Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton among historic Nashville nominees
Win or lose will be a historic night for Nashville music at next year’s Grammy Awards.
On Tuesday, the Recording Academy unveiled its full list of nominees for the 64th annual ceremony, which will take place Jan.31 in Los Angeles.
In addition to a Best New Artist nomination for Jimmie Allen, several Nashville-rooted areas feature more black artists than ever before. That includes Mickey Guyton, who becomes the first black artist nominated for best country album in Grammy history.
Five songwriters from Nashville are nominated for song of the year for one song: “A Beautiful Noise” by Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys, which was written in part by Ruby Amanfu, Brandy Clark, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters, alongside Carlile, Keys and Linda Perry.
Seattle-based Carlile also earned a second nomination in the “Right On Time” category, co-written and produced on Music Row with Dave Cobb.
Taylor Swift – arguably the biggest star this town has ever produced – wins Album of the Year nod for “Evermore”, just after winning the category last year for “Folklore”.
Music City may not have a clear favorite this year, but our local nominee pool is large and diverse, with a few surprises. Below, we break down Nashville’s latest Grammy hopefuls.
Country and Americana
Guyton, the most important black woman in traditional country music, got three nods for her work on her long-awaited debut album, “Remember Her Name”.
The album’s title track received a nod in Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance, its second time nominated for the latter category in as many years. The Recording Academy also nominated “Remember Her Name” for Best Country Album, making Guyton the first black woman to compete in the field since her relaunch in 1994.
Chris Stapleton competes in the same categories behind the successful snowball award season of his 2020 album, “Starting Over.” It won nominations for Best Country Album, Best Country Song for “Cold” and Best Country Solo Performance for “You Should Probably Leave”. Behind “Starting Over,” Stapleton earlier this month won a trio of CMA Awards: Single, Song and Album of the Year.
A handful of familiar awards season favorites – Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne and Maren Morris – follow with two nominations each.
Following:2022 Grammy nominations: Mickey Guyton and Chris Stapleton top country nominees
According to several reports earlier this year, the Recording Academy barred Musgraves’ 2021 LP “Star-Crossed” from competing in Best Country Album this year; instead she received nods in Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song for her film single “Camera Roll” in 2021. Although her previous effort “Golden Hour” was named Album of the Year at the 2019 Grammys , “Star-Crossed” is missing from the major all genre categories this year.
Freshly won as Vocal Duo of the Year at the CMA Awards, the Osborne Brothers received Best Country Duo / Group Performance nominations for “Younger Me,” an autobiographical acceptance song performed by band singer TJ Osborne. , who came out earlier this year as a gay. The Osborne brothers are also bringing the 2020 album “Skeletons” to the Best Country Album category.
Morris won the award for Best Country Song for his 2020 protest single “Better Than We Found It”. She and her vocalist husband Ryan Hurd are also competing in the best country duo / group performance for the chart-topping duo “Chasing After You”.
Lambert alongside Jon Randall and Jack Ingram returns to Best Country Album for singer-songwriter project “The Marfa Tapes”. Lambert rounds out her nominations with Elle King, taking home the award for Best Country Duo / Group Performance for the “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” duo.
Other country nominees include the viral hit “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes, Sturgill Simpson’s classic country concept album “The Ballad of Dood and Juanita” and “All I Do Is Drive” by Jason Isbell, among others.
A number of country artists have garnered nominations outside of the four genre categories. Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson received respective nominations for Best Traditional Pop Music Album; Carrie Underwood competes in the award for Best Roots Gospel Album for her 2021 Christian release, “My Savior” (Underwood also won a country nod for Jason Aldean’s duo “If I Didn’t Love You”) ; and Tyler Childers was recognized in the Best Folk Album award for his 2020 violin album and social justice song “Long Violent History”.
In Americana, singer-songwriter Allison Russell is in the spotlight of awards season. A longtime collaborator in folk and roots music circles, Russell received her first solo nominations following the release of her powerful debut album, “Outside Child.” She landed three nominations in total, including Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for single “Nightflyer” and Best American Album for “Outside Child.”
Up-and-coming Nashville-by-way-of-England artist Yola landed two nominations for her second solo album, “Stand For Myself”. Yola returned to producer Dan Auerbach for the 12-song set, earning nominations for Best American Album and Best American Roots Song for “Diamond Studded Shoes.”
In a striking first for the category, the five nominees for Best American Roots Song are written and performed by black artists. Russell and Yola are nominated alongside Valerie June and Carla Thomas’ collaboration “Call Me A Fool”, “Cry” by Jon Batiste and “Avalon” by Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi.
Christian and Gospel
In addition to Underwood’s “My Savior” recognition, it’s a big year for Nashville gospel greats, CeCe Winans, who won three nominations for their 2021 “Believe For It” effort, including Best Gospel Album. His fellow nominees include Tasha Cobbs’ live album Leonard (recorded at the Ryman Auditorium), Jekalyn Carr, Maverick City Music and Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music.
Natalie Grant’s “No Stranger” is shortlisted for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, alongside the efforts of 2 Israel & New Breed, Kari Jobe, Tauren Wells and Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music.
Other notable nods
• Nashville rock pioneers Kings of Leon – once Grammy favorites for their 2008 “Use Somebody” smash – are in the race for best rock song with “The Bandit”. They have an unlikely competitor from Nashville in the category: country hitmaker Ashley Gorley, who teamed up with Weezer to co-write “All My Favorite Songs.”
• Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison), local indie rock star, finds his name in Grammy nominations for the first time. Her album “Color Theory” is in the running for Best Box Set or Special Limited Edition, though the prize goes to artistic directors Lordess Foudre and Christopher Leckie.
• The Black Keys are no strangers to Grammy nominations and wins, but their album “Delta Kream” earns them a very first nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, alongside longtime guitar legend and Nashvillian Steve Cropper.
• Nashville Symphony Orchestra conductor Giancarlo Guerrero is nominated for Best Orchestral Performance, conducting the symphony for “Adams: My Father Knew Charles Ives; Harmonielehre”.
• Local resident and stand-up star Nate Bargatze earns his first Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, opposite Kevin Hart and Louis CK
• “Positive Vibration” by Gramps Morgan, a resident of Franklin, won the award for best reggae album. Morgan had previously won the award with his family group, Morgan Heritage.
• Nashville composer Cody Fry’s performance on The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” is nominated for best arrangement, instruments and vocals.