One thing many are saying about 2024's Grammy Awards: It stands to be quite a year for women. At the Awards, a diverse and talented cohort of young female musicians spanning genres from pop to R&B, indie-rock, and more, will be honored. Notably, SZA leads with nine nominations, propelled by the success of her second studio album, SOS, and its chart-topping lead single, "Kill Bill." The album, praised for its genre-spanning elements, is said to explore the intricacies of love through SZA's self-reflective lens.
However, the spotlight might shift to Taylor Swift, who, after a year of dominating pop culture with her album Midnights, and making headlines for her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs football star Travis Kelce. Of course, she's not new to this. In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article titled "Cover Trail: Taylor Swift Is the Music Industry." She's also had her immensely successful Eras tour (and its concert film), and is poised to potentially secure an unprecedented fourth win for Album of the Year. Swift, aiming to break records, could also clinch victories in the Record and Song of the Year categories with her track "Anti-Hero" (currently, Beyoncé still has the most Grammy Awards of all time, with 32 wins).
Regarding women dominating the Grammys this year, that's not all. R&B singer Victoria Monét is another standout with seven nominations, marking her breakthrough year as a solo artist (her song "On My Mama" is nominated for Record of the Year and Best R&B Song). Notably, even her two-year-old daughter, Hazel, has become the youngest-ever nominee, contributing delighted giggles as a featured artist on the song "Hollywood." Other female artists, such as Lana Del Rey, Olivia Rodrigo, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, and Boygenius, each bring their unique styles of heartache and existential angst, with Eilish eyeing a potential third Record of the Year win.
An all-female supergroup is getting in on the Grammy nods
Indie-rock supergroup boygenius, consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus, boasts six nominations, including record of the year (for the single "Not Strong Enough") and album of the year (for their debut The Record). The Record, co-produced by Catherine Marks, stands out, emphasizing a "really tactile" sound created at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studio.
(Fun extra: Here's a quick little tour of Rick Rubin's Shangri-La studio:)
Their album The Album has been described as an "instant classic" by NME. Catherine Marks, reflecting on her 20-year career in The Guardian article, acknowledges positive changes in the industry, advocating for diversity in recording studios through government grants for interns. The Grammys, hosted by Trevor Noah, promise performances from nominees like SZA, Rodrigo, Eilish, and Travis Scott, with special appearances by returning legends Joni Mitchell and Billy Joel. Mitchell's return to the stage follows private jam sessions with music luminaries, while Joel is expected to live-debut his second solo single since 1993, "Turn the Lights Back On."
Other interesting things about the 2024 Grammys
The British presence, strong in the 2023 awards, sees a slight decline, with Dua Lipa and Fred Again as the sole representatives in the "big four" categories. Fred Again, a London-born producer, garners attention with four nominations, showcasing both high-energy performances and collaborative efforts, including a notable album with Brian Eno in 2023 (which musician Four Tet called "the most beautiful album of 2023").
Going back to Taylor Swift, if she secures Album of the Year, it will mark a record-breaking achievement, though her studio engineer, Serban Ghenea, stands to surpass her in wins, boasting five victories in the category. Ghenea's illustrious career, spanning from Justin Timberlake's debut to recent hits like Olivia Rodrigo's "Guts," positions him as a Grammy heavyweight with the potential to set an all-time record.
As the Grammys official website notes: "The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, will broadcast live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+."