John Batiste may be the Grammy’s biggest surprise, with the multi-genre artist and recent Oscar winner making such an impact on voters that he garnered the most nominations on Tuesday, with 11.
Atiste earned Album of the Year Records of the Year with We Are as well as Freedom, a happy tribute to the city of New Orleans.
His nominations cover a range of genres, including R&B, jazz, American original music, classical and music videos.
Congratulations 64th #grammy Album of the Year nominees: @JonBatiste, @itstonybennett And @Lady Gaga, @Justin Biber, @dojacat, @ BillieEilish, @HERMusicx, @LilNasX, @oliviarodrigo, @ taylorswift13, And @Kanye West, pic.twitter.com/6Zc9shD0h4
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) November 23, 2021
“Oh my god. I’m still in a state of awe and shock,” Batiste told the Associated Press after learning about the nomination.
“I’m really happy that we were able to create something in full artistic integrity and that was recognized.”
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and HER each came in with the second most nominations with eight, until the Recording Academy announced their nominees for their January 31 show.
Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo both nodded seven times.
With Batiste’s surprise dominance, another blow was to The Weeknd receiving three nominations when the pop star claimed he would not allow his label to submit his music.
Earlier this year, he angrily slammed the Grammys, calling him “corrupt” after receiving zero nominations for the biggest single of 2020, despite Blinding Lights.
Even though The Weeknd said he would boycott future Grammys, he was nominated for Album of the Year projects including Doja Cat’s deluxe edition Planet Her and Kanye West’s Donda.
Her third nomination was for her appearance in West’s single Hurricane, which also featured Lil Baby.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “What I love is that no one is thinking about what happened before, what the controversy was, what the noise was, or where this artist made music last year. Had been.”
He said voters focused on “musical excellence” while considering nominees such as Batiste and Casey Musgraves, whose work also crosses into various categories.
“Voters are really valuing the music and not getting bogged down in any other outside noise or the reputation of the artists’ history,” he continued.
“With that in mind, I think they’re voting for the things they’re accepting of as excellence.”
Mr. Mason Jr. said he is pleased with the new peer-driven voting system to see the list of nominees. He founded the 10-3 Initiative – which allows the Academy’s more than 11,000 members to vote in up to 10 categories in three styles. All voters can vote for the top four prizes.
The new system replaced the anonymous nomination review committee – a group that determined the contenders for the major awards. Some claimed committee members supported projects based on personal relationships and promoted the projects they worked on and worked on.
Batiste credited the change in her nomination: “I really just want to prop up the Grammys. They tried to make the process more inclusive this year and to be about music first. Other composers listened to the music and me. Decided to give this nomination and I am very grateful for that.”
For the first time, the Academy has increased the number of nominees in the general field categories from eight to 10. The change affects categories such as Record, Album, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
Other nominated albums of the year include: Bieber’s Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe), Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, West’s Donda, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s Love for Sale, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, Taylor Swift’s Evergreen and Lil Nas X’s Montero.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s bandleader Batiste bid adieu to the Best Score soundtrack for the visual media category for his work on Pixar’s Soul, which won him an Oscar for Best Score earlier this year.