Kendrick Lamar, not Taylor Swift, leads the 2016 Grammy nominations: ruh roh?


The 2016 Grammy nominations just came out… and it’s a good day to be Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Florence Welch. Honestly, I’m the most jazzed about the multiple nominations for Florence + the Machine (their new album is the business!), but I’m grateful that Swifty, Kendrick and The Weeknd were all recognized multiple times too. Kendrick Lamar leads this year’s nominations with 11 noms overall. Taylor Swift and The Weeknd both received seven each, and Drake got six nominations. In case you’re wondering about Adele… her album came out too late to be considered for the 2016 Grammys. I’m thinking that she might perform at the Grammys though, and she’ll definitely lead next year’s nominations. You can see the full list of noms here. Here are some of the biggest categories:

Album Of The Year:
Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes
To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar
Traveller — Chris Stapleton
1989 — Taylor Swift
Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd

Record Of The Year:
“Really Love” — D’Angelo And The Vanguard
“Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran
“Blank Space” — Taylor Swift
“Can’t Feel My Face” — The Weeknd

Song Of The Year:
“Alright” — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
“Blank Space” — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush” — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
“See You Again” — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

Best New Artist:
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
“Ship To Wreck” — Florence + The Machine
“Sugar” — Maroon 5
“Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
“Bad Blood” — Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“See You Again” — Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth

Florence + the Machine’s “What Kind of Man” also got nominated for Best Rock Performance, so I don’t get how two songs off the same album can be classified as Rock and Pop? Just one of many quirks for the Grammys, I guess. Incidentally, I think “What Kind of Man” is so much better than “Ship to Wreck,” although both songs are so much better than “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood.”

Do you think this is finally Taylor’s year, the year where she takes home Album of the Year? (Note: she won Album of the Year for Fearless, but she’s complained about not winning it for her last album). Taylor will certainly hope so. But I kind of wonder if after all of the controversies about the Grammys not recognizing artists like Kendrick Lamar, maybe To Pimp a Butterfly is going to be the album to beat this year. Now, all that being said… I think Swifty has a lock on Song of the Year for “Blank Space.”



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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79 Responses to “Kendrick Lamar, not Taylor Swift, leads the 2016 Grammy nominations: ruh roh?”

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  1. Dtab says:

    I agree about Florence and the Machine, their album and songs are excellent and far superior to TSwift.

    I don’t think 1989 deserves to win album of the year, it’s a great POP album but not album of the year

    • Arock says:

      Alabama shakes and Kendrick deserve to be in the category as well. Swift makes great pop music, shes a talented performer not necessarily an artist imo. I’m not sure that’s down to the quality of her music or her over all persona in the media and her Musics teeny-cheese subject matter. I guess she sings about loss and live like everyone else but it’s like comparing a well constructed novel to The Baby Sitters Club. Does this make sense, it’s way early here.

      • meh says:

        Taylor Swift is to music as The Babysitters Club is to literature is actually a fantastic comparison. I am going to use that from now on!

    • Armenthrowup says:

      Agreed! Swift getting nommed is the triumph of mediocrity in my opinion – I just don’t get why she and the world think she should be nominated at all! There are far, FAR superior artists. But then again, like the Oscars, the Grammy’s are not necessarily the best barometer of quality.

      • Loulou says:

        I feel like there are movies I actually like at the Oscar’s, even if the wrong one wins. The Grammy’s (almost) entire catalog of nominations seems like a celebration of mediocrity.

  2. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    While I’m sure Taylor could win for Blank Space I’m personally cheering for Uptown Funk. It had an amazing success record and I love the throw-back feel of the song, not to mention it was ridiculously popular on the Internet. One of the few songs that when I started to hear it everywhere I was actually happy and not over it.

    “What Kind of Man” is amazing but doesn’t strike me at all as a pop song, not sure why they categorized it like that.

    No shade to Taylor’s achievements and maybe it’s because she’s going the pop route hard but her songs lately are SO bad. I used to think her older songs were cheesy but even with that the lyrical content was surprisingly more mature than anything she’s put out his year. I just cringe when I see her name against other artists knowing their song content/quality is so much better (The Weeknd for example) and that she’ll still probably snag a few awards she doesn’t deserve.

    • Mar says:

      I agree, her lyrics are very silly and her music is kind of teen bop, catchy but immature.

    • OhDear says:

      She (Swift) gets nominated because of her name recognition and public persona, not her musical/artistic talent. IMO, her songs are so heavily produced that you can switch her singing with that of any random person on the street and no one would be able to tell the difference.

    • Santia says:

      What is the difference between record of the year and song of the year?

      • shinymarbles says:

        “Record of the Year” refers to the sound recording: the production, mixing, mastering, musical performances…any choices that went into the “sound” of the record. “Song of the Year” refers to the songwriting (melody and lyrics). It’s a songwriter’s award.

        Cannot believe that “Blank Space” was nominated! It’s shockingly mediocre to me as a song. -____-

    • WinnieCoopersMom says:

      I agree. The music/lyrics from ‘Red’ are so much stronger than ’1989′ IMO. If she were to win album of the year for one of the two, it should have been for Red.

    • arabella says:

      Calling Swift’s music “art” is like calling 50 Shades of Grey “literature”.

  3. Cynthia says:

    I’m very happy for Kendrick (his album is amazing) and Alabama Shakes. I actually liked 1989 but I don’t think it deserves AOTY. Taylor really campaigned hard for the Grammys this year so she’s going to win some major awards.

    • Kitten says:

      I have mixed feeling about Kendrick Lamar.

      I LOVE Alabama Shakes so much. Brittany Howard has such a fan-f*cking-tastic voice.

      • Amelia says:

        Alabama Shakes is my JAM at the moment! Love it. Can’t get it out of my head, don’t want it out of my head.

        Sitting over here very puzzled that Flo’s album isn’t up for AOTY.

      • Veronica says:

        I was a little surprised that Flo didn’t get more noms, either, considering the new one was the first to hit #1 in the States on its release. Not exactly unimpressive for an alternative band that has limited mainstream radio play, but not entirely surprising given how the Grammy’s work. The band’s got years of album making ahead of them, though, so they’ve got plenty of chances in the future.

    • Leah says:

      Kendrick is insanely talented. His album was the best rap album in forever.

      • Kitten says:

        He’s ok as far as new hip-hop artists go–def better than your average. Yet I still think he’s overrated, when compared to the greats. So again: meh.

  4. Cynthia says:

    Also if I’m not mistaken Taylor already won AOTY with her second album?

  5. aims says:

    Why wasn’t Adele nominated? Am I missing something?

  6. Allie says:

    I just can’t even get over Taylor and all of her nominations. It’s a catchy pop album, yes, but it’s in the same league to me as One Direction, Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez. The only thing that makes her stand out from them is the fact that she has way more fans/publicity. Grammy nominations always shock me though.

  7. LB says:

    I hate myself for it, but I enjoy disliking Taylor. Even though I know she works hard and seems generally nice, I enjoy disliking her. I know she could not care less about my dislike, but something about how she writes thinly veiled songs about others, then turns around and plays like a victim – it’s too much for me.

    All that being said, she’s going to watch album of year. All the more power to her. My dislike will not change that.

    • Armenthrowup says:

      So exactly right! Music should be about quality not about whiny little mean girls.

    • EEV says:

      I don’t know if I dislike her (or enjoy disliking her), but I understand what you’re saying.

      I certainly dislike that stupid bitchy face she’s making in the photos above.

  8. Sara says:

    I’m glad the Weeknd is being nominated! I know his songs have, ahem, repetitive themes but his voice is hypnotic to me.

  9. OTHER RENEE says:

    Taylor already won Album of the Year in 2010 for Fearless.

  10. Claire says:

    It’s embarrassing for the academy (or whoever does the nominating) to nominate something as generic as 1989 and not give a rare Album of the Year nomination to the Hamilton cast recording which is so well done and groundbreaking in a way that so many of us will never live to see again.

    • J says:

      Is Hamilton eligible this year or next year?

      I agree 1989 is not a spectacular as many people say, if this album was recorded by someone other than Taylor Swift it would not being getting this same amount of attention.

    • KJ says:

      I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack so obsessively that it’s starting to scare me. LOL. It’s just so brilliant and engaging. I love it.

    • byland says:

      OMG. So late to the party, but YES. I saw the show in previews and it blew me away. I had to call in so many favors with so many friends and spend SO MUCH MONEY, but it was SO WORTH IT.

      (Sorry for all the yelling. #yayhamlet)

  11. Lea says:

    If Kendrick wins over Taylor it will be because his album was on every best albums of the year list and is already considered an instant classic, not because of the previous issue of the Grammys not recognizing hip-hop. That said I don’t even remember the last time an hip-hop album was nominated for album of the year… or a soul album for what matters.

  12. Wentworth Miller says:

    The people who select these artists for whatever awards couldn’t have possibly listened to any of the songs, and that’s quite obvious by their nominations. Like everything else, it’s all politics.

  13. Milli94 says:

    Here for Bruno Mars winning pop. Also how does Maroon 5 get nominated ? 1989 was a good pop album but not even the top 5 of the year but the hype is her’s i guess

  14. Colette says:

    Having the most noms doesn’t guarantee the most wins or even wins in major categories.

  15. Ayra. says:

    Kendrick, Alabama Shakes, J.Cole… (fans self) I hope this is their year.
    I don’t care for the Weeknd or his music, he just bothers me, idk if it’s the palm tree hair, the drugs, the treatment of women… something.

    Wasn’t Meghan Trainor a new artist last year?

  16. Wooley says:

    How did Miguel’s Wildheart not get nominated?

  17. Tiffany says:

    Why is it roh ruh. Kendrick had the better album. Taylor does not always get what she wants.

    Grammy’s got it right with nominations. We will see if all goes well when winners are announced.

  18. Chaucer says:

    I would LOVE to see Flo win for something-anything. She’s so talented and their music is much different than the generic bubble gum pop that the Grammy’s love. The rock category always confuses me. Why is legitimate rock music never nominated? Symphony X put out a magnificent new album this year and most prog rock bands could sweep the awards if it weren’t a circle jerking popularity contest. 😈

    Are the Grammy’s meant to reward good music, or is it just an industry thing?

  19. lizzie says:

    Ed Sheeran’s nom for thinking out loud bugs the hell out of me. It is a note for note ripoff of Let’s Get It On. NOTE FOR NOTE. The fact that the Gaye family didn’t sue him too (like they did Robin Thicke) is remarkable. I hope they do b/c they will most certainly win. Did record companies give out Marvin Gaye’s greatest hits for Christmas in 2013 and inspire all these hacks.

    • Santia says:

      I thought I was the only one who found those two songs beyond similar.

      Contrary to popular belief, the Gaye family doesn’t go around suing people. The $7 million they won against Robin Thicke was actually on a counter-suit; he sued them first! Then imploded during depositions. He should sue his attorney for malpractice. He was not prepped at all for those depositions.

    • Bridget says:

      I never noticed that, but I also want to point out how awful that song is and how it’s amazing that the two share the same DNA because “Thinking Out Loud” is one of the most flaccid songs I’ve heard (aside from Timberlake’s Mirror) and that is certainly not how I’d describe a Marvin Gaye song!

      Ed Sheeran makes me stabby.

  20. kri says:

    Oh, hell yes. I want Kendrick to get it all. To me, he is a true artist, and a brave human. The things he deal with, the way he writes, even the the way he spaces out his words when he’s rapping-it’s all there. Get em K!!

  21. ds says:

    The only artist I see on this list by my standards is D’Angelo. And I’m surprised he’s here.

  22. Erinn says:

    How is Kelly Clarkson still getting nominations for anything? I’m sure she’s a nice enough lady, but my god. Everything about her is just so vanilla and the same thing over and over.

    I’m also super surprised by the best rock album category – I wouldn’t really consider half of them to be rock, really – it just seems so strange to have James Bay in Rock with Highly Suspect and Slipknot. James Bay – from the songs I’ve heard – seems more like… folky softer alt rock stuff.

    • MonicaQ says:

      The Gray Album slayed but Slipknot went back to it’s metal roots with that one. Then again, Mudvayne won a rock nomination I think for “Dig” so I’m not surprised. At least it’s not Linkin Park.

    • WinnieCoopersMom says:

      I agree. I am a HUGE James Bay fan..but he shouldn’t be in the “rock” category. The problem is, they have no where to put artists like that, similar to Mumford, Lumineers, George Ezra. IMO, they should create a new category “Folk Rock” or “Blues Rock,” bc it wouldn’t make any sense to have say like Fall Out Boy be in the same category as those I mentioned.

    • Veronica says:

      They could really use an “alternative” category if they don’t already have one. It would make the non-mainstream hits a lot easier to sort.

  23. Veronica says:

    Florence’s album was definitely more rock than pop, IMO, but whatever. I’m glad she and the band are getting some recognition for their work.

    I feel like the last person in the world who hasn’t jumped the Lamar train, lol.

  24. Scal says:

    Kendrick Lamar’s album has been on nearly every critic’s top 10 album list for the year. It’s amazing, and SO much better than Shifty’s drivel.

    I’d be willing to be though that Taylor’s fans 1) Don’t listen to genre’s other than country/pop and so have no idea who Kendrick and the Alabama shakes are 2) Are going to pitch a fit to the high heavens when Shifty doesn’t win (same as when Bieber lost to Esperanza Spalding)

  25. Lucy says:

    Give them all to Flo, Kendrick and The Weeknd!!!

  26. Miss Grace Jones says:

    I don’t get how this is a ruh roh or surprise about Kendrick’s album. Have you guys listened to it? As a project cobceptionally and sonically it’s leaps ahead of anything Taylor Swift has ever done and has been getting the accolades to prove it all year. Seeing these two albums side by side is actually laughable considering the content and I don’t get the comparison between this politically charged concept album and whatever generic drivel Taylor produced
    Happy about FATM and D’angelo

  27. Lou says:

    Chris Stapleton is gonna win… and he deserves it

  28. Joanie says:

    I hope Ed Sheeran wins a few gongs. Boy has worked his assistant off this past year and got more airplay than Taylor and Kendrick combined. He was living in a pub and being paid in beer four years ago.

  29. Iheartgossip says:

    Hopefully this means the return of real music.

  30. WinnieCoopersMom says:

    Really wanting James Bay to win New Artist category! Sorry, but Megan Trainer and Tori Kelly have already had their big New Artist intro in the industry the past 1-2 years and have had plenty of stage time at big award shows. It’s Bay’s time to shine!!!

  31. Leah says:

    I really doubt Taylor will win.Mark ronson and Bruno mars should and will win record of the year, its a far bigger hit than blank space.
    And i really hope Kendrick Lamar wins album of the year, unlike Kanyes record or whatever it was he was whinging about last year, it really is the best record in that category. Its a joke that the weeknd and Taylor was nominated for album of the year but D’Angelo wasn’t by the way.

  32. My Two Cents says:

    These awards shows are becoming a joke. Don’t know who makes the nominations but I think there is far better talent out there that’s not even being recognized.

  33. Rhiley says:

    I didn’t like the Florence + the Machine album when I first listened to it. Perhaps I should give it another try though. I don’t follow the Grammys because usually they nominate singers I just don’t care for, although after Beck’s best album win, I did buy the album and it was very good- Album of the Year? I’m not so sure. But very good nonetheless. My favorite album of 2015 was probably Little Neon Limelight by Houndmouth, and then perhaps Something More than Free by Jason Isbell. What are some of your favorites?

  34. Amy85 says:

    I can’t imagine Blank Space winning. I may be in the minority but it’s Taylor’s weakest single. Other songs in both categories should win. I wouldn’t be if Taylor went home empty handed. A lot of nominations end up winning everything or nothing. I feel like overexposure hurt more than help Taylor.

    • Veronica says:

      Bad Blood and How to Get the Girl were the only two off of 1989 that I was really meh about. Blank Space was…okay, but I tired of it quickly. Style is the one I think she should have been nominated for. It might not have been a #1, but it’s the best on the album, IMO.

      The Weeknd is the only one I’ll be mad about if he wins. I was not impressed with the album as a whole. His earlier work is a lot better. AND SO MUCH MISOGYNY. It’s pretty rare for me to turn off an album because I get fed up with the sexism, but he managed it somehow.

  35. Grant says:

    I will never understand why Taylor Swift is as critically acclaimed as she is. She’s only marginally talented. I suppose people place a premium on the ability to write the songs one sings, but are Taylor’s songs really that deep or profound?

  36. AKY says:

    While the Grammy Awards have received backlash about nominations and the categorizing of music genres, I strongly doubt Kendrick Lamar would win Album of the Year just because of scrutiny. That argument does not hold where Kendrick is concerned because he is beyond talented and should have received Grammy nods sooner. He’s nominated for it because he deserves it. Let’s be clear.

  37. MB says:

    To Pimp A Butterfly is one of the most ridiculous names of an album I have ever heard.

  38. kate says:

    Kendrick or Alabama Shakes should win Album, Uptown Funk should win Record. Kendrick should really win Song as well, but I imagine they’ll want Swift to win something big.

  39. elimaeby says:

    If Meghan Trainor wins best new artist over Courtney Barnett, I will *literally* scream myself deaf.

  40. Debutante says:

    Swifty for something !?!