The Grammys seem to be continuing their losing streak when it comes to relevance for some of the biggest artists on the charts. Ariana Grande, Drake, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar have all reportedly chosen to opt out entirely of the 2019 Grammy Awards. Grande and Drake are skipping out due to their beef with music’s biggest night, Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich confirmed to the Los Angeles Times, while Gambino and Lamar have stayed mum on why they passed on performance slots.
But, you will also miss out on seeing Taylor Swift at the Grammys this year. Swift’s shooting schedule for Cats will prevent her from attending either the Grammys or the BAFTAs this weekend.
While it may be tempting to assume this means the Grammys are becoming a pariah among musical talent, this isn’t exactly true — Cardi B, Post Malone, and Miley Cyrus are all set to perform this year. But it does continue a trend of big-name artists shunning the show, and hint at the fact that the Grammys may not be the must-attend awards show behemoth it once was.
It could also show that Swift, who was once a standard feature at the Grammys, is reacting to reputation’s snubs. Despite being the biggest album of 2018, reputation was nominated in only one category, Best Pop Vocal Album. Considering Swift is normally a Grammys darling, this was a shock to many. She already has two Album of the Year Grammys (in addition to a slew of other Grammys in different categories) under her belt, for Fearless and 1989, which makes her and Adele the only women to win the award twice.
Is Taylor Swift still essential to the Grammys? She is one of the biggest women in music, and, in a year in which the Grammys are clearly trying to align themselves with female artists, her lack of appearance will be as noticeable as it was last year, if not more so. Last year, Ehrlich namechecked Variety when he was grilled about the lack of representation for women at last year’s ceremony, saying, “It wasn’t [Taylor Swift’s] year. She was kind of off cycle. Hopefully we’ll see her next year.”