Grammys gender fields: Beyonce, Lizzo and other ambiguous acts


Gender is messy in the music industry. Although useful in some occasions, gender nowadays is more of a suggestion than a fixed concept. Over the past year, many artists have shown their creativity by exploring different sounds and have been celebrated for it. However, where will these people be submitted for the Grammys? Here are four relevant artists this season, and why their gender predictions are tougher than most other artists.

Brandi Carlile, “In Those Silent Days”

Although Carlile typically competes in the American Roots arena, that has changed quite a bit over the past couple of years. tall women, a supergroup led by Carlile, was subjected to the country music realm as opposed to Americana, and even won best country song for “Crowded Table.” However, and perhaps more controversially, Carlile’s “Right on Time” was moved by the Recording Academy from American roots to pop last year. Carlile expressed his disagreement with this decisionbut was then honored to earn a nomination in the genre alongside huge names like Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigue.

“Right on Time’s” parent album, “In These Silent Days,” will be competing at these upcoming Grammys and, as such, could go in a number of directions. Although the album is still Americana at heart, it has more pop sensibility than his previous records, and a selection panel might argue that Carlile has gone too big for Americana. It also doesn’t help that Carlile has proven she can hold her own in pop, so watch out for Carlile being sent to the top pop vocal album.

Beyoncé, “Rebirth”

Beyoncé has always been a queen of the genre, and her latest outing proves it again. The “Renaissance” can go three ways. It’s perhaps more likely to compete in Best Progressive R&B Album, where Bey’s albums usually slot in (this is the current version of the categories she previously competed in, Best Contemporary R&B Album and the best contemporary urban album).

However, some might say that “Renaissance” is more of a pop record and should compete for Best Pop Vocal Album. Beyoncé previously competed there with “The Lion King: The Gift,” so “Renaissance” would easily be locked in for a nomination. Besides pop and R&B, one could argue for best dance/electronic album. After all, “Renaissance” is marketed as a dance record and is an homage to club and ballroom culture, not to mention that most of the songs would fit into your standard dance contestant playlist.

Lizzo, “special”

Similar to Beyoncé, Lizzo is stuck between R&B and pop. Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” was nominated and won Best Progressive R&B Album, so her team can aim for another win there. However, “Special” is more pop than “Cuz I Love You”, and this time around it doesn’t have as much urban airplay as with her previous record. As such, the judging panel could deem “Special” ineligible for R&B and move it to Best Pop Vocal Album.

Rosalia, “Motomami”

The case of Rosalía is interesting because she will end up in the same field, Latin, but her specific category is not so certain. On the one hand, “Motomami” is truly an alternative album, seamlessly blending genres and styles and being less mainstream than your typical reggaeton or urbana music record. As such, the album could compete in Best Latin Alternative/Rock Album, a category Rosalía has previously won; “Motomami” was also submitted for Best Alternative Music Album at the Latin Grammys.

Still, Rosalía’s latest album ‘El Mal Querer’ competed in pop at the Latin Grammys and alternative at the American Grammys, so we could see ‘Motomami’ do the opposite this year. After all, “Motomami” is a massive, high-profile record, so it could pass for pop. Finally, since the main theme of the album is the deconstruction of urban music, mainly reggaeton, could it end up in the Best Urban Music Album category? After all, songs like “Chicken Teriyaki” and “Bizcochito” are definitely urban music. Strategically, the alternative might be his best bet to avoid bad bunny in the urban category, but it all depends on where she submits and what the judging panel thinks.

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