The 2018 Grammy Awards is about to have its most diverse year yet. As was announced Tuesday, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar received the most nods, with eight and seven nominations, respectively, and the remaining nominees were overwhelmingly of the rap and R&B genre.
But what makes the upcoming Grammy Awards stand out even more from years past is the fact that 2018 marks the first time in nearly 20 years a white male artist was not nominated for Album of the Year.
USA Today writer Maeve McDermott made this very important distinction on Twitter.
This is the first year since 1999 that a white man hasn't been nominated for album of the year.— Maeve McDermott (@maeve_mcdermott) November 28, 2017
My story about #Grammys diversity and this year's much-needed course correction: https://t.co/9P5udrTTty
The Grammys are notorious for not giving artists of colour the acknowledgement they deserve. Most notably, Adele's "25" snubbed Beyoncé's "Lemonade" for Album of the Year at the 59th annual Grammy Awards in February.
In her acceptance speech, Adele even recognized the oversight and made her win all about Queen Bey.
"I can't possibly accept this award, and I'm very humbled, and I'm very grateful and gracious, but the artist of my life is Beyoncé," the "Hello" singer said. "And this album to me, the 'Lemonade' album, was just so monumental, Beyoncé, so monumental, and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-bearing, and we all got to see another side to you that you don't always let us see."
The Grammys have also received racial criticisms in the past. Earlier this year, Drake noted that black artists face the challenge of being taken seriously. Drawing on his personal experience, he noted how his Grammy-winning song "Hotline Bling" was categorized as rap, even though he doesn't consider it to be.
"I'm apparently a rapper, even though 'Hotline Bling' is not a rap song," the 31-year-old said in a radio interview in February. "The only category [the Recording Academy] can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I've rapped in the past or because I'm black. I can't figure out why."
The fact that the Grammys' 2018 Album of the Year nominations include four male artists of colour proves the Recording Academy is making an effort to address its diversity problem and be more inclusive.
However, as journalist Micah Singleton pointed out, they still have more to do to be truly diverse. In a tweet, Singleton noted a female artist of colour hasn't won Album of the Year in nearly two decades either, despite the wealth of powerhouse singers in the industry.
A reminder that a black woman hasn't won album of the year in nearly 20 years despite the existence of Beyoncé, Mariah, Solange, Alicia, Rih— Micah Singleton (@MicahSingleton) September 13, 2017
But despite this, plenty of people are happy that the Grammys is finally celebrating diversity in the music industry.
THIS IS HOW THE INDUSTRY SUPPOSE TO TREAT HIP HOP it's not just one sided turn up music all the time, here in these noms you have a mix of socially conscious, mainstream, hip hop, street, trap New school & Old and even something for your weird side all balanced out this is how radio, TV, and everything else suppose to glorify rap stop making one sided #RealSpit #Grammys #HipHop #RapNerd
All I have to say about the Grammy noms is that it's nice to see diversity represented.— kam for #netneutrality (@nikesonmyTWEET) November 28, 2017
(please don't be upset when lorde wins because she made a very deserving album thank you)
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