Wednesday, 2 December 2009

No Single Ladies? Halo-No!

Beyoncé dominates this year's Grammy nominations, with a leading 10 nods, including in the three main categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. None of this is a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the cultural impact of 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' in the past twelve months. The song has spawned countless YouTube tributes and more recently, has been referenced in breakout TV shows such as 'Glee' and 'Cougar Town'. The phenomenal success of this song has even been recognized by President Obama! So, how is it that Beyoncé's nomination for Record of the Year is for the popular but nowhere nearly as iconic 'Halo'? I guess the Recording Academy felt like living up to their reputation of being out of touch with the zeitgeist. Strangely enough, 'Single Ladies' still scored Beyoncé (and her co-writers) a nomination in the Song of the Year category, which means that the song was considered by the nominating committee but deemed not worthy of the Record of the Year category.

Meanwhile, Lady GaGa can console herself for being passed over for Best New Artist with her nominations in the same three major categories as Beyoncé. Her 'Poker Face' is nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year and her debut album 'The Fame' has been nominated for Album of the Year, where the other three nominated acts are the Black Eyed Peas, the Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift...cue a bunch of tired, old Kanye West jokes. Speaking of Taylor Swift, she joins Lady GaGa and Beyoncé in being the only acts this year that are nominated for all three major categories. It's encouraging to see young female singer/songwriters being recognized for their talent in an industry that often takes women less seriously than their male counterparts.

The most glaring omission from the nominations is probably the clear and deliberate snub of former Grammy favorite Whitney Houston, whose warmly-reviewed and commercially successful comeback album 'I Look to You' was actually released one day earlier than scheduled in order for it to qualify for this year's Grammys. With the highly influential Clive Davis in her corner, it's certainly curious as to how she missed out on a single nomination. Perhaps a duet with Beyoncé on 'I Look to You' would have been advisable but in all fairness, hindsight is 20/20!

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