Everyone has their favourites, including the Recording Academy. But this year the snubs flew fast and furious for some of our favourites, seemingly the the name of making room for some new blood. After the 2018 Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy has seen a lot of internal shifts, with their chairman Neil Portnow, who faced massive criticism for the under-represetation of women in the telecast, stepped down. The Academy also started a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, led by Tina Tchin, to help increase visibility for underrepresented communities. The snubs in the 2019 Grammy nominations to some degree reflect those shifts, making way for first-time nominations in the big four categories (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Artist of the Year) for underrepresented communities.
The biggest snub of all went to Grammy darling Taylor Swift, who has taken home the Album of the Year award twice, one of only two women to do so. Her album Reputation was eligible this year, but failed to secure any nominations in the top categories. Instead, the Academy saw fit to relegate her to a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. And...that's it.
There was also a major snub of Ariana Grande, who was nominated again in the Best Pop Solo category for "God Is A Woman." She was nominated in 2017 for "Dangerous Woman," but did not win. Many expected Grande, who has had the most successful release of her career by every metric with Sweetner, to dominate the top categories. Instead, the Academy's voters have opted to shift away from female pop artists entirely. Normally there would be an equivalent artist whose slot she would fit into, but the closest similar artist is different by a mile: Zedd and Marin Morris's "The Middle." Grande is also nominated for Best Pop Vocal album.
On the face of it, Nicki Minaj has been snubbed to a lesser degree by the Academy. She is not nominated at all for Queen, and in the past she has been nominated for all of her albums even if it was in the pop or rap/hip hop categories and not at the top of the ballot (and she has never won). Her shutout is a much bigger snub this year, however, because of the nominations of her (maybe?) nemesis Cardi B, who received first time nominations for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Rap Album. Nicki has stoked the flames of an on again/off again feud with Cardi all year and she undoubtedly knows that these nominations are the Academy taking the baton of top woman in rap from Nicki and handing it to Cardi.