big 4 again this year, earning another Album of the Year nod for World Music Radio, a Song of the Year nomination for "Butterfly" and a Record of the Year nom for "Worship."
SNUB - Latin Artists Blanked in the Big 4
Once again, Latin artists were left out of the Big 4 General Field categories -- Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist -- to the chagrin of many. No Peso Pluma for Best New Artist? No Bad Bunny for Album of the Year? Is it perhaps time to consider that the recognition of the Latin GRAMMYs is allowing the Recording Academy to slack a bit when it comes to recognizing the success of Latin music in the mainstream?
SURPRISE: Best "New" Artist?
Perpetually one of the GRAMMYs most confusing categories in terms of eligibility, this year's crop of Best New Artist nominees are all deserving, but for some, it's hard to make the case that they're truly "new" on the scene. Victoria Monét has been releasing music for nearly a decade and already had three GRAMMY nominations to her name prior to this year -- for Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" and Thank U, Next in 2020 and Chloe x Halle's "Do It" in 2021.
Meanwhile, Jelly Roll has technically been putting out music since 2003! Granted, his early foray into rap and hip-hop didn't break him through to the music mainstream like his recent transition to country and success with "Son of a Sinner" and Whitsett Chapel. Both Monét and Jelly Roll had standout years as artists in 2023, which makes their nominations hard to dispute, but still leaves Best New Artist as one of the GRAMMYs' biggest annual head-scratchers.
The 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, and will broadcast and stream live on CBS and Paramount+. Follow along at ETonline.com for everything you need to get ready for music's biggest night, including how to watch, GRAMMY performers and more.