It is the first time in almost two decades that Grammy Awards do not include any white men in its Album of the Year category.
This year’s nominees include Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Lorde.
All the nominees for the Record of the Year category are also all artist of color, except for Justin Bieber. Bieber collaborated with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee on the hit song “Despacito.”
It is not clear if this year’s crop of nominations is in, anyway, affected by pressure and controversies from the past years’ awards. The Grammys have been slammed for its winning picks supposedly not representing the diversity of the music industry.
Last year, there are those who criticized the body who chose Adele is the winner in the Album of the Year and Record of the Year categories and not Beyonce for her now-iconic Lemonade album and the single by the same name.
Adele also seemed to have “sympathized” with Beyonce when she took on the stage to accept her award and acknowledged Beyonce’s “monumental” album, and describing her competitor as the “artist of my life”. She also asked the controversial question: “what the f*** does she have to do to win album of the year? That’s how I feel. “
Some expressed sentiments then also that Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly should have won as well.
For this year’s nominations, Jay-Z has eight nominations, Lamar has seven, Mar has six, and Childish Gambino, No I.D., SZA Khalid each have five nominations each.
The diversity argument is also being felt to the Academy, in charge of choosing Oscar nominations. Using the hashtag #OscarsBeSoWhite fans and celebrities alike took to Twitter to express their protests with the fact that out of the 20 actors and actresses nominated in the lead and supporting categories for 2015 and 2016, none were non-white.
This year, people of color like Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Dev Patel, Naomi Harris, Octavia Spencer, and Mahershala Ali were among the nominees and winners in both categories.