HITS Daily Double


It must be said that the Recording Academy got a lot of things right with the latest crop of nominations—even if some of its choices have us scratching our heads.

One obvious takeaway: It’s a huge year for women, notably SZA (9 noms) but also Phoebe Bridgers, Victoria Monét (7 each), Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, boygenius and Brandy Clark (6 each). In case you've had a yearlong nap, SZA had a towering '23, Miley had the biggest song of the year and Taylor became the undisputed Queen of all Media. In addition to Eilish’s smash, add several other noms from Barbie world to this already formidable female cohort. The early money, incidentally, has SZA favored for AOTY.

The only man in Album, Record or Song is Jon Batiste, who racked up six noms. Clearly, Batiste is the most important male artist in music. While his creative spark is justly celebrated, were no other men worthy of mention in the Big 3? Don’t get us wrong—men have had a good run. But still.

And here’s another thing that’s kinda weird: Country, Latin, K-pop and rap were shut out of Album, Record and Song, though two country artists—Jelly Roll and The War and Treaty—are among the Best New Artist contenders. Given the triumphant performance of country and Latin by all metrics, the absence of culture-rocking acts like Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Zach Bryan, Lainey Wilson, Peso Pluma, Bad Bunny, Karol G and Eslabon Armado from the top tier is mystifying. Even though these artists are mostly acknowledged in genre categories, the top noms seem lopsided in this regard and not truly reflective of the year. (Meanwhile, rap’s invisibility in the Big 3 continues.)

Speaking of country, the Nashville cohort has once again snubbed Wallen’s label, Big Loud. A Wallen cut is up for Best Country Song, but he didn’t write it. And River House/Columbia Nashville’s Combs is nominated in Country Performance for “Fast Car,” which he didn’t write.

As for BNA, The War and Treaty’s nom is making much of the biz take a closer look at the talented Mercury Nashville duo, who blend Americana, soul and gospel vibes. The Best New Artist field is wide open, and frequently the surprise nominee is the favorite.

Interscope had a truly dominant morning, with half of the noms in Album, Record and Song (cue Billie, Lana Del Rey, O-Rod, boygenius and Batiste) along with a BNA nom for Gracie Abrams. The label’s current tally is 38.

RCA had a terrific showing as well, with 38 noms and SZA and Victoria Monét leading. Republic’s impressive 26 noms are headed by the redoubtable Taylor Swift, with Noah Kahan’s BNA acknowledgment a splashy addition.

Now it’s full speed ahead toward Music’s Biggest Night. Which of the nominees will go home with an armload of hardware? Who will have a breakthrough moment on the telecast? Who will struggle to read the teleprompter? Place your bets and stay tuned.

Pictured (top, l-r): SZA, Phoebe Bridgers, Victoria Monét, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus (bottom, l-r) Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, boygenius, Brandy Clark, Jon Batiste