Explore This Year's Album Of The Year Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs
Albums by Jhené Aiko, Black Pumas, Coldplay, Jacob Collier, HAIM, Dua Lipa, Post Malone and Taylor Swift all receive nominations
Updated Jan. 5, 2021.
The 2021 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Album Of The Year. While we'll have to wait until the 63rd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Sunday, March 14, to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for one of the most anticipated GRAMMY Awards each year.
CHILOMBO - Jhené Aiko
Jhené Aiko's third studio album, inspired by Hawaii's landscape and traditional music, was released on March 6, 2020. Acting as executive producer, the GRAMMY-nominated performer teamed up with collaborators Fisticuffs and Lejkeys, who produced 18 of the album's tracks. Aiko also stacked the album with additional big-name collaborators, Nas, Ty Dolla Sign and Future, as well as John Legend, Miguel and H.E.R.
"At some point, I realized that a part of my purpose is to help people get through things," she recently told GRAMMY.com in an Up Close & Personal interview. "Now that I'm studying sound healing and know the importance of sound, I just feel like it's my responsibility as a musician to really take care of the sounds that I put into the music."
Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition) - Black Pumas
Nominated for Best New Artist at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, the Austin-based psych-soul duo released their debut studio album in 2019 to critical acclaim. "Black Pumas are the answer to the exciting question of what it would sound like if Sam Cooke or Neil Young joined the Wu-Tang Clan," wrote the Guardian.
"...It feels good because it doesn't feel like we tried to cheat the system or anything," GRAMMY-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada told GRAMMY.com last year about their first-time nominations. "There was legit just people out there that believed in what were doing. And if we weren't getting the GRAMMY nomination, we'd still be playing shows. And if we weren't playing shows, we'd be still recording in the studio. We'd be doing this no matter what, but it's pretty amazing."
Everyday Life - Coldplay
Seven-time GRAMMY-winning pop-rock headliners Coldplay released their eighth studio in November 2019. It featured a number of returning producers and collaborators with whom the band had previously worked, such as The Dream Team (Rik Simpson, Dan Green, Bill Rahko), Davide Rossi and Emily Lazar. "It's Coldplay's rangiest and deepest release by orders of magnitude, maybe even their best," Rolling Stone raved in their four-star review.
Djesse Vol. 3 - Jacob Collier
Four-time GRAMMY winner Jacob Collier released his fourth studio album in August 2020. Stacked with guests, Djesse Vol. 3 features Kimbra, Tank and the Bangas, Jessie Reyez, T-Pain, Daniel Caesar, Ty Dolly $ign, Tori Kelly and more.
"The thing about when I make music," the composer and arranger recently told GRAMMY.com, "is that a lot of the decisions that may feel quite technical are basically based in feelings. It's based on an emotional decision."
Women In Music Pt. III - HAIM
The L.A. sisters' highly anticipated third album dropped in summer 2020 to wide critical acclaim. Co-produced by Danielle Haim and longtime collaborators Ariel Rechtshaid and Rostam Batmanglij (formerly of Vampire Weekend), WIMPIII is Haim's favorite record to date. "For the first time, with this record, I don't think I'll ever get sick of it," Alana told GRAMMY.com earlier in the year. "We've always been confident but this is our third record, our third time around the sun if you will, and even thinking back to Days Are Gone (2013), we didn't know anything in the studio." Danielle agreed: "We knew the fundamentals of production when we first got into it, but now we know so much more.
Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa
Released in March 2020, the Best New Artist GRAMMY winner's second studio album purposefully leaned all the way into an irresistible disco-pop vibe, featuring such writers and producers as Jeff Bhasker, Ian Kirkpatrick, Stuart Price and The Monsters & Strangerz.
"I wanted to do something that felt fresh and new, something that touched on a memory, something that always rings so true to me, especially in my childhood," Dua told GRAMMY.com earlier this summer about the album. "To be able to recreate that in a modern way was an absolute dream for me. I'm so happy that I stood by and honed in on that sound that I love. It makes me feel so good. I'm really proud of this record because I feel like I found my [footing] as an artist and as a songwriter. I really wrote things that I absolutely love. It's definitely a milestone for me in my career."
Hollywood's Bleeding - Post Malone
Released in the fall of 2019, the singer-rapper's third studio album features guest appearances from DaBaby, Future, Halsey, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott, SZA, Swae Lee and Young Thug. Producers, meanwhile, included Andrew Watt, BloodPop, Brian Lee, Carter Lang, DJ Dahi, Emile Haynie, Frank Dukes and Malone himself. "Hollywood's Bleeding is immediately Post Malone's most listenable work and may well be the catchiest album you hear in 2019," Consequence of Sound wrote at the time of release.
Folklore - Taylor Swift
In July 2020, multi-GRAMMY winner and pop titan Taylor Swift surprise-dropped her eighth studio album, folklore. The announcement came with no advance singles or prior news around a 2020 album, in contrast to the four-month teasers and singles in the lead up to 2019's GRAMMY-nominated Lover.
"Before this year I probably would've overthought when to release this music at the 'perfect' time, but the times we're living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed," Swift wrote in a social media post around releasing the low-key, stripped-down folklore, which featured production from Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner. "My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That's the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much."
Pre-Order The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees Album Now
Latest edition of best-selling series available Jan. 22, 2013; fans can pre-order the album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards
The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings and Capitol Records have teamed to release the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album, which will be available Jan. 22, 2013, in stores and via digital retailers. The 19th installment of the best-selling series will feature a bevy of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and hit songs across multiple genres. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation — two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy.
Following the success of last year's contest, music fans can log on to www.grammy.com/2013grammyalbum to pre-order the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
"It's an honor to join forces with Capitol Records to deliver a truly diverse collection encompassing a variety of genres and highlighting today's most talented musicians," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "After the success of last year's pre-order enter-and-win sweepstakes, we're once again thrilled to give music fans the opportunity to experience Music's Biggest Night firsthand. And, it's gratifying to be able to continue our support of the crucial work that MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation carry out year-round."
Dan McCarroll, president of Capitol Records, added, "Capitol is honored to collaborate with The Recording Academy on this prestigious series. This year has been a remarkably strong year in music, and encompassing the highlights of 2012 on a single release supporting these charities is immensely gratifying."
The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" and culminates with the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
Fear Of Flying
Lost or damaged musical instruments inspire musicians to seek a national policy for instruments carried onboard airplanes
If you thought the worst part about being a traveling musician was jet lag and bad food, then you've never tried to carry an instrument onboard a commercial airplane.
From lost or damaged instruments to hassles with flight attendants and gate agents, musicians of all stripes complain that inconsistent airline policies make traveling with their instruments nearly impossible.
"Try traveling with a $5,000 guitar that they won't let you carry onboard," says Los Angeles-based guitarist Michael Andrews, who tours as a solo artist and as part of the Greyboy Allstars. "It's just a nightmare."
"Every airline is so different with their rules, we don't ever know till we get there if we'll be allowed to carry our instruments on the plane or not," says country artist Terri Clark. "Sometimes it depends on the agent. And sometimes you can have the exact same airline and have two different agents telling you two different things."
The issue has ruffled enough feathers that The Recording Academy and the American Federation of Musicians have taken it to Congress. The Senate version of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, S. 223, includes language that sets a national policy for musical instruments carried onboard airplanes. A House version of the bill does not address musicians' needs.
S. 223 was an issue lobbied on at April's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, the music industry's only annual music lobby day. The goal is to ensure the Senate bill's musician-friendly language survives conference committee and makes it into the final legislation.
"We need a consistent policy, not airline by airline [or] gate by gate," says Daryl Friedman, The Recording Academy's Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer. "Right now musicians are faced with the choice of checking their instruments or buying a ticket for them — and even that is airline by airline."
Cellist Matt Walker learned that the hard way when his chamber ensemble traveled from Nashville to St. Paul, Minn., last November. Despite purchasing a ticket for his cello, and repeated assurances by the airline that a ticketed instrument posed no problem, a flight attendant still demanded Walker's cello be placed in the cargo hold.
Walker had no choice but to relinquish his cello and hope for the best. But airline employees failed to properly tag the instrument, and upon arriving in St. Paul it was left on the tarmac in 30-degree temperatures for more than half an hour.
"These things are not put together with screws and bolts, it's just wood and glue," Walker says of his cello. "You don't want to be looking at your cello sitting out on the tarmac in 30-degree weather."
Bluegrass musician Del McCoury found himself in a similar predicament last year when his prized 1957 Martin guitar was broken in airline transit, despite its fiberglass case.
"The thing is, the airline doesn't [care] about your instrument, they just don't," says Clark. "I've watched them through the window throwing guitars onto the belt. Not long ago they left ours out in freezing rain, just sitting on the tarmac. We had to watch while the guitars were getting rained on. You know, these are like $4,000–$5,000 instruments."
Los Angeles-based composer/musician Brian Tyler "cuts out the middleman" and ships his instruments ahead when traveling.
"I cut out the airline as much as possible," says Tyler. "I find the shipping companies are pretty careful with stuff. Their whole company relies on the fact that stuff has to get delivered safely."
Unfortunately, even employing due diligence offers no guarantees.
"You get a good flight case, you do all the right things, you hope for the best, but you can never absolutely count on it being there when you fly," says veteran artist manager Monty Hitchcock Jr.
Given these potential pitfalls, many musicians avoid flying completely. If a show is less than a 15-hour drive away, Clark takes a tour bus. Likewise, Walker will drive or, as on a recent trip to the Cortona Sessions in Cortona, Italy, use a rented instrument when he arrives. Playing an unfamiliar instrument is not ideal, "but it was the compromise I had to make, because I wasn't about to put myself through that ordeal again," he says.
Singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc, who is one of Hitchcock's clients, recently had his guitar destroyed en route to London for a European tour because a flight attendant wouldn't allow the instrument to be treated as a carry-on. The guitar arrived crushed, and LeBlanc had to tour with a replacement provided by Gibson. While he was grateful, the new instrument just wasn't the same.
"He said it was like wearing someone else's underwear," Hitchock recalls.
That's why The Recording Academy and AFM are working for a more permanent, legislative solution. Clark says a consistent airline policy would be a huge help.
"It would alleviate the stress," says Clark. "I just hope it doesn't take 10 years to get passed."
(Lisa Zhito is a Nashville-based writer covering country and contemporary Christian music.)
Photo: Getty Images
GRAMMY Museum To Host GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program Celebration
Weeklong program for Chinese music students to culminate with a performance at the Museum on July 20
On July 20 The Recording Academy, GRAMMY Foundation, Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, and China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, together with Gucci retail partner, Chong Hing Jewelers, will host an exclusive musical performance at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles to celebrate the students of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program. A finale performance by the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet will conclude a weeklong program, recently established in partnership with The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation, that's dedicated to nurturing talented young musicians across Greater China.
In January 2012 Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, in collaboration with CSCLF, announced the launch of the Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund, an initiative that provides scholarships to talented students from prestigious Chinese music establishments such as the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Xi'an Conservatory of Music and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The most exceptional students from the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet were invited to participate in the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program taking place July 16–21 in Los Angeles.
As part of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program, today the students participated in the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Camp Guest Professionals Day, which featured artists and music industry professionals conducting question-and-answer sessions, workshops and master classes with participants of GRAMMY Camp's interactive 10-day residential summer music experience at the University of Southern California. Additionally, the exchange students will participate in several community music clinics and performances with alumni from the GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session program. On July 18 the two groups will perform for students from three Southern California youth music programs, including the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District's Beyond the Bell Branch at the Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy. On July 19 students will perform at the Expo Center for students from the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.
Additionally, a special behind-the-scenes video documenting the exchange students' unique journey will be shot and produced by students participating in the GRAMMY Camp's Music Journalism track, and will be available to view beginning July 20.
A limited number of tickets to the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program finale performance on July 20 at the GRAMMY Museum are available exclusively at Chong Hing Jewelers' three Southern California locations in San Gabriel, Los Angeles' Chinatown and Rowland Heights. For addresses and store hours, visit www.chonghing.com.
Burna Boy accepts his 2021 GRAMMY
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Burna Boy Wins Best Global Music Album For 'Twice As Tall' | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show
The Nigerian powerhouse Burna Boy takes home Best Global Music Album at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony
Burna Boy won Best Global Music Album for Twice As Tall at the Premiere Ceremony of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. This marks his first career GRAMMY win. They are the first winner of the recently renamed category, formerly known as Best World Music Album. Watch his heart-warming acceptance speech below, given in English and Yoruba.
Later, Burna gave a fire performance to close out the Premiere Ceremony, featuring two Twice As Tall tracks—watch it here.
Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for all things GRAMMY Awards (including the Premiere Ceremony livestream), and make sure to watch the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, airing live on CBS and Paramount+ tonight, Sun., March 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Check out all the complete 2021 GRAMMY Awards show winners and nominees list here.