Celebrating female artists in the Grammys

It is that time of the year again: Grammy season! One of the biggest honours and measures of success in the music industry is being nominated for a highly-valued, golden grammyphone. The nominations are published in November while the actual award ceremony occurs the following year in February. The lineup for this year’s general/main field categories is not one to disappoint as it displays the growing power of women in the music industry.

The nominees

The three most highly-anticipated categories are “Record Of The Year,” “Album Of The Year,” and “Song Of The Year.” Eight pieces of work are nominated in each. For “Record Of The Year,” of the eight nominees, seven are female artists. For “Album Of The Year,” seven are albums by female artists. Even for “Song Of the Year,” seven of the nominees are songs by female artists. The lone male nominee in each of these categories is John Batiste — he is the only man in the running. So it is safe to say that there is a staggering trend of female dominance in the 2024 General Field. 

The nominees for “Record Of The Year” include some of the most prominent and successful women in the realm of pop. This entails none other than Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For?, Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire, SZA’s Kill Bill, and of course Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero.

Unsurprisingly, all of these songs are recognized again in the category “Song Of The Year” and the artists are seen repeatedly in other categories as well. Alongside the repeated nominees from “Record Of The Year” are the songs, On My Mama by Victoria Monet and Not Strong Enough by boygenius — the only band nominated in the big-three categories. The band, boygenius is an alternative supergroup composed of artists Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker — a band comprising three female artists. 

The nominee list for “Album Of The Year” remains relatively repetitive with it being inclusive of the record by boygenius, Endless Summer Vacation by Miley Cyrus, Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey (another pop-pioneer), The Age Of Pleasure by Janelle Monae, GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo, Midnights by Taylor Swift, SOS by SZA, and World Music Radio by the token male artist of the year, Batiste. 

In the “Song Of The Year Category” the only artist not yet mentioned is Dua Lipa who is a contender for her song “Dance The Night” from the Barbie soundtrack. None of this year’s nominations are particularly shocking since all of these songs and albums have been extremely commercially successful thus far and the artists have generally been deemed pop-icons by the public.

Growing appreciation of female work

The prevalence of female artists nominated in the General Field indicates expansive success amongst women in the music industry. This is refreshing. The music industry is notorious for retaining copious sexism and now it seems as though this reputation is not necessarily applicable to the Recording Academy. 

This is further expressed by the abundant nominations that songs off of Barbie The Album received. In total, the film claimed 11 nominations, four of which were all in the same category, “Best Song Written For Visual Media” — a category with only five nominee spots. Barbie achieved tremendous success on a global level as it addresses the patriarchal elements of real-world societies and celebrates female empowerment. To say the least, Barbie is a feminist film. Therefore, seeing songs from the Barbie soundtrack rack up Grammy nominations is another indication that the diminishment of sexism is progressing in the film and music industry. 

Overall, the 2024 Grammy nominations, and the General Field in particular, are iconically female-driven and enlivening. The many female artists who have had their records climb various music charts throughout 2023 are being recognized by the Recording Academy. Additionally, with all of the nominated records receiving such similarly massive amounts of popularity thus far, the level of anticipation to observe the results of the 2024 Grammys increases. So, even though an awards show nominee lineup does not resolve sexism, it indicates the progress being made in the music industry for the better.

Ann Kaydos-Daniels is a student at the American International School, Dhaka.

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