Review:’ The Beta Test,’ starring Jim Cummings, PJ McCabe and Virginia Newcomb

December 26, 2021

by Carla Hay

Jim Cummings and Virginia Newcomb in “The Beta Test” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“The Beta Test”

Directed by Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe 

Some language in Swedish with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in the Los Angeles area, the dark comedy/drama “The Beta Test” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few Asians and African Americans) representing the middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A hard-driving Hollywood talent agent tries to find out who wants revenge on him after he was lured into a one-night stand where he cheated on his fiancée. 

Culture Audience: “The Beta Test” will appeal primarily to people who think that it’s entertaining to watch a relentlessly obnoxious main character in an easy-to-solve mystery.

PJ McCabe, Jacqueline Doke and Jim Cummings in “The Beta Test” (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)

“The Beta Test” is a one-note satire that’s filled with misogyny and has a mystery that’s so easy to solve, it insults viewers’ intelligence. Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe co-wrote and co-directed this shrill ode to toxic masculinity, as if they think it’s somehow automatically artistic to make a movie where almost everyone is selfish, idiotic or annoying in ridiculous ways. The problem is that the story is so weak and repetitive, the movie stomps along tediously until the “plot twist” (which isn’t much of a surprise) is finally revealed to underwhelming results.

Cummings stars in “The Beta Test” as Jordan Hines, a hotshot Hollywood talent agent who finds himself trying to cover up the fact that he cheated on his fiancée Caroline Gaines (played by Virginia Newcomb) when he had a blindfolded one-night stand with an anonymous stranger in a hotel room less than two months before his wedding. (Jordan and his sex partner both wore eye masks during their encounter.) After Jordan and Caroline get married, whoever knows about his infidelity tries to anonymously threaten Jordan until he feels that his life is in danger.

The fling happened under unusual circumstances because Jordan was propositioned to have this fling by getting an anonymous mailed invitation. The invitation said that an attractive “admirer,” who has never met Jordan, wanted to have a one-time, “no strings attached” sexual encounter with him. The invitation also said that the hotel room was already paid for in advance. The time and date for the tryst have also been pre-arranged.

Everything about this invitation screams “setup,” but Jordan takes the bait anyway, like a fool. The invitation was engraved and in a distinctive purple envelope, so the movie wastes a lot of time showing Jordan being an amateur detective trying to find out where the invitation was printed and other clues to the sender’s identity, after he starts to get anonymous threats that his fling will be exposed. Jordan becomes so consumed with finding out who sent the original invitation and these threats, he becomes paranoid and starts verbally lashing out at people.

Jordan is yet another loud-mouthed, crude and abrasive character that seems to be Cummings’ specialty whenever he writes, directs and stars in a movie. (Cummings did a similar schtick in his 2020 horror film “The Wolf of Snow Hollow,” but at least that movie had better characters overall and a mystery that wasn’t as easy to figure out as the mystery in “The Beta Test.”) It seems like Cummings watched a lot of HBO’s “Entourage” episodes and decided to rip off the hostile and rude Ari Gold agent character in “Entourage” (for which won Jeremy Piven several awards, including three Emmys) and do a less-entertaining version of Ari Gold in “The Beta Test.”

Ari Gold wasn’t the main character in “Entourage.” Unfortunately, Jordan Hines is the main character in “The Beta Test.” There’s a very dull subplot to “The Beta Test” where Jordan and his business partner PJ Pruitt (played by McCabe) are desperate to boost their business by signing a wealthy, middle-aged investor named Raymond Lee (played by Wilky Lau), who’s playing hard-to-get.

One of the problems for Jordan and PJ in getting this sought-after potential investor is that Raymond takes an instant dislike to Jordan. At a business party, Jordan tries to charm and schmooze his way into Raymond’s conversation. But Raymond coldly dismisses Jordan by telling him: “We don’t need agents pretending to be producers. You are a dying social network, and everyone can’t wait to see you fall apart.”

“The Beta Test” seems to poke fun at the type of culture where men in positions of power abuse their power and cheat on their love partners with willing or not-so-willing “admirers,” who think they’ll get career advancement or some other perks from these sexual encounters. At the same business party, Jordan tries to ingratiate himself to Raymond by downplaying the aggressive and abusive reputation of Hollywood agents. “We’re not the angry bulldogs ‘Entourage’ makes us out to be,” Jordan says to Raymond. “A lot of that industry aspect left with Harvey [Weinstein].”

On the surface, “The Beta Test” is a movie that seems to be supportive of the #MeToo movement. But as the movie goes on, there’s a noticeable and gleeful delight in showing Jordan’s increasingly unhinged misogyny and boorishness. For example, Jordan often goes on verbal tirades against his administrative assistant Jaclyn (played by Jacqueline Doke), whom he hallucinates is asking him inappropriate questions about his sex life. He also angrily confronts a woman (played by Olivia Grace Applegate), whom he’s sure was his blindfolded sex partner in the hotel.

Eventually, viewers find out that Jordan wasn’t the only person to receive a mysterious invitation to cheat on a loved one in an anonymous, blindfolded sexual encounter. The other people also received their invitation in the same type of purple envelope. Other people in the Los Angeles area who accepted the invitation have met a gruesome fate, including a Swedish woman shown in the movie’s opening scene. “The Beta Test” sets everything up to make viewers wonder if Jordan will meet the same fate.

All of it is just filmmaking posturing that attempts to cover up a poorly conceived mystery. If you think about who would have a motive to get revenge on a cheating lover, it’s not hard to figure out who would be involved in setting up Jordan. And this movie is hardly a “thriller,” since there’s not much thrill or suspense in watching Jordan’s dumb outbursts and bullying. The end of the movie leaves no doubt that although “The Beta Test” is pretending to skewer a sleaze such as Jordan, who disrespects and degrades women, the filmmakers really love that Jordan says and does what he wants—so much so, they let him off the hook for being so awful.

IFC Films released “The Beta Test” in select U.S. cinemas, digital and VOD on November 5, 2021.

2022 Critics Choice Awards: ‘Belfast,’ ‘West Side Story’ are the top nominees

December 13, 2021

The following is a combination of press releases from the Critics Choice Association:

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the film category nominees for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics Choice Awards gala hosted by Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer, which will broadcast LIVE on The CW and TBS on Sunday, January 9, 2022 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT – check local listings).*

*[December 22, 2021 UPDATE: The ceremony has been postponed until further notice, due to concerns over increasing COVID-19 infections, particiularly from the Omicron variant. The Critics Choice Association issued this statement: “After thoughtful consideration and candid conversations with our partners at The CW and TBS, we have collectively come to the conclusion that the prudent and responsible decision at this point is to postpone the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards, originally slated for January 9, 2022. We are in constant communication with LA County Health Officials, and we are currently working diligently to find a new date during the upcoming awards season in which to host our annual gala in-person with everyone’s safety and health remaining our top priority. We will be sharing additional details with our friends and colleagues throughout the entertainment industry as soon as we can.”]

*[January 13, 2022 UPDATE: The ceremony has been reschduled for March 13, 2022.]

“Belfast” from Focus Features and “West Side Story” from 20th Century Studios lead this year’s film contenders, earning 11 nominations each. In addition to Best Picture, “Belfast” racked up several acting nominations including Best Supporting Actor nods for both Jamie Dornan and Ciarán Hinds, Best Supporting Actress for Caitríona Balfe, Best Young Actor/Actress for Jude Hill, and Best Acting Ensemble, while Kenneth Branagh could take home both the Best Director and Best Original Screenplay trophies. “Belfast” also earned nominations for Haris Zambarloukos for Best Cinematography, Jim Clay and Claire Nia Richards for Best Production Design, and Úna Ní Dhonghaíle for Best Editing.

Steven Spielberg received a Best Director nomination for his Best Picture contender “West Side Story.” Two of the film’s standout performers, Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno, will be vying for Best Supporting Actress, while Rachel Zegler is up for Best Young Actor/Actress. “West Side Story” also garnered a nomination for Best Acting Ensemble, and nods for Tony Kushner for Best Adapted Screenplay, Janusz Kaminski for Best Cinematography, Adam Stockhausen and Rena DeAngelo for Best Production Design, Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn for Best Editing, and Paul Tazewell for Best Costume Design.

The list of Best Picture hopefuls featured several more films with impressive nomination counts, including “Dune” and “The Power of the Dog” which picked up ten each. “Licorice Pizza” and “Nightmare Alley” collected eight nominations apiece, followed by “King Richard” and “Don’t Look Up,” each with six. Rounding out the Best Picture nominees are “CODA” and “tick, tick…Boom!”

“We are so proud to be honoring this amazing list of films and the incredibly talented people who made them during this extremely challenging time,” said Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin. “All eyes are going to be on the Fairmont Century Plaza red carpet and ballroom on January 9th, when the biggest stars in movies and television will be gathered to celebrate the best of the best in entertainment this past year. In the safest possible environment, it will mark the return of the kind of glitz and glamor we haven’t been able to enjoy in far too long.”

HBO’s “Succession” leads this year’s TV contenders with eight nominations. In addition to Best Drama Series the show racked up a slew of acting nominations including nods for both Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Several of their co-stars also find themselves vying with each other, as Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen all scored nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, while J. Smith-Cameron and Sarah Snook are both up for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

“Mare of Easttown” (HBO) and “Evil” (Paramount+) impressed with five nominations each. “Mare of Easttown” is up for Best Limited Series, with Kate Winslet nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, Evan Peters for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, and both Julianne Nicholson and Jean Smart nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television. “Evil” is nominated for Best Drama Series, Mike Colter for Best Actor in a Drama Series, Katja Herbers for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and both Andrea Martin and Christine Lahti are up for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Several programs earned four nominations each, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu), “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), “The Good Fight” (Paramount+), “This Is Us” (NBC), and “WandaVision” (Disney+).

“Although the industry is still recovering from the COVID-19 lockdown, you wouldn’t know it from the wealth of amazing television programs our nomination committees pored through to come up with this year’s nominees,” said Critics Choice Association TV Branch president Ed Martin. “We have even more choices than we did before the pandemic, for critics and viewers to embrace. While the streamers continue to break new ground with some wonderfully unexpected offerings, it has been an unusually strong year for all areas of television.  We look forward to honoring the year’s finest shows at what promises to be our most exciting awards ceremony yet.”  

The Critics Choice Awards are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, they are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations. 

The 27th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be produced by Bob Bain Productions and Berlin Entertainment. The CCA is represented by Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig.  

Follow the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards on Twitter and Instagram @CriticsChoice and on Facebook/CriticsChoiceAwards.

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA) 

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 500 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

About The CW:

THE CW TELEVISION NETWORK launched in 2006 as America’s fifth broadcast network, with programming targeting younger viewers, a demographic highly sought after by advertisers. The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation, now broadcasts across the week, offering fourteen-hours of primetime programming, Monday through Sunday, beginning in Fall 2021. The CW’s primetime programming is also available to stream for free, without authentication, on the ad-supported CWTV.com and The CW app, now available on every major OTT platform. Additionally, The CW broadcasts a three-hour Saturday morning kids block. The CW’s digital network CW Seed launched in 2013 and offers original short-form digital content as well as past seasons of fan-favorite television series. For more information about the network and its programming, visit www.cwtvpr.com.

About TBS:

TBS, a WarnerMedia brand, is a top-rated destination for television among young adults and known for escapist, good-time entertainment, featuring smart, imaginative stories with heart and comedic edge. From scripted comedy series to late-night shows, game shows, and animated programming, TBS’ Originals slate is comprised of some of the most popular shows on cable — “Miracle Workers,” ”Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” ”The Last O.G.,” ”American Dad!” and ”Chad.” The network’s slate of premium unscripted series includes “The Misery Index,” “Go-Big Show,” “Wipeout,” “Friday Night Vibes” and “The Cube” along with upcoming series, “The Big D”. TBS’ lineup also includes comedy hits like “Young Sheldon” and ”The Big Bang Theory,” classic sitcom favorites such as “Friends,” blockbuster movies, and live event coverage of Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and “ELEAGUE,” WarnerMedia’s eSports gaming competition. Website: www.tbs.com

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE 27TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick…Boom!

West Side Story

BEST ACTOR

Nicolas Cage – Pig

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage – Cyrano

Andrew Garfield – tick, tick…Boom!

Will Smith – King Richard

Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga – House of Gucci

Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza

Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart – Spencer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jamie Dornan – Belfast

Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

Troy Kotsur – CODA

Jared Leto – House of Gucci

J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Caitríona Balfe – Belfast

Ariana DeBose – West Side Story

Ann Dowd – Mass

Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Rita Moreno – West Side Story

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Jude Hill – Belfast

Cooper Hoffman – Licorice Pizza

Emilia Jones – CODA

Woody Norman – C’mon C’mon

Saniyya Sidney – King Richard

Rachel Zegler – West Side Story

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

The Harder They Fall

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley

Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve – Dune

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Zach Baylin – King Richard

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Adam McKay, David Sirota – Don’t Look Up

Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter

Siân Heder – CODA

Tony Kushner – West Side Story

Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth – Dune

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Greig Fraser – Dune

Janusz Kaminski – West Side Story

Dan Laustsen – Nightmare Alley

Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog

Haris Zambarloukos – Belfast

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Jim Clay, Claire Nia Richards – Belfast

Tamara Deverell, Shane Vieau – Nightmare Alley

Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo – The French Dispatch

Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo – West Side Story

Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos – Dune

BEST EDITING

Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn – West Side Story

Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Belfast

Andy Jurgensen – Licorice Pizza

Peter Sciberras – The Power of the Dog

Joe Walker – Dune

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Jenny Beavan – Cruella

Luis Sequeira – Nightmare Alley

Paul Tazewell – West Side Story

Jacqueline West, Robert Morgan – Dune

Janty Yates – House of Gucci

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Nightmare Alley

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dune

The Matrix Resurrections

Nightmare Alley

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

BEST COMEDY

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Don’t Look Up

Free Guy

The French Dispatch

Licorice Pizza

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Hero

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

The Worst Person in the World

BEST SONG

Be Alive – King Richard

Dos Oruguitas – Encanto

Guns Go Bang – The Harder They Fall

Just Look Up – Don’t Look Up

No Time to Die – No Time to Die

BEST SCORE

Nicholas Britell – Don’t Look Up

Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog

Jonny Greenwood – Spencer

Nathan Johnson – Nightmare Alley

Hans Zimmer – Dune

NOMINATIONS BY FILM FOR THE 27TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

A HERO – 1 

Best Foreign Language Film

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar – 1 

Best Comedy

Being the Ricardos – 3

Best Actress – Nicole Kidman

Best Supporting Actor – J.K. Simmons

Best Original Screenplay – Aaron Sorkin

Belfast – 11

Best Picture

Best Supporting Actor – Jamie Dornan

Best Supporting Actor – Ciarán Hinds

Best Supporting Actress – Caitríona Balfe

Best Young Actor/Actress – Jude Hill

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Kenneth Branagh

Best Original Screenplay – Kenneth Branagh

Best Cinematography – Haris Zambarloukos

Best Production Design – Jim Clay, Claire Nia Richards

Best Editing – Úna Ní Dhonghaíle

C’mon C’mon – 1

Best Young Actor/Actress – Woody Norman

CODA – 4

Best Picture

Best Supporting Actor – Troy Kotsur

Best Young Actor/Actress – Emilia Jones

Best Adapted Screenplay – Siân Heder

Cruella – 2

Best Costume Design – Jenny Beavan

Best Hair And Makeup

Cyrano – 1

Best Actor – Peter Dinklage

Don’t Look Up – 6

Best Picture

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Original Screenplay – Adam McKay, David Sirota

Best Comedy

Best Song – Just Look Up

Best Score – Nicholas Britell

Drive My Car – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

Dune – 10

Best Picture 

Best Director – Denis Villeneuve

Best Adapted Screenplay – Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth

Best Cinematography – Greig Fraser

Best Production Design – Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos

Best Editing – Joe Walker

Best Costume Design – Jacqueline West, Robert Morgan

Best Hair And Makeup

Best Visual Effects

Best Score – Hans Zimmer

Encanto – 2

Best Animated Feature

Best Song – Dos Oruguitas

Flee – 2

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film

Free Guy – 1

Best Comedy

House of Gucci – 4

Best Actress – Lady Gaga

Best Supporting Actor – Jared Leto

Best Costume Design – Janty Yates

Best Hair And Makeup

King Richard – 6

Best Picture

Best Actor – Will Smith

Best Supporting Actress – Aunjanue Ellis

Best Young Actor/Actress – Saniyya Sidney

Best Original Screenplay – Zach Baylin

Best Song – Be Alive

Licorice Pizza – 8

Best Picture

Best Actress – Alana Haim

Best Young Actor/Actress – Cooper Hoffman

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Original Screenplay – Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Editing – Andy Jurgensen

Best Comedy

Luca – 1

Best Animated Feature

Mass – 1

Best Supporting Actress – Ann Dowd

Nightmare Alley – 8

Best Picture

Best Director – Guillermo del Toro

Best Cinematography – Dan Laustsen

Best Production Design – Tamara Deverell, Shane Vieau

Best Costume Design – Luis Sequeira

Best Hair And Makeup

Best Visual Effects

Best Score – Nathan Johnson

No Time to Die – 2

Best Visual Effects

Best Song – No Time to Die

Pig – 1

Best Actor – Nicolas Cage 

Raya and the Last Dragon – 1

Best Animated Feature

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – 1

Best Visual Effects

Spencer – 2

Best Actress – Kristen Stewart

Best Score – Jonny Greenwood

The Eyes of Tammy Faye – 2

Best Actress – Jessica Chastain

Best Hair And Makeup

The French Dispatch – 2

Best Production Design – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo

Best Comedy

The Hand of God – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

The Harder They Fall – 2

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Song – Guns Go Bang

The Lost Daughter – 2

Best Actress – Olivia Colman

Best Adapted Screenplay – Maggie Gyllenhaal

The Matrix Resurrections – 1

Best Visual Effects

The Mitchells vs the Machines – 1

Best Animated Feature

The Power of the Dog – 10

Best Picture

Best Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch

Best Supporting Actor – Kodi Smit-McPhee

Best Supporting Actress – Kirsten Dunst

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Jane Campion

Best Adapted Screenplay – Jane Campion

Best Cinematography – Ari Wegner

Best Editing – Peter Sciberras

Best Score – Jonny Greenwood

The Tragedy of Macbeth – 2

Best Actor – Denzel Washington

Best Cinematography – Bruno Delbonnel

The Worst Person in the World – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

tick, tick…Boom! – 2

Best Picture

Best Actor – Andrew Garfield

West Side Story – 11

Best Picture

Best Supporting Actress – Ariana DeBose

Best Supporting Actress – Rita Moreno

Best Young Actor/Actress – Rachel Zegler

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Steven Spielberg

Best Adapted Screenplay – Tony Kushner

Best Cinematography – Janusz Kaminski

Best Production Design – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo

Best Editing – Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn

Best Costume Design – Paul Tazewell

2022 Grammy Awards: Jon Batiste is the top nominee

November 23, 2021

Jon Batiste (Photo by Timothy Kuratek/CBS)

The following is a press release from the Recording Academy:

The Recording Academy will present the 2022 Grammy Awards on January 31, 2022,* on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT. Prior to the telecast, the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony will be held at the Microsoft Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on GRAMMY.com and the Recording Academy’s YouTube channel.

Jon Batiste received the most nominations with 11, followed by Doja Cat, H.E.R. and Justin Bieber, with eight each.

*January 18, 2022 UPDATE: Due to a surge in infections from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Grammy Awards has been rescheduled to take place on April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It will be the first time in Grammy history that the event will take place in Las Vegas. The reason for the switch from Los Angeles was reportedly because there were no suitable venues available in Los Angeles on the possible rescheduled dates.

2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominations List

(The 64th GRAMMY Awards recognize recordings released between Sept. 1, 2020 — Sept. 30, 2021.)

GENERAL FIELD

1. Record Of The Year
Award to the Artist and to the Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s) and/or Mixer(s) and mastering engineer(s), if other than the artist.

  • I Still Have Faith In You
    ABBA
    Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, producers; Benny Andersson & Bernard Löhr, engineers/mixers; Björn Engelmann, mastering engineer
     
  • Freedom
    Jon Batiste
    Jon Batiste, Kizzo & Autumn Rowe, producers; Russ Elevado, Kizzo & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers; Michelle Mancini, mastering engineer
     
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You
    Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
    Dae Bennett, producer; Dae Bennett & Josh Coleman, engineers/mixers; Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone, mastering engineers
     
  • Peaches
    Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon
    Josh Gudwin, HARV, Shndo & Andrew Watt, producers; Josh Gudwin & Andrew Watt, engineers/mixers; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer
     
  • Right On Time
    Brandi Carlile
    Dave Cobb & Shooter Jennings, producers; Brandon Bell & Tom Elmhirst, engineers/mixers; Pete Lyman, mastering engineer
     
  • Kiss Me More
    Doja Cat Featuring SZA
    Rogét Chahayed, tizhimself & Yeti Beats, producers; Rob Bisel, Serban Ghenea, Rian Lewis & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish
    FINNEAS, producer; Billie Eilish, FINNEAS & Rob Kinelski, engineers/mixers; Dave Kutch, mastering engineer
     
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
    Lil Nas X
    Omer Fedi, Roy Lenzo & Take A Daytrip, producers; Denzel Baptiste, Serban Ghenea & Roy Lenzo, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer
     
  • drivers license
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Daniel Nigro, producer; Mitch McCarthy & Daniel Nigro, engineers/mixers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer
     
  • Leave The Door Open
    Silk Sonic
    Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II & Bruno Mars, producers; Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz, engineers/mixers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer

2. Album Of The Year
Award to Artist(s) and to Featured Artist(s), Songwriter(s) of new material, Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s), Mixer(s) and Mastering Engineer(s).

  • We Are
    Jon Batiste
    Craig Adams, David Gauthier, Braedon Gautier, Brennon Gautier, Gospel Soul Children Choir, Hot 8 Brass Band, PJ Morton, Autumn Rowe, Zadie Smith, St. Augustine High School Marching 100 & Trombone Shorty, featured artists; Jon Batiste, Mickey Freedom Hart, King Garbage, Kizzo, Sunny Levine, Nate Mercereau, David Pimentel, Ricky Reed, Autumn Rowe, Jahaan Sweet & Nick Waterhouse, producers; Jon Batiste, Russ Elevado, Mischa Kachkachishvili, Kizzo, Joseph Lorge, Manny Marroquin, David Pimentel, Ricky Reed, Jaclyn Sanchez, Matt Vertere, Marc Whitmore & Alex Williams, engineers/mixers; Andrae Alexander, Troy Andrews, Jon Batiste, Zach Cooper, Vic Dimotsis, Eric Frederic, Kizzo, Sunny Levine, Steve McEwan, PJ Morton, Autumn Rowe & Mavis Staples, songwriters; Michelle Mancini, mastering engineer
     
  • Love For Sale
    Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
    Dae Bennett, producer; Dae Bennett, Josh Coleman & Billy Cumella, engineers/mixers; Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone, mastering engineers
     
  • Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)
    Justin Bieber
    BEAM, benny blanco, Burna Boy, Daniel Caesar, Chance The Rapper, DaBaby, Dominic Fike, Giveon, Jaden, Tori Kelly, Khalid, The Kid LAROI, Lil Uzi Vert & Quavo, featured artists; Amy Allen, Louis Bell, Jon Bellion, Justin Bieber, benny blanco, BMW Kenny, Capi, Dreamlab, Dvlp, Jason Evigan, FINNEAS, The Futuristics, German, Josh Gudwin, Jimmie Gutch, HARV, Marvin “Tony” Hemmings, Ilya, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Stefan Johnson, KCdaproducer, Denis Kosiak, The Monsters & Strangerz, Jorgen Odegard, Michael Pollack, Poo Bear, Shndo, Skrillex, Jake Torrey, Trackz, Andrew Watt & Ido Zmishlany, producers; Cory Bice, benny blanco, Kevin “Capi” Carbo, Edwin Diaz, DJ Durel, Dreamlab, FINNEAS, Josh Gudwin, Sam Holland, Daniel James, Antonio Kearney, Denis Kosiak, Paul LaMalfa, Jeremy Lertola, Devin Nakao, Chris “TEK” O’Ryan, Andres Osorio, Micah Pettit & Benjamin Thomas, engineers/mixers; Amy Allen, Delacey (Brittany Amaradio), Louis Bell, Jonathan Bellion, Chancelor Johnathon Bennett, Justin Bieber, David Bowden, Jason Boyd, Scott Braun, Tommy Lee Brown, Valentin Brunn, Kevin Carbo, Kenneth Coby, Kevin Coby, Raul Cubina, Jordan Douglas, Giveon Dezmann Evans, Jason Evigan, Dominic David Fike, Kameron Glasper, Jacob Greenspan, Josh Gudwin, James Gutch, Scott Harris, Bernard Harvey, Leah Haywood, Gregory Aldae Hein, Marvin Hemmings, Jeffrey Howard, Alexander Izquierdo, Daniel James, Jace Logan Jennings, Rodney Jerkins, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Anthony M. Jones, Antonio Kearney, Charlton Kenneth, Joe Khajadourian, Felisha “Fury” King, Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Matthew Sean Leon, Benjamin Levin, Marcus Lomax, Quavious Keyate Marshall, Luis Manuel Martinez Jr., Sonny Moore, Finneas O’Connell, Jorgen Odegard, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, Tayla Parx, Oliver Peterhof, Whitney Phillips, Michael Pollack, Khalid Donnel Robinson, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Alex Schwartz, Tia Scola, Aaron Simmonds, Ashton Simmonds, Gian Stone, Ali Tamposi, Ryan Tedder, Tyshane Thompson, Jake Torrey, Billy Walsh, Freddy Wexler, Symere Woods, Andrew Wotman, Rami Yacoub, Keavan Yazdani, Bigram Zayas & Ido Zmishlany, songwriters; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer
     
  • Planet Her (Deluxe)
    Doja Cat
    Eve, Ariana Grande, Gunna, JID, SZA, The Weeknd & Young Thug, featured artists; Aaron Bow, Rogét Chahayed, Crate Classics, Digi, Dr. Luke, f a l l e n, Mayer Hawthorne, Mike Hector, Linden Jay, Aynzli Jones, Kurtis McKenzie, Jason Quenneville, Reef, Khaled Rohaim, Al Shux, Sully, tizhimself, Yeti Beats & Y2K, producers; Rob Bisel, Jesse Ray Ernster, Serban Ghenea, Clint Gibbs, Rian Lewis, NealHPogue, Tyler Sheppard, Kalani Thompson, Joe Visciano & Jeff Ellis Worldwide, engineers/mixers; Ilana Armida, Aaron Bow, Rogét Chahayed, Jamil Chammas, Sheldon Yu-Ting Cheung, Antwoine Collins, Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Ariana Grande, Mayer Hawthorne, Mike Hector, Aaron Horn, Taneisha Damielle Jackson, Linden Jay, Eve Jihan Jeffers, Aynzli Jones, Sergio Kitchens, Carter Lang, Siddharth Mallick, Maciej Margol-Gromada, Kurtis McKenzie, Jidenna Mobisson, Gerard A. Powell II, Geordan Reid-Campbell, Khaled Rohaim, Destin Route, Solána Rowe, Laura Roy, Al Shuckburgh, David Sprecher, Ari Starace, Lee Stashenko, Abel Tesfaye, Rob Tewlow & Jeffery Lamar Williams, songwriters; Dale Becker & Mike Bozzi, mastering engineers
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish
    FINNEAS, producer; Billie Eilish, FINNEAS & Rob Kinelski, engineers/mixers; Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters; John Greenham & Dave Kutch, mastering engineers
     
  • Back Of My Mind
    H.E.R.
    Chris Brown, Cordae, DJ Khaled, Lil Baby, Thundercat, Bryson Tiller, Ty Dolla $ign, YG & Yung Bleu, featured artists; Tarik Azzouz, Bordeaux, Nelson Bridges, DJ Camper, Cardiak, Cardo, Chi Chi, Steven J. Collins, Flip, Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, GRADES, H.E.R., Hit-Boy, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Walter Jones, KAYTRANADA, DJ Khaled, Mario Luciano, Mike Will Made-It, NonNative, NOVA WAV, Scribz Riley, Jeff Robinson, STREETRUNNER, Hue Strother, Asa Taccone, Thundercat, Thurdi & Wu10, producers; Rafael Fai Bautista, Luis Bordeaux, Dee Brown, Anthony Cruz, Ayanna Depas, Morning Estrada, Chris Galland, H.E.R., Jaycen Joshua, KAYTRANADA, Derek Keota, Omar Loya, Manny Marroquin, Tim McClain, Juan “AyoJuan” Peña, Micah Petit, Patrizio Pigliapoco, Alex Pyle, Jaclyn Sanchez, Miki Tsutsumi & Tito “Earcandy” Vasquez, engineers/mixers; Denisia “Blu June” Andrews, Nasri Atweh, Tarik Azzouz, Stacy Barthe, Jeremy Biddle, Nelson “Keyz” Bridges, Chris Brown, Stephen Bruner, Darhyl Camper Jr., Luis Campozano, Louis Kevin Celestin, Anthony Clemons Jr., Steven J. Collins, Ronald “Flip” Colson, Brittany “Chi” Coney, Elijah Dias, Cordae Dunston, Jeff Gitelman, Tyrone Griffin Jr., Priscilla “Priscilla Renea” Hamilton, H.E.R., Charles A. Hinshaw, Chauncey Hollis, Latisha Twana Hyman, Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, Rodney Jerkins, Dominique Jones, Khaled Khaled, Ron Latour, Gamal “Lunchmoney” Lewis, Mario Luciano, Carl McCormick, Leon McQuay III, Julia Michaels, Maxx Moore, Vurdell “V. Script” Muller, Chidi Osondu, Karriem Riggins, Mike “Scribz” Riley, Seandrea Sledge, Hue Strother, Asa Taccone, Tiara Thomas, Bryson Tiller, Daniel James Traynor, Brendan Walsh, Nicholas Warwar, Jabrile Hashim Willliams, Michael L. Williams II, Robert Williams & Kelvin Wooten, songwriters; Dave Kutch & Colin Leonard, mastering engineers
     
  • Montero
    Lil Nas X
    Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, Jack Harlow, Elton John & Megan Thee Stallion, featured artists; Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, John Cunningham, Omer Fedi, Kuk Harrell, Jasper Harris, KBeaZy, Carter Lang, Nick Lee, Roy Lenzo, Tom Levesque, Jasper Sheff, Blake Slatkin, Drew Sliger, Take A Daytrip, Ryan Tedder & Kanye West, producers; Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Jon Castelli, John Cunningham, Jelli Dorman, Tom Elmhirst, Serban Ghenea, Kuk Harrell, Roy Lenzo, Manny Marroquin, Nickie Jon Pabon, Patrizio ‘Teezio’ Pigliapoco, Blake Slatkin, Drew Sliger, Ryan Tedder & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Keegan Bach, Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, John Cunningham, Miley Ray Cyrus, Amala Zandile Dlamini, Omer Fedi, Vincent Goodyer, Jack Harlow, Jasper Harris, Montero Hill, Isley Juber, Carter Lang, Nick Lee, Roy Lenzo, Thomas James Levesque, Andrew Luce, Michael Olmo, Jasper Sheff, Blake Slatkin, Ryan Tedder, William K. Ward & Kanye West, songwriters; Chris Gehringer, Eric Lagg & Randy Merrill, mastering engineers
     
  • Sour
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Alexander 23, Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo, producers; Ryan Linvill, Mitch McCarthy & Daniel Nigro, engineers/mixers; Jack Antonoff, Annie Clark, Daniel Nigro, Olivia Rodrigo, Casey Smith & Taylor Swift, songwriters; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer
     
  • Evermore
    Taylor Swift
    Bon Iver, Haim & The National, featured artists; Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner & Taylor Swift, producers; Thomas Bartlett, JT Bates, Robin Baynton, Stuart Bogie, Gabriel Cabezas, CJ Camerieri, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Scott Devendorf, Matt DiMona, Jon Gautier, Trevor Hagen, Mikey Freedom Hart, Sean Hutchinson, Josh Kaufman, Benjamin Lanz, Nick Lloyd, Jonathan Low, James McAlister, Dave Nelson, Sean O’Brien, Ryan Olson, Ariel Rechtshaid, Kyle Resnick, Laura Sisk, Evan Smith, Alex Sopp & Justin Vernon, engineers/mixers; Jack Antonoff, William Bowery, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Taylor Swift & Justin Vernon, songwriters; Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone, mastering engineers
     
  • Donda
    Kanye West
    Baby Keem, Chris Brown, Conway The Machine, DaBaby, Jay Electronica, Fivio Foreign, Westside Gunn, JAY-Z, Syleena Johnson, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, The LOX, Marilyn Manson, Playboi Carti, Pop Smoke, Roddy Ricch, Rooga, Travis Scott, Shenseea, Swizz Beatz, Young Thug, Don Toliver, Ty Dolla $ign, Vory, The Weeknd, Westside Gunn & Lil Yachty, featured artists; Allday, Audi, AyoAA, Roark Bailey, Louis Bell, Jeff Bhasker, Boi-1Da, BoogzDaBeast, Warryn Campbell, Cubeatz, David & Eli, Mike Dean, Dem Jointz, Digital Nas, DJ Khalil, DRTWRK, 88-Keys, E.Vax, FNZ, Gesaffelstein, Nikki Grier, Cory Henry, Ronny J, DJ Khalil, Wallis Lane, Digital Nas, Nascent, Ojivolta, Shuko, Sloane, Sean Solymar, Sucuki, Arron “Arrow” Sunday, Swizz Beatz, Zen Tachi, 30 Roc, Bastian Völkel, Mia Wallis, Kanye West, Wheezy & Jason White, producers; Josh Berg, Todd Bergman, Rashade Benani Bevel Sr., Will Chason, Dem Jointz, IRKO, Jess Jackson, Nagaris Johnson, Shin Kamiyama, Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton, James Kelso, Scott McDowell, Kalam Ali Muttalib, Jonathan Pfarr, Jonathan Pfzar, Drrique Rendeer, Alejandro Rodriguez-Dawson, Mikalai Skrobat, Devon Wilson & Lorenzo Wolff, engineers/mixers; Dwayne Abernathy Jr., Elpadaro F. Electronica Allah, Aswad Asif, Roark Bailey, Durk Banks, Sam Barsh, Christoph Bauss, Louis Bell, Jeff Bhasker, Isaac De Boni, Christopher Brown, Jahshua Brown, Tahrence Brown, Aaron Butts, Warryn Campbell, Hykeem Carter Jr., Jordan Terrell Carter, Shawn Carter, Denzel Charles, Raul Cubina, Isaac De Boni, Kasseem Dean, Michael Dean, Tim Friedrich, Wesley Glass, Samuel Gloade, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Tyrone Griffin Jr., Jahmal Gwin, Cory Henry, Tavoris Javon Hollins Jr., Larry Hoover Jr., Bashar Jackson, Sean Jacob, Nima Jahanbin, Paimon Jahanbin, Syleena Johnson, Dominique Armani Jones, Eli Klughammer, Chinsea Lee, Mike Lévy, Evan Mast, Mark Mbogo, Miles McCollum, Josh Mease, Scott Medcudi, Brian Miller, Rodrick Wayne Moore Jr., Michael Mulé, Mark Myrie, Charles M. Njapa, Nasir Pemberton, Carlos St. John Phillips, Jason Phillips, Khalil Abdul Rahman, Laraya Ashlee Robinson, Christopher Ruelas, David Ruoff, Maxie Lee Ryles III, Matthew Samuels, Daniel Seeff, Eric Sloan Jr., Sean Solymar, Ronald O’Neill Spence Jr., David Styles, Michael Suski, Aqeel Tate, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, Caleb Zackery Toliver, Bastian Völkel, Brian Hugh Warner, Jacques Webster II, Kanye West, Orlando Wilder, Jeffery Williams & Mark Williams, songwriters; Irko, mastering engineer

3. Song Of The Year
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Bad Habits
    Fred Gibson, Johnny McDaid & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)
     
  • A Beautiful Noise
    Ruby Amanfu, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Alicia Keys, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Linda Perry & Hailey Whitters, songwriters (Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile)
     
  • drivers license
    Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo, songwriters (Olivia Rodrigo)
     
  • Fight For You
    Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
     
  • Kiss Me More
    Rogét Chahayed, Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Carter Lang, Gerard A. Powell II, Solána Rowe & David Sprecher, songwriters (Doja Cat Featuring SZA)
     
  • Leave The Door Open
    Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Silk Sonic)
     
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
    Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Omer Fedi, Montero Hill & Roy Lenzo, songwriters (Lil Nas X)
     
  • Peaches
    Louis Bell, Justin Bieber, Giveon Dezmann Evans, Bernard Harvey, Felisha “Fury” King, Matthew Sean Leon, Luis Manuel Martinez Jr., Aaron Simmonds, Ashton Simmonds, Andrew Wotman & Keavan Yazdani, songwriters (Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon)
     
  • Right On Time
    Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)

4. Best New Artist
This category recognizes an artist whose eligibility-year release(s) achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.

  • Arooj Aftab
     
  • Jimmie Allen
     
  • Baby Keem
     
  • FINNEAS
     
  • Glass Animals
     
  • Japanese Breakfast
     
  • The Kid LAROI
     
  • Arlo Parks
     
  • Olivia Rodrigo
     
  • Saweetie

POP

5. Best Pop Solo Performance
For new vocal or instrumental pop recordings. Singles or Tracks only.

  • Anyone
    Justin Bieber
     
  • Right On Time
    Brandi Carlile
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish
     
  • Positions
    Ariana Grande
     
  • drivers license
    Olivia Rodrigo

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative pop recordings. Singles or Tracks only.

  • I Get A Kick Out Of You
    Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
     
  • Lonely
    Justin Bieber & benny blanco
     
  • Butter
    BTS
     
  • Higher Power
    Coldplay
     
  • Kiss Me More
    Doja Cat Featuring SZA

7. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new traditional pop recordings.

  • Love For Sale
    Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
     
  • Til We Meet Again (Live)
    Norah Jones
     
  • A Tori Kelly Christmas
    Tori Kelly
     
  • Ledisi Sings Nina
    Ledisi
     
  • That’s Life
    Willie Nelson
     
  • A Holly Dolly Christmas
    Dolly Parton

8. Best Pop Vocal Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new pop vocal recordings.

  • Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)
    Justin Bieber
     
  • Planet Her (Deluxe)
    Doja Cat
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish
     
  • Positions
    Ariana Grande
     
  • Sour
    Olivia Rodrigo

DANCE/ELECTRONIC MUSIC

9. Best Dance/Electronic Recording
For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.

  • Hero
    Afrojack & David Guetta
    Afrojack, David Guetta, Kuk Harrell & Stargate, producers; Elio Debets, mixer
     
  • Loom
    Ólafur Arnalds Featuring Bonobo
    Ólafur Arnalds & Simon Green, producers; Ólafur Arnalds, mixer
     
  • Before
    James Blake
    James Blake & Dom Maker, producers; James Blake, mixer
     
  • Heartbreak
    Bonobo & Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
    Simon Green & Orlando Higginbottom, producers; Simon Green & Orlando Higginbottom, mixers
     
  • You Can Do It
    Caribou
    Dan Snaith, producer; David Wrench, mixer
     
  • Alive
    Rüfüs Du Sol
    Jason Evigan & Rüfüs Du Sol, producers; Cassian Stewart-Kasimba, mixer
     
  • The Business
    Tiësto
    Hightower, Julia Karlsson & Tiësto, producers; Tiësto, mixer

10. Best Dance/Electronic Music Album
For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.

  • Subconsciously
    Black Coffee
     
  • Fallen Embers
    ILLENIUM
     
  • Music Is The Weapon (Reloaded)
    Major Lazer
     
  • Shockwave
    Marshmello
     
  • Free Love
    Sylvan Esso
     
  • Judgement
    Ten City

CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

11. Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
For albums containing approximately 51% or more playing time of instrumental material. For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings.\

  • Double Dealin’
    Randy Brecker & Eric Marienthal
     
  • The Garden
    Rachel Eckroth
     
  • Tree Falls
    Taylor Eigsti
     
  • At Blue Note Tokyo
    Steve Gadd Band
     
  • Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol. 2
    Mark Lettieri

ROCK

12. Best Rock Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative rock recordings.

  • Shot In The Dark
    AC/DC
     
  • Know You Better (Live From Capitol Studio A)
    Black Pumas
     
  • Nothing Compares 2 U
    Chris Cornell
     
  • Ohms
    Deftones
     
  • Making A Fire
    Foo Fighters

13. Best Metal Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative metal recordings.

  • Genesis
    Deftones
     
  • The Alien
    Dream Theater
     
  • Amazonia
    Gojira
     
  • Pushing The Tides
    Mastodon
     
  • The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition)
    Rob Zombie

14. Best Rock Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • All My Favorite Songs
    Rivers Cuomo, Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson & Ilsey Juber, songwriters (Weezer)
     
  • The Bandit
    Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
     
  • Distance
    Wolfgang Van Halen, songwriter (Mammoth WVH)
     
  • Find My Way
    Paul McCartney, songwriter (Paul McCartney)
     
  • Waiting On A War
    Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett & Pat Smear, songwriters (Foo Fighters)

15. Best Rock Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rock, hard rock or metal recordings.

  • Power Up
    AC/DC
     
  • Capitol Cuts – Live From Studio A
    Black Pumas
     
  • No One Sings Like You Anymore Vol. 1
    Chris Cornell
     
  • Medicine At Midnight
    Foo Fighters
     
  • McCartney III
    Paul McCartney

ALTERNATIVE

16. Best Alternative Music Album
Vocal or Instrumental.

  • Shore
    Fleet Foxes
     
  • If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
    Halsey
     
  • Jubilee
    Japanese Breakfast
     
  • Collapsed In Sunbeams
    Arlo Parks
     
  • Daddy’s Home
    St. Vincent

R&B

17. Best R&B Performance
For new vocal or instrumental R&B recordings.

  • Lost You
    Snoh Aalegra
     
  • Peaches
    Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon
     
  • Damage
    H.E.R.
     
  • Leave The Door Open
    Silk Sonic
     
  • Pick Up Your Feelings
    Jazmine Sullivan

18. Best Traditional R&B Performance
For new vocal or instrumental traditional R&B recordings.

  • I Need You
    Jon Batiste
     
  • Bring It On Home To Me
    BJ The Chicago Kid, PJ Morton & Kenyon Dixon Featuring Charlie Bereal
     
  • Born Again
    Leon Bridges Featuring Robert Glasper
     
  • Fight For You
    H.E.R.
     
  • How Much Can A Heart Take
    Lucky Daye Featuring Yebba

19. Best R&B Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Damage
    Anthony Clemons Jr., Jeff Gitelman, H.E.R., Carl McCormick & Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
     
  • Good Days
    Jacob Collier, Carter Lang, Carlos Munoz, Solána Rowe & Christopher Ruelas, songwriters (SZA)
     
  • Heartbreak Anniversary
    Giveon Evans, Maneesh, Sevn Thomas & Varren Wade, songwriters (Giveon)
     
  • Leave The Door Open
    Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Silk Sonic)
     
  • Pick Up Your Feelings
    Denisia “Blue June” Andrews, Audra Mae Butts, Kyle Coleman, Brittany “Chi” Coney, Michael Holmes & Jazmine Sullivan, songwriters (Jazmine Sullivan)

20. Best Progressive R&B Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded progressive vocal tracks derivative of R&B.

  • New Light
    Eric Bellinger
     
  • Something To Say
    Cory Henry
     
  • Mood Valiant
    Hiatus Kaiyote
     
  • Table For Two
    Lucky Daye
     
  • Dinner Party: Dessert
    Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder & Kamasi Washington
     
  • Studying Abroad: Extended Stay
    Masego

21. Best R&B Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new R&B recordings.

  • Temporary Highs In The Violet Skies
    Snoh Aalegra
     
  • We Are
    Jon Batiste
     
  • Gold-Diggers Sound
    Leon Bridges
     
  • Back Of My Mind
    H.E.R.
     
  • Heaux Tales
    Jazmine Sullivan

RAP

22. Best Rap Performance
For a Rap performance. Singles or Tracks only.

  • Family Ties
    Baby Keem Featuring Kendrick Lamar
     
  • Up
    Cardi B
     
  • M Y . L I F E
    J. Cole Featuring 21 Savage & Morray
     
  • Way 2 Sexy
    Drake Featuring Future & Young Thug
     
  • Thot S***
    Megan Thee Stallion

23. Best Melodic Rap Performance
For a solo or collaborative performance containing both elements of R&B melodies and Rap.

  • P R I D E . I S . T H E . D E V I L
    J. Cole Featuring Lil Baby
     
  • Need To Know
    Doja Cat
     
  • Industry Baby
    Lil Nas X Featuring Jack Harlow
     
  • Wusyaname
    Tyler, The Creator Featuring Youngboy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla $ign
     
  • Hurricane
    Kanye West Featuring The Weeknd & Lil Baby

24. Best Rap Song
A Songwriter(s) Award.  A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Bath Salts
    Shawn Carter, Kasseem Dean, Michael Forno, Nasir Jones & Earl Simmons, songwriters (DMX Featuring Jay-Z & Nas)
     
  • Best Friend
    Amala Zandelie Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Randall Avery Hammers, Diamonté Harper, Asia Smith, Theron Thomas & Rocco Valdes, songwriters (Saweetie Featuring Doja Cat)
     
  • Family Ties
    Roshwita Larisha Bacha, Hykeem Carter, Tobias Dekker, Colin Franken, Jasper Harris, Kendrick Lamar, Ronald Latour & Dominik Patrzek, songwriters (Baby Keem Featuring Kendrick Lamar)
     
  • Jail
    Dwayne Abernathy, Jr., Shawn Carter, Raul Cubina, Michael Dean, Charles M. Njapa, Sean Solymar, Brian Hugh Warner, Kanye West & Mark Williams, songwriters (Kanye West Featuring Jay-Z)
     
  • M Y . L I F E
    Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph & Jermaine Cole, songwriters (J. Cole Featuring 21 Savage & Morray)

25. Best Rap Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rap recordings.

  • The Off-Season
    J. Cole
     
  • Certified Lover Boy
    Drake
     
  • King’s Disease II
    Nas
     
  • Call Me If You Get Lost
    Tyler, The Creator
     
  • Donda
    Kanye West

COUNTRY

26. Best Country Solo Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo country recordings.

  • Forever After All
    Luke Combs
     
  • Remember Her Name
    Mickey Guyton
     
  • All I Do Is Drive
    Jason Isbell
     
  • camera roll
    Kacey Musgraves
     
  • You Should Probably Leave
    Chris Stapleton

27. Best Country Duo/Group Performance
For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative country recordings.

  • If I Didn’t Love You
    Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood
     
  • Younger Me
    Brothers Osborne
     
  • Glad You Exist
    Dan + Shay
     
  • Chasing After You
    Ryan Hurd & Maren Morris
     
  • Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)
    Elle King & Miranda Lambert

28. Best Country Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Better Than We Found It
    Jessie Jo Dillon, Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Maren Morris)
     
  • camera roll
    Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
     
  • Cold
    Dave Cobb, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)
     
  • Country Again
    Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley & Thomas Rhett, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
     
  • Fancy Like
    Cameron Bartolini, Walker Hayes, Josh Jenkins & Shane Stevens, songwriters (Walker Hayes)
     
  • Remember Her Name
    Mickey Guyton, Blake Hubbard, Jarrod Ingram & Parker Welling, songwriters (Mickey Guyton)

29. Best Country Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new country recordings.

  • Skeletons
    Brothers Osborne
     
  • Remember Her Name
    Mickey Guyton
     
  • The Marfa Tapes
    Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall & Jack Ingram
     
  • The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita
    Sturgill Simpson
     
  • Starting Over
    Chris Stapleton

NEW AGE

30. Best New Age Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental new age recordings.

  • Brothers
    Will Ackerman, Jeff Oster & Tom Eaton
     
  • Divine Tides
    Stewart Copeland & Ricky Kej
     
  • Pangaea
    Wouter Kellerman & David Arkenstone
     
  • Night + Day
    Opium Moon
     
  • Pieces Of Forever
    Laura Sullivan

JAZZ

31. Best Improvised Jazz Solo
For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter’s name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.

  • Sackodougou
    Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, soloist
    Track from: The Hands Of Time (Weedie Braimah)
     
  • Kick Those Feet
    Kenny Barron, soloist
    Track from: Songs From My Father (Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trios)
     
  • Bigger Than Us
    Jon Batiste, soloist
    Track from: Soul (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Various Artists)
     
  • Absence
    Terence Blanchard, soloist
    Track from: Absence (Terence Blanchard Featuring The E Collective And The Turtle Island Quartet)
     
  • Humpty Dumpty (Set 2)
    Chick Corea, soloist
    Track from: Akoustic Band Live (Chick Corea, John Patitucci & Dave Weckl)

32. Best Jazz Vocal Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal jazz recordings.

  • Generations
    The Baylor Project
     
  • SuperBlue
    Kurt Elling & Charlie Hunter
     
  • Time Traveler
    Nnenna Freelon
     
  • Flor
    Gretchen Parlato
     
  • Songwrights Apothecary Lab
    Esperanza Spalding

33. Best Jazz Instrumental Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new instrumental jazz recordings.

  • Jazz Selections: Music From And Inspired By Soul
    Jon Batiste
     
  • Absence
    Terence Blanchard Featuring The E Collective And The Turtle Island Quartet
     
  • Skyline
    Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette & Gonzalo Rubalcaba
     
  • Akoustic Band LIVE
    Chick Corea, John Patitucci & Dave Weckl
     
  • Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV)
    Pat Metheny

34. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new ensemble jazz recordings.

  • Live At Birdland!
    The Count Basie Orchestra Directed By Scotty Barnhart
     
  • Dear Love
    Jazzmeia Horn And Her Noble Force
     
  • For Jimmy, Wes And Oliver
    Christian McBride Big Band
     
  • Swirling
    Sun Ra Arkestra
     
  • Jackets XL
    Yellowjackets + WDR Big Band

35. Best Latin Jazz Album
For vocal or instrumental albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material. The intent of this category is to recognize recordings that represent the blending of jazz with Latin, Iberian-American, Brazilian, and Argentinian tango music.

  • Mirror Mirror
    Eliane Elias With Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés
     
  • The South Bronx Story
    Carlos Henriquez
     
  • Virtual Birdland
    Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
     
  • Transparency
    Dafnis Prieto Sextet
     
  • El Arte Del Bolero
    Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo

GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC

36. Best Gospel Performance/Song
This award is given to the artist(s) and songwriter(s) (for new compositions) for the best traditional Christian, roots gospel or contemporary gospel single or track.

  • Voice Of God
    Dante Bowe Featuring Steffany Gretzinger & Chandler Moore; Dante Bowe, Tywan Mack, Jeff Schneeweis & Mitch Wong, songwriters
     
  • Joyful
    Dante Bowe; Dante Bowe & Ben Schofield, songwriters
     
  • Help
    Anthony Brown & Group Therapy; Anthony Brown & Darryl Woodson, songwriters
     
  • Never Lost
    CeCe Winans
     
  • Wait On You
    Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music; Dante Bowe, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Tiffany Hudson, Brandon Lake & Chandler Moore, songwriters

37. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
This award is given to the artist(s) and songwriter(s) (for new compositions) for the best contemporary Christian music single or track, (including pop, rap/hip-hop, Latin, or rock.)

  • We Win
    Kirk Franklin & Lil Baby; Kirk Franklin, Dominique Jones, Cynthia Nunn & Justin Smith, songwriters
     
  • Hold Us Together (Hope Mix)
    H.E.R. & Tauren Wells; Josiah Bassey, Dernst Emile & H.E.R., songwriters
     
  • Man Of Your Word
    Chandler Moore & KJ Scriven; Jonathan Jay, Nathan Jess & Chandler Moore, songwriters
     
  • Believe For It
    CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill, Kyle Lee, CeCe Winans & Mitch Wong, songwriters
     
  • Jireh
    Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music Featuring Chandler Moore & Naomi Raine; Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, Chandler Moore & Naomi Raine, songwriters

38. Best Gospel Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, traditional or contemporary/R&B gospel music recordings.

  • Changing Your Story
    Jekalyn Carr
     
  • Royalty: Live At The Ryman
    Tasha Cobbs Leonard
     
  • Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition
    Maverick City Music
     
  • Jonny X Mali: Live In LA
    Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music
     
  • Believe For It
    CeCe Winans

39. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, contemporary Christian music, including pop, rap/hip hop, Latin, or rock recordings.

  • No Stranger
    Natalie Grant
     
  • Feels Like Home Vol. 2
    Israel & New Breed
     
  • The Blessing (Live)
    Kari Jobe
     
  • Citizen Of Heaven (Live)
    Tauren Wells
     
  • Old Church Basement
    Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music

40. Best Roots Gospel Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded, vocal, traditional/roots gospel music, including country, Southern gospel, bluegrass, and Americana recordings.

  • Alone With My Faith
    Harry Connick, Jr.
     
  • That’s Gospel, Brother
    Gaither Vocal Band
     
  • Keeping On
    Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
     
  • Songs For The Times
    The Isaacs
     
  • My Savior
    Carrie Underwood

LATIN

41. Best Latin Pop Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new Latin pop recordings.

  • Vértigo
    Pablo Alborán
     
  • Mis Amores
    Paula Arenas
     
  • Hecho A La Antigua
    Ricardo Arjona
     
  • Mis Manos
    Camilo
     
  • Mendó
    Alex Cuba
     
  • Revelación
    Selena Gomez

42. Best Música Urbana Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new Música Urbana recordings.

  • Afrodisíaco
    Rauw Alejandro
     
  • El Último Tour Del Mundo
    Bad Bunny
     
  • Jose
    J Balvin
     
  • KG0516
    KAROL G
     
  • Sin Miedo (Del Amor Y Otros Demonios) 8
    Kali Uchis

43. Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new Latin rock or alternative recordings.

  • Deja
    Bomba Estéreo
     
  • Mira Lo Que Me Hiciste Hacer (Deluxe Edition)
    Diamante Eléctrico
     
  • Origen
    Juanes
  • Calambre
    Nathy Peluso
     
  • El Madrileño
    C. Tangana
     
  • Sonidos De Karmática Resonancia
    Zoé

44. Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new regional Mexican (banda, norteño, corridos, gruperos, mariachi, ranchera and Tejano) recordings.

  • Antología De La Musica Ranchera, Vol. 2
    Aida Cuevas
     
  • A Mis 80’s
    Vicente Fernández
     
  • Seis
    Mon Laferte
     
  • Un Canto Por México, Vol. II
    Natalia Lafourcade
     
  • Ayayay! (Súper Deluxe)
    Christian Nodal

45. Best Tropical Latin Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new tropical Latin recordings.

  • Salswing!
    Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
     
  • En Cuarentena
    El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico
     
  • Sin Salsa No Hay Paraíso
    Aymée Nuviola
     
  • Colegas
    Gilberto Santa Rosa
     
  • Live In Peru
    Tony Succar

AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC

46. Best American Roots Performance
For new vocal or instrumental American Roots recordings.  This is for performances in the style of any of the subgenres encompassed in the American Roots Music field including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk or regional roots. Award to the artist(s).

  • Cry
    Jon Batiste
     
  • Love And Regret
    Billy Strings
     
  • I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
    The Blind Boys Of Alabama & Béla Fleck
     
  • Same Devil
    Brandy Clark Featuring Brandi Carlile
     
  • Nightflyer
    Allison Russell

47. Best American Roots Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Americana, bluegrass, traditional blues, contemporary blues, folk or regional roots songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Avalon
    Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson & Francesco Turrisi, songwriters (Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi)
     
  • Call Me A Fool
    Valerie June, songwriter (Valerie June Featuring Carla Thomas)
     
  • Cry
    Jon Batiste & Steve McEwan, songwriters (Jon Batiste)
     
  • Diamond Studded Shoes
    Dan Auerbach, Natalie Hemby, Aaron Lee Tasjan & Yola, songwriters (Yola)
     
  • Nightflyer
    Jeremy Lindsay & Allison Russell, songwriters (Allison Russell)

48. Best Americana Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental Americana recordings.

  • Downhill From Everywhere
    Jackson Browne
     
  • Leftover Feelings
    John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band
     
  • Native Sons
    Los Lobos
     
  • Outside Child
    Allison Russell
     
  • Stand For Myself
    Yola

49. Best Bluegrass Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental bluegrass recordings.

  • Renewal
    Billy Strings
     
  • My Bluegrass Heart
    Béla Fleck
     
  • A Tribute To Bill Monroe
    The Infamous Stringdusters
     
  • Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions)
    Sturgill Simpson
     
  • Music Is What I See
    Rhonda Vincent

50. Best Traditional Blues Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental traditional blues recordings.

  • 100 Years Of Blues
    Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite
     
  • Traveler’s Blues
    Blues Traveler
     
  • I Be Trying
    Cedric Burnside
     
  • Be Ready When I Call You
    Guy Davis
     
  • Take Me Back
    Kim Wilson

51. Best Contemporary Blues Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental contemporary blues recordings.

  • Delta Kream
    The Black Keys Featuring Eric Deaton & Kenny Brown
     
  • Royal Tea
    Joe Bonamassa
     
  • Uncivil War
    Shemekia Copeland
     
  • Fire It Up
    Steve Cropper
     
  • 662
    Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

52. Best Folk Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental folk recordings.

  • One Night Lonely [Live]
    Mary Chapin Carpenter
     
  • Long Violent History
    Tyler Childers
     
  • Wednesday (Extended Edition)
    Madison Cunningham
     
  • They’re Calling Me Home
    Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi
     
  • Blue Heron Suite
    Sarah Jarosz

53. Best Regional Roots Music Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental regional roots music recordings.

  • Live In New Orleans!
    Sean Ardoin And Kreole Rock And Soul
     
  • Bloodstains & Teardrops
    Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
     
  • My People
    Cha Wa
     
  • Corey Ledet Zydeco
    Corey Ledet Zydeco
     
  • Kau Ka Pe’a
    Kalani Pe’a

REGGAE

54. Best Reggae Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new reggae recordings.

  • Pamoja
    Etana
     
  • Positive Vibration
    Gramps Morgan
     
  • Live N Livin
    Sean Paul
     
  • Royal
    Jesse Royal
     
  • Beauty In The Silence
    Soja
     
  • 10
    Spice

GLOBAL MUSIC

55. Best Global Music Performance
For new vocal or instrumental Global music recordings.

  • Mohabbat
    Arooj Aftab
     
  • Do Yourself
    Angelique Kidjo & Burna Boy
     
  • Pà Pá Pà
    Femi Kuti
     
  • Blewu
    Yo-Yo Ma & Angelique Kidjo
     
  • Essence
    WizKid Featuring Tems

56. Best Global Music Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental Global Music recordings.

  • Voice Of Bunbon, Vol. 1
    Rocky Dawuni
     
  • East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho & Friends Live In Concert
    Daniel Ho & Friends
     
  • Mother Nature
    Angelique Kidjo
     
  • Legacy +
    Femi Kuti And Made Kuti
     
  • Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition
    WizKid

CHILDREN’S

57. Best Children’s Music Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new musical or spoken word recordings that are created and intended specifically for children.

  • Actívate
    123 Andrés
     
  • All One Tribe
    1 Tribe Collective
     
  • Black To The Future
    Pierce Freelon
     
  • A Colorful World
    Falu
     
  • Crayon Kids
    Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band

SPOKEN WORD

58. Best Spoken Word Album
Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling

  • Aftermath
    LeVar Burton
     
  • Carry On: Reflections For A New Generation From John Lewis
    Don Cheadle
     
  • Catching Dreams: Live At Fort Knox Chicago
    J. Ivy
     
  • 8:46
    Dave Chappelle & Amir Sulaiman
     
  • A Promised Land
    Barack Obama

COMEDY

59. Best Comedy Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings.

  • The Comedy Vaccine
    Lavell Crawford
     
  • Evolution
    Chelsea Handler
     
  • Sincerely Louis CK
    Louis C.K.
     
  • Thanks For Risking Your Life
    Lewis Black
     
  • The Greatest Average American
    Nate Bargatze
     
  • Zero F***s Given
    Kevin Hart

MUSICAL THEATER

60. Best Musical Theater Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings. Award to the principle vocalist(s) and the album producer(s) of 51% or more playing time of the album. The lyricist(s) and composer(s) of a new score are eligible for an Award if they have written and/or composed a new score which comprises 51% or more playing time of the album.

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella
    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nick Lloyd Webber & Greg Wells, producers; Andrew Lloyd Webber & David Zippel, composers/lyricists (Original Album Cast)
     
  • Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s Some Lovers
    Burt Bacharach, Michael Croiter, Ben Hartman & Steven Sater, producers; Burt Bacharach, composer; Steven Sater, lyricist (World Premiere Cast)
     
  • Girl From The North Country
    Simon Hale, Conor McPherson & Dean Sharenow, producers (Bob Dylan, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)
     
  • Les Misérables: The Staged Concert (The Sensational 2020 Live Recording)
    Cameron Mackintosh, Lee McCutcheon & Stephen Metcalfe, producers (Claude-Michel Schönberg, composer; Alain Boublil, John Caird, Herbert Kretzmer, Jean-Marc Natel & Trevor Nunn, lyricists) (The 2020 Les Misérables Staged Concert Company)
     
  • Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots 
    Daniel C. Levine, Michael J Moritz Jr, Bryan Perri & Stephen Schwartz, producers (Stephen Schwartz, composer & lyricist) (World Premiere Cast)
     
  • The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical
    Emily Bear, producer; Abigail Barlow & Emily Bear, composers/lyricists (Barlow & Bear)

MUSIC FOR VISUAL MEDIA

61. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Award to the artist(s) and/or ‘in studio’ producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album.  In the absence of both, award to the one or two individuals proactively responsible for the concept and musical direction of the album and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable. Award also goes to appropriately credited music supervisor(s).

  • Cruella
    (Various Artists)
     
  • Dear Evan Hansen
    (Various Artists)
     
  • In The Heights
    (Various Artists)
     
  • One Night In Miami…
    (Various Artists)
     
  • Respect
    Jennifer Hudson
     
  • Schmigadoon! Episode 1
    (Various Artists)
     
  • The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
    Andra Day

62. Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Award to Composer(s) for an original score created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current legitimate motion picture, television show or series, video games or other visual media.

  • Bridgerton
    Kris Bowers, composer
     
  • Dune
    Hans Zimmer, composer
     
  • The Mandalorian: Season 2 – Vol. 2 (Chapters 13-16)
    Ludwig Göransson, composer
     
  • The Queen’s Gambit
    Carlos Rafael Rivera, composer
     
  • Soul
    Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers

63. Best Song Written For Visual Media
A Songwriter(s) award. For a song (melody & lyrics) written specifically for a motion picture, television, video games or other visual media, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Agatha All Along [From WandaVision: Episode 7]
    Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez Featuring Kathryn Hahn, Eric Bradley, Greg Whipple, Jasper Randall & Gerald White)
     
  • All Eyes On Me [From Inside]
    Bo Burnham, songwriter (Bo Burnham)
     
  • All I Know So Far [From P!NK: All I Know So Far]
    Alecia Moore, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (P!nk)
     
  • Fight For You [From Judas And The Black Messiah]
    Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
     
  • Here I Am (Singing My Way Home) [From Respect]
    Jamie Hartman, Jennifer Hudson & Carole King, songwriters (Jennifer Hudson)
     
  • Speak Now [From One Night In Miami…]
    Sam Ashworth & Leslie Odom, Jr., songwriters (Leslie Odom, Jr.)

COMPOSING/ARRANGING

64. Best Instrumental Composition

A Composer’s Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.

  • Beautiful Is Black
    Brandee Younger, composer (Brandee Younger)
     
  • Cat And Mouse
    Tom Nazziola, composer (Tom Nazziola)
     
  • Concerto For Orchestra: Finale
    Vince Mendoza, composer (Vince Mendoza & Czech National Symphony Orchestra Featuring Antonio Sánchez & Derrick Hodge)
     
  • Dreaming In Lions: Dreaming In Lions
    Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble)
     
  • Eberhard
    Lyle Mays, composer (Lyle Mays)

65. Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Chopsticks
    Bill O’Connell, arranger (Richard Baratta)
     
  • For The Love Of A Princess (From “Braveheart”)
    Robin Smith, arranger (HAUSER, London Symphony Orchestra & Robin Smith)
     
  • Infinite Love
    Emile Mosseri, arranger (Emile Mosseri)
     
  • Meta Knight’s Revenge (From “Kirby Superstar”)
    Charlie Rosen & Jake Silverman, arrangers (The 8-Bit Big Band Featuring Button Masher)
     
  • The Struggle Within
    Gabriela Quintero & Rodrigo Sanchez, arrangers (Rodrigo y Gabriela)

66. Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals
An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • The Bottom Line
    Ólafur Arnalds, arranger (Ólafur Arnalds & Josin)
     
  • A Change Is Gonna Come
    Tehillah Alphonso, arranger (Tonality & Alexander Lloyd Blake)
     
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
    Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)
     
  • Eleanor Rigby
    Cody Fry, arranger (Cody Fry)
     
  • To The Edge Of Longing (Edit Version)
    Vince Mendoza, arranger (Vince Mendoza, Czech National Symphony Orchestra & Julia Bullock)

PACKAGE, NOTES, AND HISTORICAL

67. Best Recording Package

  • American Jackpot / American Girls
    Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)
     
  • Carnage
  • Nick Cave & Tom Hingston, art directors (Nick Cave & Warren Ellis)
     
  • Pakelang
    Li Jheng Han & Yu, Wei, art directors (2nd Generation Falangao Singing Group & The Chairman Crossover Big Band)
     
  • Serpentine Prison
    Dayle Doyle, art director (Matt Berninger)
     
  • Zeta
    Xiao Qing Yang, art director (Soul Of Ears)

68. Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package

  • All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition
    Darren Evans, Dhani Harrison & Olivia Harrison, art directors (George Harrison)
     
  • Color Theory
    Lordess Foudre & Christopher Leckie, art directors (Soccer Mommy)
     
  • The Future Bites (Limited Edition Box Set)
    Simon Moore, art director (Steven Wilson)
     
  • 77-81
    Dan Calderwood & Jon King, art directors (Gang Of Four)
     
  • Swimming In Circles
    Ramón Coronado & Marshall Rake, art directors (Mac Miller)

69. Best Album Notes

  • Beethoven: The Last Three Sonatas
    Ann-Katrin Zimmermann, album notes writer (Sunwook Kim)
     
  • The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia And RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-1966
    Ricky Riccardi, album notes writer (Louis Armstrong)
     
  • Creation Never Sleeps, Creation Never Dies: The Willie Dunn Anthology
    Kevin Howes, album notes writer (Willie Dunn)
     
  • Etching The Voice: Emile Berliner And The First Commercial Gramophone Discs, 1889-1895
    David Giovannoni, Richard Martin & Stephan Puille, album notes writers (Various Artists)
     
  • The King Of Gospel Music: The Life And Music Of Reverend James Cleveland
    Robert Marovich, album notes writer (Various Artists)

70. Best Historical Album

  • Beyond The Music: Her Complete RCA Victor Recordings
    Robert Russ, compilation producer; Nancy Conforti, Andreas K. Meyer & Jennifer Nulsen, mastering engineers (Marian Anderson)
     
  • Etching The Voice: Emile Berliner And The First Commercial Gramophone Discs, 1889-1895
    Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Richard Martin, mastering engineer (Various Artists)
     
  • Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History Of The World’s Music
    April Ledbetter, Steven Lance Ledbetter & Jonathan Ward, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Various Artists)
     
  • Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967)
    Patrick Milligan & Joni Mitchell, compilation producers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Joni Mitchell)
     
  • Sign O’ The Times (Super Deluxe Edition)
    Trevor Guy, Michael Howe & Kirk Johnson, compilation producers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Prince)

PRODUCTION

71. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
An Engineer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses.)

  • Cinema 
    Josh Conway, Marvin Figueroa, Josh Gudwin, Neal H Pogue & Ethan Shumaker, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (The Marías)
     
  • Dawn
    Thomas Brenneck, Zach Brown, Elton “L10MixedIt” Chueng, Riccardo Damian, Tom Elmhirst, Jens Jungkurth, Todd Monfalcone, John Rooney & Smino, engineers; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer (Yebba)
     
  • Hey What
    BJ Burton, engineer; BJ Burton, mastering engineer (Low)
     
  • Love For Sale
    Dae Bennett, Josh Coleman & Billy Cumella, engineers; Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone, mastering engineers (Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga)
     
  • Notes With Attachments
    Joseph Lorge & Blake Mills, engineers; Greg Koller, mastering engineer (Pino Palladino & Blake Mills)

72. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
A Producer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses.)

  • Jack Antonoff
    • Chemtrails Over The Country Club (Lana Del Rey) (A)
    • Daddy’s Home (St. Vincent) (A)
    • Gold Rush (Taylor Swift) (T)
    • Sling (Clairo) (A)
    • Solar Power (Lorde) (A)
    • Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night (Bleachers) (A)
       
  • Rogét Chahayed
    • //aguardiente Y Limón %ᵕ‿‿ᵕ% (Kali Uchis) (T)
    • Ain’t S*** (Doja Cat) (T)
    • Beautiful (Shelley FKA DRAM) (T)
    • Blueberry Eyes (MAX Featuring SUGA of BTS) (S)
    • Fire In The Sky (Anderson .Paak) (T)
    • Kiss Me More (Doja Cat Featuring SZA) (S)
    • Lazy Susan (21 Savage With Rich Brian Featuring Warren Hue & Masimwei) (S)
    • NITROUS (Joji) (T)
    • Vibez (ZAYN) (S)
       
  • Mike Elizondo
    • Glow On (Turnstile) (A)
    • Good Day (Twenty One Pilots) (T)
    • Life By Misadventure (Rag’n’Bone Man) (A)
    • Mercy (Jonas Brothers) (T)
    • Mulberry Street (Twenty One Pilots) (T)
    • Obviously (Lake Street Dive) (A)
    • Repeat (Grace Vanderwaal) (S)
    • Taking The Heat (Joy Oladokun) (T)
  • Hit-Boy
    • Judas And The Black Messiah: The Inspired Album (Various Artists) (A)
    • King’s Disease II (Nas) (A)
       
  • Ricky Reed
    • //aguardiente y limón%ᵕ‿‿ᵕ% (Kali Uchis) (T)Can’t Let You Go (Terrace Martin Featuring Nick Grant) (S)
    • Damn Bean (John-Robert) (T)
    • Don’t Go Yet (Camila Cabello) (S)
    • Gold-Diggers Sound (Leon Bridges) (A)
    • Piece Of You (Shawn Mendes) (T)
    • Pushing Away (Junior Mesa) (T)
    • Rumors (Lizzo Featuring Cardi B) (S)
    • Sing (Jon Batiste) (T)

73. Best Remixed Recording
A Remixer’s Award. (Artists names appear in parentheses for identification.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • Back To Life (Booker T Kings Of Soul Satta Dub)
    Booker T, remixer (Soul II Soul)
     
  • Born For Greatness (Cymek Remix)
    Spencer Bastin, remixer (Papa Roach)
     
  • Constant Craving (Fashionably Late Remix)
    Tracy Young, remixer (K.D. Lang)
     
  • Inside Out (3SCAPE DRM Remix)
    3SCAPE DRM, remixer (Zedd & Griff)
     
  • Met Him Last Night (Dave Audé Remix)
    Dave Audé, remixer (Demi Lovato & Ariana Grande)
     
  • Passenger (Mike Shinoda Remix)
    Mike Shinoda, remixer (Deftones)
     
  • Talks (Mura Masa Remix)\
    Alexander Crossan, remixer (PVA)

74. Best Immersive Audio Album
This category recognizes excellence in multichannel immersive audio recordings. Eligible recordings must be commercially released for sale or streaming on a consumer format/configuration (DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-Ray, Atmos, Auro-3D, immersive download, etc.) that provides an original immersive mix (not electronically re-purposed) of four or more channels.

  • Alicia
    George Massenburg & Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineers; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Ann Mincieli, immersive producer (Alicia Keys)
     
  • Clique
    Jim Anderson & Ulrike Schwarz, immersive mix engineers; Bob Ludwig, immersive mastering engineer; Jim Anderson, immersive producer (Patricia Barber)
     
  • Fine Line
    Greg Penny, immersive mix engineer; Greg Penny, immersive mastering engineer; Greg Penny, immersive producer (Harry Styles)
     
  • The Future Bites
    Jake Fields & Steven Wilson, immersive mix engineers; Bob Ludwig, immersive mastering engineer; Steven Wilson, immersive producer (Steven Wilson)
     
  • Stille Grender
    Morten Lindberg, immersive mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, immersive mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, immersive producer (Anne Karin Sundal-Ask & Det Norske Jentekor)

75. Best Engineered Album, Classical
An Engineer’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • Archetypes
    Jonathan Lackey, Bill Maylone & Dan Nichols, engineers; Bill Maylone, mastering engineer (Sérgio Assad, Clarice Assad & Third Coast Percussion)
     
  • Beethoven: Cello Sonatas – Hope Amid Tears
    Richard King, engineer (Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax)
     
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
    Mark Donahue, engineer; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Manfred Honeck, Mendelssohn Choir Of Pittsburgh & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
  • Chanticleer Sings Christmas
    Leslie Ann Jones, engineer (Chanticleer)
     
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony Of A Thousand’
    Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers; Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, mastering engineers (Gustavo Dudamel, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Luke McEndarfer, Robert Istad, Grant Gershon, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus, Pacific Chorale & Los Angeles Philharmonic)

76. Producer Of The Year, Classical
A Producer’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.)

  • Blanton Alspaugh
    • Appear And Inspire (James Franklin & The East Carolina University Chamber Singers) (A)
    • Howells: Requiem (Brian Schmidt & Baylor University A Cappella Choir) (A)
    • Hymns Of Kassianí (Alexander Lingas & Cappella Romana) (A)
    • Kyr: In Praise Of Music (Joshua Copeland & Antioch Chamber Ensemble) (A)
    • More Honourable Than The Cherubim (Vladimir Gorbik & PaTRAM Institute Male Choir) (A)
    • O’Regan: The Phoenix (Patrick Summers, Thomas Hampson, Chad Shelton, Rihab Chaieb, Lauren Snouffer, Houston Grand Opera & Houston Grand Opera Orchestra) (A)
    • Sheehan: Liturgy Of Saint John Chrysostom (Benedict Sheehan & The Saint Tikhon Choir) (A)
       
  • Steven Epstein
    • Bach And Brahms Re-Imagined (Jens Lindemann, James Ehnes & Jon Kimura Parker) (A)
    • Bartók: Quartet No. 3; Beethoven: Op. 59, No. 2; Dvořák: American Quartet (Juilliard String Quartet) (A)
    • Beethoven: Cello Sonatas – Hope Amid Tears (Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax) (A)
    • Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 9 & 17, Arr. For Piano, String Quartet And Double Bass (Alon Goldstein, Alexander Bickard & Fine Arts Quartet) (A)
    • Songs Of Comfort And Hope (Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott) (A)
       
  • David Frost
    • Chamber Works By Dmitri Klebanov (ARC Ensemble) (A)
    • Glass: Akhnaten (Karen Kamensek, J’Nai Bridges, Dísella Lárusdóttir, Zachary James, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra) (A)
    • Mon Ami, Mon Amour (Matt Haimovitz & Mari Kodama) (A)
    • One Movement Symphonies – Barber, Sibelius, Scriabin (Michael Stern & Kansas City Symphony) (A)
    • Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmélites (Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, Adrianne Pieczonka, Karita Mattila, Karen Cargill, Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra) (A)
    • Primavera I – The Wind (Matt Haimovitz) (A)
    • Roots (Randall Goosby & Zhu Wang) (A)
       
  • Elaine Martone
    • Archetypes (Sérgio Assad, Clarice Assad & Third Coast Percussion) (A)
    • Beneath The Sky (Zoe Allen & Levi Hernandez) (A)
    • Davis: Family Secrets – Kith & Kin (Timothy Myers, Andrea Edith Moore & Jane Holding) (A)
    • Quest (Elisabeth Remy Johnson) (A)
    • Schubert: Symphony In C Major, ‘The Great’; Krenek: Static & Ecstatic (Franz Welser-Möst & The Cleveland Orchestra) (A)
       
  • Judith Sherman
    • Alone Together (Jennifer Koh) (A)
    • Bach & Beyond Part 3 (Jennifer Koh) (A)
    • Bruits (Imani Winds) (A)
    • Eryilmaz: Dances Of The Yogurt Maker (Erberk Eryilmaz & Carpe Diem String Quartet) (A)
    • Fantasy – Oppens Plays Kaminsky (Ursula Oppens) (A)
    • Home (Blythe Gaissert) (A)
    • Mendelssohn, Visconti & Golijov (Jasper String Quartet & Jupiter String Quartet) (A)
    • A Schubert Journey (Llŷr Williams) (A)
    • Vers Le Silence – William Bolcom & Frédéric Chopin (Ran Dank) (A)

CLASSICAL

77. Best Orchestral Performance
Award to the Conductor and to the Orchestra.

  • Adams: My Father Knew Charles Ives; Harmonielehre
    Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
     
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
    Manfred Honeck, conductor (Mendelssohn Choir Of Pittsburgh & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
     
  • Muhly: Throughline
    Nico Muhly, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
     
  • Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor (Philadelphia Orchestra)
     
  • Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra; Scriabin: The Poem Of Ecstasy
    Thomas Dausgaard, conductor (Seattle Symphony Orchestra)

78. Best Opera Recording
Award to the Conductor, Album Producer(s) and Principal Soloists.

  • Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle
    Susanna Mälkki, conductor; Mika Kares & Szilvia Vörös; Robert Suff, producer (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra)
     
  • Glass: Akhnaten
    Karen Kamensek, conductor; J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Zachary James & Dísella Lárusdóttir; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
     
  • Janáček: Cunning Little Vixen
    Simon Rattle, conductor; Sophia Burgos, Lucy Crowe, Gerald Finley, Peter Hoare, Anna Lapkovskaja, Paulina Malefane, Jan Martinik & Hanno Müller-Brachmann; Andrew Cornall, producer (London Symphony Orchestra; London Symphony Chorus & LSO Discovery Voices)
     
  • Little: Soldier Songs
    Corrado Rovaris, conductor; Johnathan McCullough; James Darrah & John Toia, producers (The Opera Philadelphia Orchestra)
     
  • Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmélites
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Karen Cargill, Isabel Leonard, Karita Mattila, Erin Morley & Adrianne Pieczonka; David Frost, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

79. Best Choral Performance

Award to the Conductor, and to the Choral Director and/or Chorus Master where applicable and to the Choral Organization/Ensemble.

  • It’s A Long Way
    Matthew Guard, conductor (Jonas Budris, Carrie Cheron, Fiona Gillespie, Nathan Hodgson, Helen Karloski, Enrico Lagasca, Megan Roth, Alissa Ruth Suver & Dana Whiteside; Skylark Vocal Ensemble)
     
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony Of A Thousand’
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor; Grant Gershon, Robert Istad, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz & Luke McEndarfer, chorus masters (Leah Crocetto, Mihoko Fujimura, Ryan McKinny, Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Morris Robinson & Tamara Wilson; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus & Pacific Chorale)
     
  • Rising w/The Crossing
    Donald Nally, conductor (International Contemporary Ensemble & Quicksilver; The Crossing)
     
  • Schnittke: Choir Concerto; Three Sacred Hymns; Pärt: Seven Magnificat-Antiphons
    Kaspars Putniņš, conductor; Heli Jürgenson, chorus master (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir)
     
  • Sheehan: Liturgy Of Saint John Chrysostom
    Benedict Sheehan, conductor (Michael Hawes, Timothy Parsons & Jason Thoms; The Saint Tikhon Choir)
     
  • The Singing Guitar
    Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (Estelí Gomez; Austin Guitar Quartet, Douglas Harvey, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet & Texas Guitar Quartet; Conspirare)

80. Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

For new recordings of works with chamber or small ensemble (twenty-four or fewer members, not including the conductor). One Award to the ensemble and one Award to the conductor, if applicable.

  • Adams, John Luther: Lines Made By Walking
    JACK Quartet
     
  • Akiho: Seven Pillars
    Sandbox Percussion
     
  • Archetypes
    Sérgio Assad, Clarice Assad & Third Coast Percussion
     
  • Beethoven: Cello Sonatas – Hope Amid Tears
    Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax
     
  • Bruits
    Imani Winds

81. Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Award to the Instrumental Soloist(s) and to the Conductor when applicable.

  • Alone Together
    Jennifer Koh
     
  • An American Mosaic
    Simone Dinnerstein
     
  • Bach: Sonatas & Partitas
    Augustin Hadelich
     
  • Beethoven & Brahms: Violin Concertos
    Gil Shaham; Eric Jacobsen, conductor (The Knights)
     
  • Mak Bach
    Mak Grgić
     
  • Of Power
    Curtis Stewart

82. Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
Award to: Vocalist(s), Collaborative Artist(s) (Ex: pianists, conductors, chamber groups) Producer(s), Recording Engineers/Mixers with 51% or more playing time of new material.

  • Confessions
    Laura Strickling; Joy Schreier, pianist
     
  • Dreams Of A New Day – Songs By Black Composers
    Will Liverman; Paul Sánchez, pianist
     
  • Mythologies
    Sangeeta Kaur & Hila Plitmann (Virginie D’Avezac De Castera, Lili Haydn, Wouter Kellerman, Nadeem Majdalany, Eru Matsumoto & Emilio D. Miler)
     
  • Schubert: Winterreise
    Joyce DiDonato; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, pianist
     
  • Unexpected Shadows
    Jamie Barton; Jake Heggie, pianist (Matt Haimovitz)

83. Best Classical Compendium
Award to the Artist(s) and to the Album Producer(s) and Engineer(s) of over 51% playing time of the album, if other than the artist.

  • American Originals – A New World, A New Canon
    AGAVE & Reginald L. Mobley; Geoffrey Silver, producer
     
  • Berg: Violin Concerto; Seven Early Songs & Three Pieces For Orchestra
    Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer
     
  • Cerrone: The Arching Path
    Timo Andres & Ian Rosenbaum; Mike Tierney, producer
     
  • Plays
    Chick Corea; Chick Corea & Birnie Kirsh, producers
     
  • Women Warriors – The Voices Of Change
    Amy Andersson, conductor; Amy Andersson, Mark Mattson & Lolita Ritmanis, producers

84. Best Contemporary Classical Composition

A Composer’s Award. (For a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.) Award to the librettist, if applicable.

  • Akiho: Seven Pillars
    Andy Akiho, composer (Sandbox Percussion)
     
  • Andriessen: The Only One
    Louis Andriessen, composer (Esa-Pekka Salonen, Nora Fischer & Los Angeles Philharmonic)
     
  • Assad, Clarice & Sérgio, Connors, Dillon, Martin & Skidmore: Archetypes
    Clarice Assad, Sérgio Assad, Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin & David Skidmore, composers (Sérgio Assad, Clarice Assad & Third Coast Percussion)
     
  • Batiste: Movement 11′
    Jon Batiste, composer (Jon Batiste)
     
  • Shaw: Narrow Sea
    Caroline Shaw, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Gilbert Kalish & Sō Percussion)

MUSIC VIDEO/FILM

85. Best Music Video
Award to the artist, video director, and video producer.

  • Shot In The Dark
    AC/DC
    David Mallet, video director; Dione Orrom, video producer
     
  • Freedom
    Jon Batiste
    Alan Ferguson, video director; Alex P. Willson, video producer
     
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You
    Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
    Jennifer Lebeau, video director; Danny Bennett, Bobby Campbell & Jennifer Lebeau, video producers
     
  • Peaches
    Justin Bieber Featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon
    Collin Tilley, video director
     
  • Happier Than Ever
    Billie Eilish
    Billie Eilish, video director; Michelle An, Chelsea Dodson & David Moore, video producers
     
  • Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
    Lil Nas X
    Lil Nas X & Tanu Muino, video directors; Frank Borin, Ivanna Borin, Marco De Molina & Saul Levitz, video producers
     
  • Good 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
    Petra Collins, video director; Christiana Divona, Marissa Ramirez & Tiffany Suh, video producers

86. Best Music Film
For concert/performance films or music documentaries. Award to the artist, video director, and video producer.

  • Inside
    Bo Burnham
    Bo Burnham, video director; Josh Senior, video producer
     
  • David Byrne’s American Utopia
    David Byrne
    Spike Lee, video director; David Byrne & Spike Lee, video producers
     
  • Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles
    Billie Eilish
    Patrick Osborne & Robert Rodriguez, video directors
     
  • Music, Money, Madness…Jimi Hendrix In Maui
    Jimi Hendrix
    John McDermott, video director; Janie Hendrix, John McDermott & George Scott, video producers
     
  • Summer Of Soul
    (Various Artists)
    Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, video director; David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent & Joseph Patel, video producers

2021 American Music Awards: BTS, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion are the top winners

November 21, 2021

BTS at the 2021 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on November 21, 2021. (Photo courtesy of ABC)

With three prizes each, BTS, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion were the top winners at the 2021 American Music Awards, which were presented November 21 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Cardi B was the host of the ceremony. ABC had the U.S. telecast of the show. The American Music Awards are voted for online by fans.

BTS won the American Music Awards for Artist of the Year; Favorite Pop Song (for “Butter”); and Favorite Pop Duo or Group. Doja Cat received the prizes for Collaboration of the Year (for her “Kiss Me More” duet with SZA); Favorite R&B Album (for “Planet Her”); and Favorite Female R&B Artist. Megan Thee Stallion won the awards for Favorite Trending Song (“for Body”); Favorite Hip-Hop Album (for “Good News”); and Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist.

Several artists won two awards each, such as Olivio Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Cardi B, Carrie Underwood and Gabby Barrett. (See the complete list of winners at the end of the article.) Rodrigo went into the ceremony with the most nomnations (seven), followed by The Weeknd with six nods. The Weeknd ended up winning the award for Favorite Male R&B Artist. New categories this year were Favorite Trending Song (with nominees from TikTok on the year’s most viral songs); Favorite Gospel Artist; and Favorite Latin Duo or Group.

According to a press release from ABC: “Nominees are based on key fan interactions—as reflected on the Billboard charts—including streaming, album sales, song sales and radio airplay. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data, and cover the time period September 25, 2020, through September 23, 2021.” The 2021 American Music Awards ceremony was produced by MRC Live & Alternative and Jesse Collins Entertainment.

The following is from an ABC press release:

Show performance highlights included:

  • Multiple Grammy Award winners Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak, who just dropped their debut album as Silk Sonic, kicked off the night with an energetic opening performance of their recently released hit “Smokin Out The Window.”
  • It was a night of AMA debut performances, with Olivia Rodrigo taking the stage for a powerful performance of “Traitor,” the fourth single from her record-smashing album, “Sour.”
  • Pop megastars BTS joined legendary British band Coldplay for the world television premiere performance of “My Universe.”
  • Tyler, The Creator performed “Massa” off his sixth studio album, “Call Me If You Get Lost.”
  • This year’s new “My Hometown” segments included spectacular performances by Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean and an epic “Battle of Boston” as iconic boy bands New Edition and New Kids On The Block shared the stage together for the very first time and had everyone on their feet.
  • Italian rock band and first-time AMA nominee Måneskin made their U.S. awards show debut when they performed their global No. 1 hit “Beggin.’”
  • Three-time AMA winner Jennifer Lopez delivered a magical performance of her newly released song “On My Way” from the soundtrack of her upcoming film “Marry Me.”
  • Country music star Mickey Guyton wowed audiences with her performance of her newest single “All American.”
  • Chlöe made her AMA performance debut from the Xfinity Stage with her debut single, “Have Mercy.”
  • Walker Hayes marked his AMAs debut with a fun performance of his viral song “Fancy Like.”
  • This year’s “AMA Song of the Soul” segment honored German singer/songwriter Zoe Wees for her powerhouse performance of “Girls Like Us.”
  • Five-time AMA winner Kane Brown performed his hit “One Mississippi” at Tennessee State University (TSU), a notable HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Brown also gave fans a look into his Tennessee and Georgia roots leading into his performance.
  • Diplo took on a special role and served as the first-ever AMAs musical curator, DJing his iconic tunes throughout the night.

Winner Highlights of the “2020 American Music Awards”:

  • Tonight, BTS made history at the AMAs as the first Asian group to win in the Artist of the Year category and won Favorite Pop Duo or Group and Favorite Pop Song for their record-breaking hit “Butter.” The group now has nine AMAs.
  • Now 34-time AMA winner Taylor Swift took home the awards for Favorite Female Pop Artist and Favorite Pop Album for her No. 1 album “Evermore.”
  • Following her breathtaking debut performance on the AMAs stage, Olivia Rodrigo won her first-ever AMA with New Artist of the Year.
  • Bad Bunny was named Favorite Male Latin Artist at this year’s AMAs and won Favorite Latin Album for “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO.”
  • Kali Uchis, now first-time AMA winner, won Favorite Latin Song with her hit single “telepatía.”

Presenters included Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Anthony Ramos, Billy Porter, Brandy,  JB Smoove, JoJo Siwa, Liza Koshy, Machine Gun Kelly, Marsai Martin, Madelyn Cline and Winnie Harlow.

The following is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2021 American Music Awards:

*=winner

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ariana Grande
BTS*
Drake
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
24kGoldn
Giveon
Masked Wolf
Olivia Rodrigo*
The Kid LAROI

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “DÁKITI”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Doja Cat ft. SZA “Kiss Me More”*
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon “Peaches”

FAVORITE TRENDING SONG
Erica Banks “Buss It”
Måneskin “Beggin’”
Megan Thee Stallion “Body”*
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
Popp Hunna “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)”

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak) “Leave The Door Open”
Cardi B “Up”
Lil Nas X “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”*
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
The Weeknd “Save Your Tears”

FAVORITE MALE POP ARTIST
Drake
Ed Sheeran*
Justin Bieber
Lil Nas X
The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE POP ARTIST
Ariana Grande
Doja Cat
Dua Lipa
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift*

FAVORITE POP DUO OR GROUP
AJR
BTS*
Glass Animals
Maroon 5
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)

FAVORITE POP ALBUM
Ariana Grande “Positions”
Dua Lipa “Future Nostalgia”
Olivia Rodrigo “SOUR”
Taylor Swift “evermore”*
The Kid LAROI “F*CK LOVE”

FAVORITE POP SONG
BTS “Butter”*

Doja Cat ft. SZA “Kiss Me More”
Dua Lipa “Levitating”
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande “Save Your Tears (Remix)”

FAVORITE MALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan*
Luke Combs
Morgan Wallen

FAVORITE FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Carrie Underwood*

Gabby Barrett
Kacey Musgraves
Maren Morris
Miranda Lambert

FAVORITE COUNTRY DUO OR GROUP
Dan + Shay*

Florida Georgia Line
Lady A
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

FAVORITE COUNTRY ALBUM
Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”
Gabby Barrett “Goldmine”*
Lee Brice “Hey World”
Luke Bryan “Born Here Live Here Die Here”
Morgan Wallen “Dangerous: The Double Album”

FAVORITE COUNTRY SONG
Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”
Chris Young & Kane Brown “Famous Friends”
Gabby Barrett “The Good Ones”*
Luke Combs “Forever After All”
Walker Hayes “Fancy Like”

FAVORITE MALE HIP-HOP ARTIST
Drake*

Lil Baby
Moneybagg Yo
Polo G
Pop Smoke

FAVORITE FEMALE HIP-HOP ARTIST
Cardi B
Coi Leray
Erica Banks
Megan Thee Stallion*
Saweetie

FAVORITE HIP-HOP ALBUM
Drake “Certified Lover Boy”
Juice WRLD “Legends Never Die”
Megan Thee Stallion “Good News”*
Pop Smoke “Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon”
Rod Wave “SoulFly”

FAVORITE HIP-HOP SONG
Cardi B “Up”*

Internet Money ft. Gunna, Don Toliver & NAV “Lemonade”
Lil Tjay ft. 6LACK “Calling My Phone”
Polo G “RAPSTAR”
Pop Smoke “What You Know Bout Love”

FAVORITE MALE R&B ARTIST
Chris Brown
Giveon
Tank
The Weeknd*
Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE R&B ARTIST
Doja Cat*

H.E.R.
Jazmine Sullivan
Jhené Aiko
SZA

FAVORITE R&B ALBUM
Doja Cat “Planet Her”*

Giveon “When It’s All Said And Done… Take Time”
H.E.R. “Back of My Mind”
Jazmine Sullivan “Heaux Tales”
Queen Naija “missunderstood”

FAVORITE R&B SONG
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak) “Leave The Door Open”*

Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Giveon “Heartbreak Anniversary”
H.E.R. “Damage”
Jazmine Sullivan “Pick Up Your Feelings”

FAVORITE MALE LATIN ARTIST
Bad Bunny*

J Balvin
Maluma
Ozuna
Rauw Alejandro

FAVORITE FEMALE LATIN ARTIST
Becky G*

Kali Uchis
KAROL G
Natti Natasha
ROSALÍA

FAVORITE LATIN DUO OR GROUP
Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga*

Calibre 50
Eslabon Armado
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De Rene Camacho
Los Dos Carnales

FAVORITE LATIN ALBUM
Bad Bunny “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO”*

Kali Uchis “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)”
KAROL G “KG0516”
Maluma “PAPI JUANCHO”
Rauw Alejandro “Afrodisíaco”

FAVORITE LATIN SONG
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “DÁKITI”
Bad Bunny x ROSALÍA “LA NOCHE DE ANOCHE”
Farruko “Pepas”
Kali Uchis “telepatía”*
Maluma & The Weeknd “Hawái (Remix)”

FAVORITE ROCK ARTIST
AJR
All Time Low
Foo Fighters
Glass Animals
Machine Gun Kelly*

FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST
CAIN
Carrie Underwood*
Elevation Worship
Lauren Daigle
Zach Williams

FAVORITE GOSPEL ARTIST
Kanye West*

Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Maverick City Music
Tasha Cobbs Leonard

FAVORITE DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST
David Guetta
ILLENIUM
Marshmello*
Regard
Tiësto

Review: ‘C’mon C’mon,’ starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman

November 19, 2021

by Carla Hay

Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman (center) in “C’mon C’mon” (Photo by Tobin Yelland/A24)

“C’mon C’mon”

Directed by Mike Mills

Culture Representation: Taking place in various U.S. cities (including Los Angeles, New York City and New Orleans), the dramatic film “C’mon C’mon” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans and Latinos) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A never-married, middle-aged bachelor, who works as a radio producer, finds out for the first time in his life what it feels like to be a parent when he takes care of his estranged sister’s 9-year-old son for an extended period of time.

Culture Audience: “C’mon C’mon” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching emotionally intimate, well-acted movies about family relationships.

Woody Norman and Gaby Hoffmann in “C’mon C’mon” (Photo by Tobin Yelland/A24)

What does “family” mean to you? The answer depends on who’s answering the question. The dramatic film “C’mon C’mon” (written and directed by Mike Mills) is an emotional portrait of three family members coming to terms with their individual identities and what the concept of “family” means to them. The movie also takes an equally impactful, broader look at children’s various perspectives of the world, because the male lead character (who’s a radio producer) travels across the U.S. to interview children about the world for his radio show.

As the three family members who go through various ups and downs in the story, Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman give noteworthy performances that will make more than a few viewers shed some tears, but not in a manipulative, melodramatic way. The acting in the movie looks natural and somewhat effortless. In some ways, “C’mon C’mon” is a road trip movie, but the real journey is how the three main characters discover new things about each other and themselves.

“C’mon C’mon,” whose cinematography is entirely in black and white, was filmed from November 2019 to January 2020, before the COVID-19 virus infection rate turned into a pandemic. However, the movie seemingly aims not to identify the story by any particular year in the early 21st century. “C’mon C’mon” made the rounds at a few film festivals (such as the Telluride Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival and New York Film Festival), because of the movie’s pedigree as an awards contender. The entire story of “C’mon C’mon” takes a low-key approach, so don’t expect extreme plot developments or surprising twists to happen.

In the movie, Phoenix is a radio producer named Johnny, who lives in New York City, but he travels a lot because of his job. Johnny is a never-married bachelor in his 40s, he has no children, and he’s currently not dating anyone. Later on in the film, it’s revealed that Johnny hasn’t had a special love in his life for quite some time. He’s essentially “married” to his work. He’s good at his job, but he doesn’t seem emotionally attached to anyone. That’s about to change.

Johnny is currently working on a series that interviews children from all over the United States. In the interviews, Johnny asks them things such as “What do you think about the future?” or “What scares you?” or “What makes you angry?” Sometimes, the children are interviewed with their parents in the room, while other times no adults are in the room except Johnny and a co-worker. Throughout the movie, various children are shown being interviewed by Johnny. Most times, they appear on screen, but other times, Johnny is seen playing back snippets of these audio interviews.

“C’mon C’mon” opens in Detroit, where Johnny is doing some of these interviews. A 13-year-old girl who’s being interviewed says that adults have to pay more attention to what’s around them. Throughout the movie, many of the children’s comments express a hopeful but concerned outlook on life. Many of the kids worry about some of the problems that they have to deal with (a decaying environment, racism, economic insecurities) that they think will become heavier burdens when they are adults.

One day, when he’s in a hotel room, Johnny gets a call from his estranged younger sister Viv (played by Hoffmann), who is is only sibling. Viv, who is a single mother living in Los Angeles, has called to tell Johnny that she needs him to come to Los Angeles to temporarily take care of her 9-year-old son Jesse (played by Norman), who barely knows Johnny. Viv explains that Jesse’s father Paul (played by Scoot McNairy), who moved to Oakland (which is about 370 miles north of Los Angeles), is going through some personal issues, and Viv wants to be there for Paul. Viv and Paul (who were never married) are no longer a couple, and she has sole custody of Jesse.

The conversation is polite but strained. There’s obvious tension between Johnny and Viv, which they don’t want to get into over the phone. However, it’s revealed in this phone call that Johnny and Viv have some lingering resentment toward each other over their mother, who died about a year ago after an extended period of being in ill health. Eventually, viewers find out that Johnny and Viv disagreed over how their mother should be cared for in her final months of life and whether or not taking her off of life support should be an option.

Johnny agrees to put some of his work on hold to go to Los Angeles and look after Jesse. When he arrives at Viv’s home, Jesse is shy with Johnny, an uncle he hasn’t seen for years. However, Jesse is aware that Viv and Johnny have barely spoken to each other and have had an estranged relationship for quite some time. And this family discord isn’t just because of Johnny and Viv’s mother.

The tension between Viv and Johnny is also because Johnny disapproves of Paul. Not everything about Viv and Paul’s history with each other is revealed, but enough comes out in conversations for viewers to find out why Johnny considers Paul to be a disruptive force in their family. It’s implied that Johnny never really thought that Paul was good enough for Viv, especially because of the emotional pain she went through by being in a relationship with Paul.

Paul is bipolar, which is not specifically said out loud in the movie, but it’s implied based on his symptoms and other clues in the movie. For example, Jesse has a children’s book called “The Bipolar Bear Family: When a Parent Has Bipolar Disorder,” written by Angela Ann Holloway. Paul has been in a psychiatric facility before to get treatment for his mental illness.

Paul apparently doesn’t have any close relatives who can look after him, because Viv seems to be the only person in his life who’s taken on the responsibility of getting him the treatment that he needs. And because Paul and Viv were never married and are no longer a couple, it explains the murky situation that comes about when Viv has to make certain decisions about Paul’s medical care. Paul is shown briefly in the movie in present-day scenes and in flashbacks.

Paul is a symphony musician, who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area because he wanted to work for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. As Viv explains to Johnny, “the transition fucked him up,” and Paul is having some kind of breakdown. Viv needs to go to the San Francisco Bay Area to see about convincing Paul to check himself into another mental health facility again. She would rather that he get treatment voluntarily, because she doesn’t want to be the one to force him into an involuntary admission to a psychiatric institution.

Meanwhile, Jesse is aware that his father has bioplar disorder, but no one in the family has ever told him any specific details about why Paul’s illness is severe enough that he has to get in-patient treatment for it. (The word “suicidal” is never mentioned to Jesse, but it’s implied that Paul has been a danger to himself.) All Jesse knows is that his father sometimes has to go into a hospital when he has another episode that needs treatment. The stigma of mental illness is realistically portrayed in “C’mon C’mon,” as something that family members feel secret guilt or shame about, because they often try to hide or deny the illness.

During the course of the movie, Viv has to stay in the San Francisco Bay Area longer than she expected. And so, Johnny ends up taking care of Jesse for longer than Johnny expected. The majority of “C’mon C’mon” is about how Johnny and Jesse’s uncle/nephew relationship evolves to the point where Johnny becomes the closet thing that Jesse has to a father figure. At one point, Johnny contemplates whether or not he should move to Los Angeles.

Johnny’s caretaking of Jesse doesn’t happen in one, long continuous stretch. There’s a point in the movie where Viv returns to Los Angeles and then has to go back to the Bay Area again, but Johnny can’t be in Los Angeles because of work commitments. Jesse begs Viv to let him stay with Johnny in New York City and then travel with Johnny on the job. Johnny and Jesse’s travels are not spoiler details, because they’re shown in the movie’s trailers.

Jesse is a precocious and curious child who loves to read. Viv encourages Jesse to be a free thinker and allows him to question things. It’s why Jesse asks Johnny some questions that make Jesse uncomfortable, such as why Johnny isn’t married. Johnny says that he was with someone named Louisa, but she broke up with him. Johnny says he still loves Louisa, who is not seen in the movie.

One question that’s harder for Johnny to answer is why he and Viv stopped talking to each other for a long time. Johnny tactfully explains to Jesse that it’s because he and Viv couldn’t agree on the caregiving for their dying mother. The mother’s cause of death is never mentioned in the movie, but there are flashback scenes of Viv and Johnny visiting their mother on her deathbed.

There were resentments and jealousies between the two siblings before their mother got sick. Viv always felt that she never got the full approval of her mother and that Johnny was the favored child. Johnny felt like Viv’s tension with their mother was the reason why Viv seemed to not be as compassionate with their dying mother as Johnny thinks Viv should have been.

Johnny doesn’t want to badmouth Viv to Jesse, so he doesn’t tell Jesse these things. However, Johnny and Viv do confront their bitter feelings for each other with arguments over the phone. Paul’s current mental breakdown has also triggered bad memories of when Johnny told Viv to break up with Paul in the past, when Viv wasn’t ready to end the relationship. Viv thinks that Johnny meddled too much in her relationship with Paul.

Soon after Johnny begins taking care of Jesse, Jesse tells Johnny that Viv correctly predicted that Johnny would be a little awkward with Jesse, but that Johnny will eventually get used to Jesse. During the time that Johnny spends with Jesse, he finds out that taking care of a child is a lot harder than he thought it would be. Viv has certain bedtime rituals for Jesse that Jesse wants Johnny to do too. Jesse also shows signs of hyperactivity, so Johnny calls Viv for advice on how to get Jesse to go to sleep.

Another thing that Johnny has to learn is how to be a responsible caregiver when it comes to children’s meals. Like a typical bachelor who lives alone and travels frequently, Johnny has a refrigerator that is not stocked with much that’s appropriate for a child. When Johnny takes Jesse with him to go grocery shopping, Johnny gets a scare when Jesse wanders off and Johnny frantically tries to find him.

The movie shows in a lot of tender and quiet moments how this uncle and nephew eventually learn to trust each other, like each other, and eventually become friends with each other. Johnny and Jesse find out that that they have a lot more in common than they originally thought. They both love Viv but they both dislike how she lets Paul’s problems consume her. Johnny and Jesse are also more comfortable talking about things outside of themselves rather than their innermost feelings. When Johnny tries to interview Jesse for his radio show, Jesse is very reluctant and says no.

However, Jesse notices that Johnny likes to make audio diaries, so Jesse starts making his own audio diaries too. Johnny also shows Jesse how to operate Johnny’s professional audio equipment. There’s an adorable scene that takes place on California’s Venice Beach where Johnny and Jesse discover that Jesse not only likes operating this equipment, he could end up having a passion for radio. When Jesse arrives in New York City, Johnny introduces Jesse to two other radio producers who work closely with Johnny: Roxanne (played by Molly Webster) and Fern (played by Jaboukie Young-White), who are both very friendly to Jesse.

One of the most effective aspects of “C’mon C’mon” is how unpretentious it is in showing that learning and protection between adults and children can go both ways. Too often, dramas with a story of an adult taking care of a child for the first time will put an emphasis on what the adult is going to teach the child. However, “C’mon C’mon” shows that Johnny learns a lot from the children he’s in contact with, whether it’s someone he met briefly during an interview, or a nephew who turns out to be a special and unexpected friend. The movie has a pivotal scene in New Orleans that’s an example of how powerful a child’s emotional protection and wisdom can be.

The black-and-white cinematography gives “C’mon C’mon” a timeless vibe to it that looks best in the New York City scenes. In other scenes, such as in the vibrancy of a New Orleans street parade or in the sunny glow of Venice Beach, some viewers might wish that the movie had been in color. The movie’s lack of color doesn’t take away from the exemplary performances and screenplay for “C’mon C’mon,” which have such authenticity, it will resonate with viewers.

In “C’mon C’mon,” Phoenix gives an understated and nuanced performance as a “regular guy” (the type of character that he usually doesn’t play), who finds out from a child that he’s not as emotionally mature as he thought he was. In the role of perceptive Jesse, Norman gives a breakout performance that will stand as one of the best from a child actor in a 2021 movie. Hoffmann brings heartache and grit to her performance as Viv, who feels conflicted and guilty over the messiness in her life, while doing her best to make what she thinks are the right decisions.

“C’mon C’mon” could have been a very sappy movie that goes off in very phony directions. Fortunately, it is not, although some viewers might be a little bored if they’re expecting more exciting action in this movie. As for the movie’s most emotional scenes, there are some genuinely sentimental, tearjerking moments, but this is not a tragic story. There are no over-the-top villains or crazy adventures.

It’s a story grounded in reality about people trying to get through life in the best way that they can. What inspired the title of this movie? It’s from one of Jesse’s audio diary entries, where he says that when unpredictable things happen in life, you just have to “c’mon c’mon.” This human resilience is celebrated eloquently in “C’mon C’mon.”

A24 released “C’mon C’mon” in select U.S. cinemas on November 19, 2021.

2021 American Music Awards: Olivia Rodrigo is the top nominee

October 28, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC)

The following is a press release from MRC Live & Alternative and ABC:

MRC Live & Alternative and ABC today announced nominees for the “2021 American Music Awards” (AMAs), the world’s largest fan-voted awards show.

The nominations announcement kicked off with reveals on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Spotify’s morning show “The Get Up,” with the remaining nominees announced via the AMAs Twitter account. Voting is now open and this year, for the first time ever, fans can vote for all AMA categories on TikTok by searching for “AMAs” in-app. Music’s hottest night of the year will feature marquee performances and signature breathtaking moments live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. EST/PST on ABC and stream next day on Hulu.

“2021 American Music Awards” Nominee Highlights:

  • Pop powerhouse Olivia Rodrigo makes her AMAs debut scoring seven nominations, including Artist of the Year and New Artist of The Year, reaching the top-nominee spot.
  • Five-time AMA winner The Weeknd earned six nominations. The superstar will go up against Rodrigo in the Artist of the Year category, as well as Favorite Music Video and Favorite Pop Song.
  • Close behind with five nominations each are Bad Bunny, Doja Cat and Giveon. The Reggaeton superstar dominates in the Latin categories, scoring a double nod for Favorite Latin Album, while Doja Cat, 2020’s New Artist of the Year, is recognized in the Favorite Female R&B Artist and Favorite R&B Album categories, among others. First-time nominee Giveon received multiple nominations in his AMA debut, including New Artist of the Year, Favorite Male R&B Artist, and Collaboration of the Year for his hit song with Justin Bieber, “Peaches.” 
  • Multiple global superstars will battle it out for the night’s top honor, Artist of the Year. Nominees in this category include Ariana Grande,  BTS,  Drake,  Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor  Swift and The Weeknd. Swift is the current record-holder for most wins in this category with six wins, and holds the record for most AMA wins of all time, 32.
  • New categories this year are Favorite Trending Song, with nominees from TikTok on the year’s most viral songs, Favorite Gospel Artist, and Favorite Latin Duo or Group, which rounds out last year’s expansion of the Latin categories bringing the total to five in the genre.

About the “2021 American Music Awards”:

  • As it approaches its semicentennial anniversary next year, the AMAs represents the top achievements in music, as determined by the fans. A vibrant night of non-stop music, the AMAs features a powerful lineup featuring first-time collaborations and exclusive world premiere performances from music’s biggest names – from Pop to Rap to R&B to Country to Latin to K-Pop – and more, as well as memorable moments that live on in pop culture.     
  • As the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, the AMAs will air globally across a footprint of linear and digital platforms in over 120 countries and territories.
  • Voting for all awards is now open globally via TikTok. Fans can vote once per category per day by searching “AMAs” on TikTok. You can also access the voting hub by clicking here.
  • Nominees are based on key fan interactions – as reflected on the Billboard charts – including streaming, album sales, song sales and radio airplay. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data, and cover the time period September 25, 2020, through September 23, 2021. The American Music Awards winners are voted entirely by fans.
  • The “2021 American Music Awards” is produced by MRC Live & Alternative and Jesse Collins Entertainment. For the latest American Music Awards news, exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the AMAs on social (FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTokSnapchat and YouTube), online at theamas.com and ABC.com, and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #AMAs.
  • The “2021 American Music Awards” is sponsored by Xfinity.
  • Tickets are now on sale now at www.axs.com

About MRC Live & Alternative
MRC Live & Alternative is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” MRC Live & Alternative owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For more information please visit: www.mrcentertainment.com.

About ABC Entertainment
ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in primetime television; riveting dramas “The Good Doctor,” “A Million Little Things,” “Station 19,” “Big Sky” and new hip-hop series “Queens”; trailblazing comedy favorites “black-ish,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” “Home Economics” and the new, reimagined “The Wonder Years”; the popular Summer Fun & Games programming block, including “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley,” “Match Game,” “Press Your Luck” and “To Tell the Truth”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; “The Bachelor” franchise; long- running hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as two critically acclaimed, Emmy® Award-winning “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” specials. The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.”

ABC programming can also be viewed on demand and on Hulu.

 THE “2021 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS” NOMINEES:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ariana Grande
BTS
Drake
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
24kGoldn
Giveon
Masked Wolf
Olivia Rodrigo
The Kid LAROI

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
24kGoldn ft. iann dior “Mood”
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “DÁKITI”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Doja Cat ft. SZA “Kiss Me More”
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon “Peaches”

FAVORITE TRENDING SONG
Erica Banks “Buss It”
Måneskin “Beggin’”
Megan Thee Stallion “Body”
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
Popp Hunna “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)”

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak) “Leave The Door Open”
Cardi B “Up”
Lil Nas X “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
The Weeknd “Save Your Tears”

FAVORITE MALE POP ARTIST
Drake
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Lil Nas X
The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE POP ARTIST
Ariana Grande
Doja Cat
Dua Lipa
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift

FAVORITE POP DUO OR GROUP
AJR
BTS
Glass Animals
Maroon 5
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)

FAVORITE POP ALBUM
Ariana Grande “Positions”
Dua Lipa “Future Nostalgia”
Olivia Rodrigo “SOUR”
Taylor Swift “evermore”
The Kid LAROI “F*CK LOVE”

FAVORITE POP SONG
BTS “Butter”
Doja Cat ft. SZA “Kiss Me More”
Dua Lipa “Levitating”
Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande “Save Your Tears (Remix)”

FAVORITE MALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Luke Combs
*Morgan Wallen

FAVORITE FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Carrie Underwood
Gabby Barrett
Kacey Musgraves
Maren Morris
Miranda Lambert

FAVORITE COUNTRY DUO OR GROUP
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Lady A
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

FAVORITE COUNTRY ALBUM
Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”
Gabby Barrett “Goldmine”
Lee Brice “Hey World”
Luke Bryan “Born Here Live Here Die Here”
*Morgan Wallen “Dangerous: The Double Album”

FAVORITE COUNTRY SONG
Chris Stapleton “Starting Over”
Chris Young & Kane Brown “Famous Friends”
Gabby Barrett “The Good Ones”
Luke Combs “Forever After All”
Walker Hayes “Fancy Like”

FAVORITE MALE HIP-HOP ARTIST
Drake
Lil Baby
Moneybagg Yo
Polo G
Pop Smoke

FAVORITE FEMALE HIP-HOP ARTIST
Cardi B
Coi Leray
Erica Banks
Megan Thee Stallion
Saweetie

FAVORITE HIP-HOP ALBUM
Drake “Certified Lover Boy”
Juice WRLD “Legends Never Die”
Megan Thee Stallion “Good News”
Pop Smoke “Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon”
Rod Wave “SoulFly”

FAVORITE HIP-HOP SONG
Cardi B “Up”
Internet Money ft. Gunna, Don Toliver & NAV “Lemonade”
Lil Tjay ft. 6LACK “Calling My Phone”
Polo G “RAPSTAR”
Pop Smoke “What You Know Bout Love”

FAVORITE MALE R&B ARTIST
Chris Brown
Giveon
Tank
The Weeknd
Usher

FAVORITE FEMALE R&B ARTIST
Doja Cat
H.E.R.
Jazmine Sullivan
Jhené Aiko
SZA

FAVORITE R&B ALBUM
Doja Cat “Planet Her”
Giveon “When It’s All Said And Done… Take Time”
H.E.R. “Back of My Mind”
Jazmine Sullivan “Heaux Tales”
Queen Naija “missunderstood”

FAVORITE R&B SONG
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak) “Leave The Door Open”
Chris Brown & Young Thug “Go Crazy”
Giveon “Heartbreak Anniversary”
H.E.R. “Damage”
Jazmine Sullivan “Pick Up Your Feelings”

FAVORITE MALE LATIN ARTIST
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Maluma
Ozuna
Rauw Alejandro

FAVORITE FEMALE LATIN ARTIST
Becky G
Kali Uchis
KAROL G
Natti Natasha
ROSALÍA

FAVORITE LATIN DUO OR GROUP
Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
Calibre 50
Eslabon Armado
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De Rene Camacho
Los Dos Carnales

FAVORITE LATIN ALBUM
Bad Bunny “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO”
Kali Uchis “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)”
KAROL G “KG0516”
Maluma “PAPI JUANCHO”
Rauw Alejandro “Afrodisíaco”

FAVORITE LATIN SONG
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “DÁKITI”
Bad Bunny x ROSALÍA “LA NOCHE DE ANOCHE”
Farruko “Pepas”
Kali Uchis “telepatía”
Maluma & The Weeknd “Hawái (Remix)”

FAVORITE ROCK ARTIST
AJR
All Time Low
Foo Fighters
Glass Animals
Machine Gun Kelly

FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST
CAIN
Carrie Underwood
Elevation Worship
Lauren Daigle
Zach Williams

FAVORITE GOSPEL ARTIST
Kanye West
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Maverick City Music
Tasha Cobbs Leonard

FAVORITE DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST
David Guetta
ILLENIUM
Marshmello
Regard
Tiësto

NOMINEES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (BY FIRST NAME):
24kGoldn (2) New Artist of The Year; Collaboration Of The Year
6lack (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
AJR (2) Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Rock Artist
All Time Low (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Anderson .Paak (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite R&B Song
Ariana Grande (4) Artist of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
Bad Bunny (5) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song (X2)
Banda MS De Sergio Lizárraga (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Becky G (1) Favorite Female Latin Artist
Bruno Mars (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite R&B Song
BTS (3) Artist of The Year; Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Pop Song
CAIN (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Calibre 50 (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Cardi B (3) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Carrie Underwood (2) Favorite Female Country Artist; Favorite Inspirational Artist
Chris Brown (3) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Song
Chris Stapleton (3) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album; Favorite Country Song
Chris Young (1) Favorite Country Song
Coi Leray (1) Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Dan + Shay (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Daniel Caesar (1) Collaboration of The Year
David Guetta (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Doja Cat (5) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album
Don Toliver (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Drake (4) Artist of The Year; Favorite Male Pop Artist; Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Dua Lipa (3) Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
Ed Sheeran (1) Favorite Male Pop Artist
Elevation Worship (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Erica Banks (2) Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Eslabon Armado (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Farruko (1) Favorite Latin Song
Florida Georgia Line (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Foo Fighters (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Gabby Barrett (3) Favorite Female Country Artist; Favorite Country Album; Favorite Country Song
Giveon (5) New Artist of The Year; Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
Glass Animals (2) Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Rock Artist
Gunna (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
H.E.R. (3) Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
iann Dior (1) Collaboration of The Year
ILLENIUM (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Internet Money (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
J Balvin (1) Favorite Male Latin Artist
Jason Aldean (1) Favorite Male Country Artist
Jazmine Sullivan (3) Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
Jhay Cortez (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Latin Song
Jhené Aiko (1) Favorite Female R&B Artist
Juice WRLD (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Justin Bieber (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male Pop Artist
Kacey Musgraves (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Kali Uchis (3) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song
Kane Brown (1) Favorite Country Song
Kanye West (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
KAROL G (1) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album
Kirk Franklin (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Koryn Hawthorne (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De Rene Camacho (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Lady A (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Lauren Daigle (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Lee Brice (1) Favorite Country Album
Lil Baby (1) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist
Lil Nas X (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Male Pop Artist
Lil Tjay (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Los Dos Carnales (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Luke Bryan (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album
Luke Combs (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Song
Machine Gun Kelly (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Maluma (3) Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song
Måneskin (1) Favorite Trending Song
Maren Morris (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Maroon 5 (1) Favorite Pop Duo or Group
Marshmello (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Masked Wolf (1) New Artist of The Year
Maverick City Music (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Megan Thee Stallion (3) Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Miranda Lambert (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Moneybagg Yo (1) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist
*Morgan Wallen (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album
Natti Natasha (1) Favorite Female Latin Artist
NAV (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Old Dominion (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Olivia Rodrigo (7) Artist of The Year; New Artist Of The Year; Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Music Video; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
Ozuna (1) Favorite Male Latin Artist
Polo G (2) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Popp Hunna (1) Favorite Trending Song
Pop Smoke (3) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Queen Naija (1) Favorite R&B Album
Rauw Alejandro (2) Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album
Regard (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Rod Wave (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Album
ROSALÍA (2) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Song
Saweetie (1) Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Silk Sonic (3) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite R&B Song
SZA (3) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Female R&B Artist
Tank (1) Favorite Male R&B Artist
Tasha Cobbs Leonard (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Taylor Swift (3) Artist of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album
The Kid LAROI (2) New Artist of The Year; Favorite Pop Album
The Weeknd (6) Artist of The Year; Favorite Music Video; Favorite Male Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite Latin Song
Tiësto (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Usher (1) Favorite Male R&B Artist
Walker Hayes (1) Favorite Country Song
Young Thug (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite R&B Song
Zac Brown Band (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Zach Williams (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist

NOMINEES BY NUMERICAL ORDER:
Olivia Rodrigo (7) Artist of The Year; New Artist of The Year; Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Music Video; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
The Weeknd (6) Artist of The Year; Favorite Music Video; Favorite Male Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite Latin Song
Bad Bunny (5) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song (X2)
Doja Cat (5) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album
Giveon (5) New Artist of The Year; Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
Ariana Grande (4) Artist of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
Drake (4) Artist of The Year; Favorite Male Pop Artist; Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album
BTS (3) Artist of The Year; Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Pop Song
Cardi B (3) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Chris Brown (3) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Song
Chris Stapleton (3) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album; Favorite Country Song
Dua Lipa (3) Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album; Favorite Pop Song
Gabby Barrett (3) Favorite Female Country Artist; Favorite Country Album; Favorite Country Song
H.E.R. (3) Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
Jazmine Sullivan (3) Favorite Female R&B Artist; Favorite R&B Album; Favorite R&B Song
Kali Uchis (3) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song
Maluma (3) Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album; Favorite Latin Song
Megan Thee Stallion (3) Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Pop Smoke (3) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Album; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Silk Sonic (3) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite R&B Song
SZA (3) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Pop Song; Favorite Female R&B Artist
Taylor Swift (3) Artist of The Year; Favorite Female Pop Artist; Favorite Pop Album
24kGoldn (2) New Artist of The Year; Collaboration of The Year
AJR (2) Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Rock Artist
Anderson .Paak (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite R&B Song
Bruno Mars (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite R&B Song
Carrie Underwood (2) Favorite Female Country Artist; Favorite Inspirational Artist
Erica Banks (2) Favorite Trending Song, Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Glass Animals (2) Favorite Pop Duo or Group; Favorite Rock Artist
Jhay Cortez (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Latin Song
Justin Bieber (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite Male Pop Artist
KAROL G (2) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album
Lil Nas X (2) Favorite Music Video; Favorite Male Pop Artist
Luke Bryan (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album
Luke Combs (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Song
*Morgan Wallen (2) Favorite Male Country Artist; Favorite Country Album
Polo G (2) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist; Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Rauw Alejandro (2) Favorite Male Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Album
ROSALÍA (2) Favorite Female Latin Artist; Favorite Latin Song
The Kid LAROI (2) New Artist of The Year; Favorite Pop Album
Young Thug (2) Collaboration of The Year; Favorite R&B Song
6lack (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
All Time Low (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Banda MS De Sergio Lizárraga (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Becky G (1) Favorite Female Latin Artist
CAIN (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Calibre 50 (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Chris Young (1) Favorite Country Song
Coi Leray (1) Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Dan + Shay (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Daniel Caesar (1) Collaboration of The Year
David Guetta (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Don Toliver (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Ed Sheeran (1) Favorite Male Pop Artist
Elevation Worship (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Eslabon Armado (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Farruko (1) Favorite Latin Song
Florida Georgia Line (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Foo Fighters (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Gunna (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
iann Dior (1) Collaboration of The Year
ILLENIUM (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Internet Money (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
J Balvin (1) Favorite Male Latin Artist
Jason Aldean (1) Favorite Male Country Artist
Jhené Aiko (1) Favorite Female R&B Artist
Juice WRLD (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Kacey Musgraves (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Kane Brown (1) Favorite Country Song
Kanye West (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Kirk Franklin (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Koryn Hawthorne (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De Rene Camacho (1) Favorite Latin Duo Or Group
Lady A (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Lauren Daigle (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist
Lee Brice (1) Favorite Country Album
Lil Baby (1) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist
Lil Tjay (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Los Dos Carnales (1) Favorite Latin Duo or Group
Machine Gun Kelly (1) Favorite Rock Artist
Måneskin (1) Favorite Trending Song
Maren Morris (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Maroon 5 (1) Favorite Pop Duo or Group
Marshmello (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Masked Wolf (1) New Artist of The Year
Maverick City Music (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Miranda Lambert (1) Favorite Female Country Artist
Moneybagg Yo (1) Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist
Natti Natasha (1) Favorite Female Latin Artist
NAV (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Song
Old Dominion (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Ozuna (1) Favorite Male Latin Artist
Popp Hunna (1) Favorite Trending Song
Queen Naija (1) Favorite R&B Album
Regard (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Rod Wave (1) Favorite Hip-Hop Album
Saweetie (1) Favorite Female Hip-Hop Artist
Tank (1) Favorite Male R&B Artist
Tasha Cobbs Leonard (1) Favorite Gospel Artist
Tiësto (1) Favorite Dance/Electronic Artist
Usher (1) Favorite Male R&B Artist
Walker Hayes (1) Favorite Country Song
Zac Brown Band (1) Favorite Country Duo or Group
Zach Williams (1) Favorite Inspirational Artist

*Statement on behalf of MRC Live & Alternative

Unique among awards shows, American Music Awards (AMA) nominees are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. AMA nominees are based on key fan interactions with music (including streaming, album sales, song sales, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data.  The AMA winners are voted entirely by fans.

Morgan Wallen is a nominee this year based on charting. As his conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).

We plan to evaluate his progress in doing meaningful work as an ally to the Black community and will consider his participation in future shows.

2021 AFI Fest: ‘Bruised,’ ‘Swan Song,’ ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’ among the world premieres

September 28, 2021

The following is a press release from AFI:

Halle Berry in “Bruised” (Photo by John Baer/Netflix)

AFI announced that FEST 2021 will include the World Premieres of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised” from Netflix and Academy Award®  winner Benjamin Cleary’s feature directorial debut “Swan Song” from Apple Original Films. Both World Premieres will screen at the film festival in-person at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, November 13 and Friday, November 12, respectively.

“Bruised” stars Berry as a washed-up MMA fighter who struggles for redemption as both an athlete and a mother. “Swan Song” stars two-time Oscar® winner Mahershala Ali as a man diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor, portrayed by eight-time Oscar® nominee Glenn Close, to shield his family from grief. The film also stars Oscar® nominee Naomie Harris, BAFTA Award nominee Awkwafina and Adam Beach.

“Now more than ever it is important to lift up and shine a light on new voices and new stories that inspire empathy,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming at AFI Festivals. “Halle Berry and Benjamin Cleary are vital artists whose visions we are proud to celebrate at AFI FEST.”

The films join the previously announced titles which include Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Tick, Tick…BOOM!” and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “King Richard,” starring Will Smith. AFI FEST 2021 film festival takes place from November 10–14 in Los Angeles.

This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists. With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 film festival will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated. Tickets and passes will be available soon on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

BECOME A MEMBER

ABOUT THE FILMS

In “Bruised,” Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) is a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace.  Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.), the son she gave up as an infant, shows up at her doorstep. The film marks the directorial debut of Academy Award®  winner Halle Berry and also stars Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko and Stephen McKinley Henderson in a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. The film is helmed by Berry from an original screenplay written by Michelle Rosenfarb, and produced by Thunder Road Pictures, Entertainment 360 and Romulus Entertainment.

“Swan Song” is set in the near future and told through the eyes of Cameron (two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (eight-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Academy Award® nominee Naomie Harris, BAFTA winner Awkwafina and Adam Beach also star in the ensemble cast. The film is helmed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Benjamin Cleary (“Stutterer”), from an original screenplay written by Cleary and produced by Anonymous Content and Concordia Studio. Producers are Adam Shulman (“Defending Jacob”) and Jacob Perlin (“The Amazing Johnathan Documentary”) on behalf of Anonymous Content; Jonathan King (“Stillwater,” “Dark Waters”) on behalf of Concordia Studio; Rebecca Bourke (“Wave”); Mahershala Ali and Mimi Valdés (“Hidden Figures”) through Know Wonder.

Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival at FEST.AFI.com.

Review: ‘Annette,’ starring Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg

August 27, 2020

by Carla Hay

Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard in “Annette” (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios)

“Annette”

Directed by Leos Carax

Culture Representation: Taking place in Los Angeles and various other parts of the world, the musical “Annette” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans) representing the wealthy and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A seemingly mismatched stand-up comedian and an opera singer have a passionate romance, get married, and have a daughter named Annette, but then a major tragedy changes their lives forever.

Culture Audience: “Annette” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of Sparks, Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, as well as people who like to indulge in pretentious musicals with a weak plot.

Cast members of “Annette,” including front row, from left to right, Simon Helberg, Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver; and second row, Russell Mael (behind Cotillard) and Ron Mael, pictured at far right. (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios)

Don’t believe the hype. The musical “Annette” is one of those annoying, self-indulgent movies that some people will automatically praise just because it looks European and artsy. Underneath the pretentious sheen is a boring and ludicrous story with forgettable songs and a baby that’s really an animatronic doll that looks like a cleaned-up sister of Chucky from the “Child’s Play” horror franchise.

Directed by Leos Carax, “Annette” has an abysmal screenplay and disappointing music written by brothers Russell Mael and Ron Mael, also known as the experimental pop duo Sparks. The Mael brothers have brief cameos in the movie because they’re not very good actors. Visually, the movie looks better than the actual material because the filmmakers had the budget to build some elaborate set pieces and film the movie in Los Angeles, Belgium and Germany.

Here’s how you know if a musical is good or not: Are at least half of the songs memorable? Do the songs fit well with the story? And do the actors look convincing when they perform the songs? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then the musical isn’t very good and could be downright lousy. A lot of people who don’t care about going along with pseudo-hipster groupthink are going to say “no” to “Annette.”

Some credit should be given to Carax for directing “Annette” with gusto and for choosing some noteworthy designs in production and costumes. But so much of “Annette” looks and sounds like a tacky regional theater production that ended up being made into a movie because the filmmakers convinced people with deep pockets to throw money at this train wreck. Just because a movie tries very hard to be “avant-garde” doesn’t automatically mean it’s supposed to be good art.

“Annette” starts out promising in the first half of the movie when it’s about the romance between edgy stand-up comedian Henry McHenry (played by Adam Driver) and elegant opera diva Ann Defrasnoux (played by Marion Cotillard), who live in Los Angeles and are both big stars in their respective careers. But it all goes downhill in the second half of the movie, when themes of death and greed are monotonously repeated until “Annette” ends with a whimper instead of a bang. Simon Helberg, who looks very uncomfortable and out-of-place in this musical, depicts an unnamed supporting character who goes from being an accompanist for Ann to being the conductor of an orchestra.

The best parts of “Annette” are seeing Henry perform on stage. Henry’s stand-up act can best be described as if Mitch Hedberg and the late David Foster Wallace decided to collaborate on a stand-up comedy routine and hire some backup singers. Henry’s material is both self-deprecating and condescending to the audience members, who do group chants and or indivdual shouting in response to what Henry says during his act. However, he has full command of the stage and is utterly fascinating to watch. Ann (who is French, just like Cotillard is in real life) is somewhat of a generic opera singer. No one will be be winning any major awards for acting or singing in this movie.

Henry and Ann’s relationship is breathlessly followed by the tabloid media. Ann and Henry get engaged, then married, and then they become parents to a daughter named Annette. And seriously: This baby-turned-toddler is depicted by a creepy-looking animatronic doll with terrible visual effects. It will get some laughs at first, but after a while, this unnatural-looking doll is just an awful distraction.

The last half of the movie has too much spoiler information to describe, but it’s enough to say that the movie gets a lot worse and reaches the point of no return from stupidity when Henry quits stand-up comedy to become a “stage dad” manager to Annette. There are some tragic crimes and a continual pile-on of horrifically bad dialogue. Not even the acting talent of Driver and Cotillard can save this overrated mess of a movie. Driver is also one of the producers of “Annette,” so he bears more responsibility than the other cast members for how this move turned out to be a disappointing slog of irritating and egocentric posturing.

During the latter half of the movie, Driver and Helberg barely even sing. What a ripoff. By the end of the movie, most viewers might remember one or two songs. There are some musicals that have plots and conversations that are mediocre, but the music is so great, it transcends the dialogue and resonates with audiences to the point where people are recommending the soundtrack to others. That’s not the case with “Annette,” which will find a specific audience, but none of the songs from this movie will have a major cultural impact.

You know a musical is bad when the two lead actors (Driver and Cotillard) are respected talents who should elevate the material, but hardly anyone in pop culture is raving about the songs in “Annette,” except the predictable niche audience of Sparks fans. None of the “Annette” filmmakers should pretend that they didn’t want this musical movie to be popular. If they wanted this movie to be underground, they wouldn’t have had corporate behemoth Amazon pay for it, and they wouldn’t have had a splashy world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Simply put: “Annette” looks and sounds like a musical experiment that ultimately stumbles artistically, but some people will still love it because they’re star-struck by the famous people involved in making this movie.

Amazon Studios released “Annette” in select U.S. cinemas on August 6, 2021. Prime Video premiered the movie on August 20, 2021.

Review: ‘The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu,’ starring Lisa Lu, Michelle Krusiec, Rochelle Ying, Tiffany Wu, Adrian Pasdar and Joely Fisher

August 8, 2021

by Carla Hay

Rochelle Ying, Lisa Lu and Michelle Krusiec in “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” (Photo courtesy of Picturehouse)

“The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu”

Directed by Anna Chi

Some language in Mandarin with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in the California cities of Los Angeles and Carmel, the comedy/drama film “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” features a predominantly Asian cast of characters (with a few white people and African Americans) representing the middle-class and working-class.

Culture Clash: An elderly woman, who’s in ill health, enlists her teenage granddaughter to sneak her out of her nursing home to spend a few days in the beachside city of Carmel, California, because the grandmother thinks it might be her last vacation. 

Culture Audience: “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in family-oriented movies and don’t mind awkward dialogue, cutesy contrived scenarios and terrible acting.

Rochelle Ying, Lisa Lu and Tiffany Wu in “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” (Photo courtesy of Picturehouse)

The comedy/drama “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” has its heart in the right place, but the movie’s horrible acting from most of the cast members puts the movie in the wrong place: a cringeworthy, mishandled mush. The acting in this movie is so bad that it hinders a movie that would have been just mediocre, lightweight fluff and turns it into a slow train wreck of treacly clichés. It’s a disappointing shame, because this movie is trying very hard to achieve the same charm and quality filmmaking of director Lulu Wang’s award-winning 2019 comedic drama “The Farewell.” Unfortunately, “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” misses the mark on almost every level.

“The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” (which had its world premiere at the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival) is directed by Anna Chi, who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Donald Martin and Ella Lee. “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” is going to get inevitable comparisons to “The Farewell” because both movies are about families of Chinese heritage who have a grandmother matriarch with a health issue that’s the catalyst for what happens in the story. Her family members (including a granddaughter who was raised in the U.S.) are very concerned about and protective of the grandmother and her health issue, while the grandmother is very outspoken about wanting to be independent to make her own life decisions. That’s where the similarities end in these two movies.

In “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu,” which takes place in California, the stubborn and feisty widowed grandmother is Lily Wu (played by Lisa Lu), who isn’t very happy about living in Paradise Corner Nursing Home, which is in Los Angeles. Lily thinks she doesn’t belong in any nursing home because she thinks she doesn’t need help taking care of herself. The movie begins with Lily and her family members gathered at the nursing home to celebrate her 88th birthday at a party.

Lily is so cranky during this party that she’s rude to almost everyone, including a hired clown (played by Danny Cron), who’s taken aback when Lily acts like an irritable brat and pops one of the clown’s balloons. Lily has congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She has to use an oxygen mask for help with her breathing, but she doesn’t need to wear the mask at all times. Lily also uses a wheelchair, but she has the ability to walk for limited distances. One of the reasons why Lily is so ill-tempered is because her caretakers aren’t letting her travel because of her health problems.

The people at this birthday party who end up having featured or prominent roles in the story are:

  • Mary Wu Carter (played by Michelle Krusiec), Lily’s oldest child, who is a judgmental, emotionally high-strung control freak and the one who’s most likely to clash with Lily.
  • Brian Carter (played by Adrian Pasdar), Mary’s mild-mannered dentist husband.
  • Emma Carter (played by Tiffany Wu), Mary and Brian’s empathetic and slightly rebellious elder child, who’s about 16 or 17 years old.
  • Henry Carter (played by Taeho K), Mary and Brian’s somewhat bratty younger child, who’s about 9 or 10 years old.
  • David Wu (played by Archie Kao), Lily’s younger child who is laid-back and practical—in other words, he has a personality that’s almost the opposite of his older sister Mary.
  • Angela Wu (played by Eugenia Yuan), David’s somewhat fussy and snobbish wife.
  • Ben Wu (played by Brandon Soo Hoo), David and Angela’s only child, who’s about 17 or 18 years old.
  • Karen Chan (played by Tiffany Wu), Emma’s lesbian best friend who’s about 16 or 17 years old and who’s struggling with when to come out as a lesbian.
  • Charlotte Kelly (played by Joely Fisher), Lily’s former caretaker who’s originally from Ireland and who has a passion for singing.

Mary and her family live in Los Angeles, while David and his family are visiting from Seattle. Their mother Lily has refused her children’s offers to have her live with one of them. While at the party, a Paradise Corner employee takes Mary and David aside to tell them that Lily’s most recent infection “took a toll” on Lily’s health, which is so fragile that Lily probably won’t live to see another birthday.

This news shakes Mary and David to the core because they now know that the time that they have left with their mother is very precious. Mary wants to make sure that Lily gets the best care while staying confined at the nursing home, because Mary thinks that it’s the best way to keep Lily alive as long as possible. David is open to letting Lily have more freedom, because he thinks it will benefit Lily’s mental health.

The family’s dynamics and longtime resentments are eventually revealed, but they come out in bits and pieces in the story. This backstory goes a long way in explaining why certain characters (especially the very difficult Mary) are the way that they are. Mary is a major germaphobe who constantly uses hand sanitizer. It’s implied that this compulsive behavior is because several years ago, she lost another loved one due to a deadly disease.

Lily and her husband immigrated from China to the United States and settled in Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small beachside California city that’s more informally known as Carmel. At the time, Mary was over the age of 18, so she was not eligible to be included in the family’s immigration application, and she was not approved for the immigration. David was under 18 at the time, so he was allowed to immigrate with his parents to the United States, while Mary had to stay behind in China.

Mary wasn’t able to immigrate to the United States until six years after her parents and brother were living in America. This family separation caused a lot of jealousy and resentment from Mary. She has always felt that David was her parents’ favorite child. It’s why Mary is hostile and argumentative not just with her mother but also with her brother.

When Mary immigrated to the U.S., she wasn’t alone: She had 6-year-old Emma with her. Emma’s biological father was an ex-boyfriend of Mary’s named Michael Hong (played by Ludi Lin), who died in China. Michael’s specific cause of death isn’t named in this movie, but a flashback in the movie shows that it was from a fatal and contagious disease. Viewers can infer that it’s probably why Mary is a germaphobe.

It’s unclear how old Emma was when her father died, but it was when she was too young to remember him. Based on what’s said in the movie, Brian and Mary met soon after she moved to the United States. Brian adopted Emma after he and Mary got married. Henry is the biological child of Mary and Brian.

However, there’s been some lingering emotional fallout based on what Mary experienced before she moved to America. One of the better qualities of “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” is how it shows an immigration issue that’s rarely depicted in American-made films: Families who are separated because an adult child cannot be included in a family’s immigration application.

During Lily’s 88th birthday party, her granddaughter Emma finds a VHS video in Lily’s room. Lily tells Emma that the video has a message from Emma’s late father. The problem is that the nursing home doesn’t have a VHS videocassette recorder/player for Emma to watch the video. Emma keeps the video to watch later when she can find a VCR to play the videotape. The message on the tape reveals a family secret that Mary doesn’t want Emma to find out.

Meanwhile, there’s another family secret that Emma gets directly involved with, at the request of Lily. During the party, Lily summons Emma and Karen into her room to tell them that she needs their help. Lily wants the two teens to help her sneak out of the nursing home and take her on a road trip to Carmel, because she wants to have a short vacation in Carmel before she dies. (Carmel is about 218 miles north of Los Angeles.)

Emma and Karen eagerly agree to this plan. Karen’s father Eddie Chan (played by Joseph Tran) owns a local casual restaurant called Magic Dumpling House, which has a customized van with the restaurant logo on it. This is the van that will be used on the trip, but Karen (who will be doing the driving) plans to take the van without her father’s permission.

Before this “escape” plan can be hatched, Karen gives Emma a ride home, and they have a conversation about their school’s upcoming prom. Emma has a big crush on a fellow student named Rick Larsen (played by Da’Vinchi), who is good-looking, popular and a star on the school’s football team. Emma would love to go to the prom with Rick, who’s a casual friend, but she’s shy and she think that he’s out of her league.

Karen gives Emma a pep talk and tells her that she’s very attractive and that Rick would be lucky to have her as a prom date. The compliment boosts Emma’s confidence but it isn’t enough to convince her yet to tell Rick that she wants to be his prom date. When Karen and Emma arrive at Emma’s house, Emma and Karen hug goodbye and give each other a friendly kiss.

Mary happens to be outside the house in the front yard, and sees this embrace and kiss, which Mary misinterprets as a sign that Karen and Emma are more than friends. Mary seems to be in shock over the idea that Emma might not be heterosexual. Mary goes back inside the house to join the rest of the family gathered in the dining room area. Emma will soon find out how homophobic Mary is.

At the dining table, Karen’s name comes up in the conversation, and Ben mentions that it’s obvious that Karen is a lesbian. Mary is very uncomfortable with the idea that Emma could have a friend from the LGBTQ community, so she tells Emma that she saw the hug and kiss between Emma and Karen. She accuses Emma of having a secret romance with Karen, but Emma vehemently denies it and says that she and Karen are just friends.

Mary then goes off on a rant and scolds Emma by telling her, “What if the neighbors saw what I just saw?” Emma replies, “Who cares? It’s West L.A.” Mary then tells Emma that Emma’s grandmother Lily would disapprove of Emma being a lesbian, and she orders Emma to stop seeing Karen. Emma then chastises her mother for wanting to keep Lily confined in a nursing home, which Emma calls a “prison.” Emma shouts at Mary, “You’re an even bigger dragon lady than Grandma!”

Emma runs into her bedroom and locks the door behind her. Mary feels bad and goes to the door to offer Emma her favorite meal (spicy noodles) on a tray. Mary makes an apology to Emma (who refuses to open the door), and says that Emma can still keep hanging out with Emma. However, the tension between mother and daughter remains unresolved when that night, Emma and Karen put their plans in motion to sneak Lily out of the nursing home.

Somehow, Lily’s former caregiver Charlotte is along for this ride too. Emma, Karen and Charlotte all go to the nursing home in “disguise,” since they know that there are security video cameras on the premises. But they didn’t disguise the van, so it’s easy to figure out what happened when Emma and Karen go “missing” too.

During this “stealth operation,” which they call Operation Songbird, Emma and Karen show up at the nursing home dressed like identical green dragons that look like something from a “Barney” cartoon. Charlotte (who doesn’t bother to hide her face) is dressed in oversized trash bags. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds and not nearly as funny as the filmmakers intended.

Charlotte is presumably on this trip to be the only other adult, in case something goes wrong. And, of course, some things go very wrong. Charlotte has a somewhat prickly relationship with Lily, because they are both strong-willed and outspoken women. For example, Charlotte isn’t afraid to tell Lily, “You can be a rude bitch.”

That’s as salty as Charlotte’s dialogue gets in the movie because unfortunately, this movie subjects the viewers to Charlotte’s hokey singing in multiple scenes. Charlotte warbles show tunes and pop songs like a karaoke drunk you don’t want to hear. She tries to get Emma to sing along with her, because Charlotte thinks Emma is a good singer, but Emma is too self-conscious about it. And that’s the part in the movie where you know Charlotte is going to find a way to convince Emma to sing somewhere in public.

The rest of the movie shows what happens during this road trip and the “race against time” when Emma’s parents Mary and Brian decide to track down these “runaways.” The most effective and best scene in the movie isn’t during the road trip shenanigans, but it’s the quiet moment when Emma watches the videotape message that her father left for her. If only “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” had that type of screenwriting in the rest of the movie.

Instead, the film is mostly just a hodgepodge of cheesy contrived scenarios, made worse by the substandard acting. Let’s put it this way: At one point in the trip, after the “runaways” get to Carmel, they end up in auditions for a TV singing contest that’s supposed to be like “American Idol.” It just so happens that Carmel is one of the cities during the show’s auditions tour. It’s an unnecessary and very corny detour in the plot. And it’s one of the worst scenes in the movie.

“The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” packs in a lot of issues, and handles some better than others. There are mother/daughter issues. There are sibling rivalry issues. There are Chinese immigrant issues. There are health issues. There are LGBTQ issues. There are elderly care issues. The problem is that these issues are presented in a very cloying way in clumsy dialogue and too many overly phony scenes.

The movie has some sly jokes here and there, but they are few and far in between. For example, the “runaways” get a flat tire and are helped by two tough-looking motorcycle guys, who reveal before they leave that they are a couple. “Everybody loves bears,” one of them says. If you don’t know what a “bear” is slang for in the gay community, then look it up or ask a gay man.

Speaking of the LGBTQ community, Karen’s coming out as a lesbian in the movie is adequately handled. To its credit, the movie doesn’t erase how Chinese culture often views homosexuality and how that affects LGBTQ people of Chinese heritage in their decision on whether or not to go public with their sexual identities. Emma is a very open-minded and tolerant person, whose only problem with Karen coming out is Emma’s wrong assumption that Karen told someone else before she told Emma.

However, there are some moments that are not very well-written, such as when butch Karen initially tries to scare off the biker guys by saying that she’s Bruce Lee. It’s supposed to be funny, but it comes across as lazy pandering to stereotypes. The jokes in the movie mostly fall flat. And there’s some tacked-on sentimentality at the end that is monotonously predictable.

Of the cast members, only Lu and Pasdar are able to deliver their lines with any believability. The rest of the principal cast members are amateurish and often say their lines in awkward and wooden tones. Krusiec is the absolute worst in this movie’s acting, and it doesn’t help that Mary is the most irritating character in the film. Even an experienced actor such as Fisher (who is American in real life) embarrasses herself with an Irish accent that’s not credible at all and sometimes sounds Scottish.

It seems like many of the cast members got these roles based on personal reasons, not because they were the best people for the job. There are are so many talented and available actors who could’ve elevated this maudlin material instead of the high-school-level acting that most of the actors have in this movie. And if director Chi couldn’t find more talented actors for this cast, then she wasn’t looking hard enough.

These filmmaking decisions are ultimately the responsibility of a movie’s director, so any bad judgment in casting is almost always the director’s fault. For example, the character of Charlotte did not need to be Irish. If Chi wanted Fisher for the role, she should have just let Fisher do the role in her natural American accent instead of having to fumble her way through an Irish accent that makes Fisher look kind of foolish. This type of directorial decision is one of many that ended up lowering the quality of this movie.

“The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” isn’t a complete waste of time. There are some lovely scenic shots of Carmel. And this movie might be considered enjoyable enough for people who have low standards. But for everyone else, there are plenty of better-made movies about bickering families with vivacious grandmothers. “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” comes across as an inferior dud.

Picturehouse will release “The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu” on a date to be announced.

Review: ‘Lorelei’ (2021), starring Pablo Schreiber and Jena Malone

August 7, 2021

by Carla Hay

Jena Malone and Pablo Schreiber in “Lorelei” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

“Lorelei” (2021)

Directed by Sabrina Doyle

Culture Representation: Taking place in Oregon and briefly in Los Angeles, the dramatic film “Lorelei” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: After serving 15 years in prison for armed robbery, a recently released ex-convict reconnects with his high school sweetheart, who is now a single mother of three children, and they have challenges as he tries to get his life back on track. 

Culture Audience: “Lorelei” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in realistic dramas about ex-convicts and about working-class Americans who are living right on the edge of poverty.

Parker Pascoe-Sheppard, Jena Malone, Amelia Borgerding and Chancellor Perry in “Lorelei” (Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)

The reason for the title of the dramatic film “Lorelei” isn’t revealed until the last 10 minutes of the movie. Until then, viewers are taken on a roller coaster ride of a relationship between an ex-con and his former girlfriend, who reunite after he gets out of prison. It’s a well-acted portrait of forgiveness, trust and how emotional stakes can be high when people with troubled pasts are given a chance at redemption.

“Lorelei” is an impressive feature-film debut by writer/director Sabrina Doyle, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who is originally from England. She’s made a very authentic-looking movie about working-class life in the United States that presents an unvarnished but empathetic view of what it means to be one or two paychecks away from poverty. “Lorelei” takes place in an unnamed city in Oregon, but the struggles shown in the movie are reflective of what millions of people around the world can and do experience in similar circumstances.

The movie’s title suggests that the story’s main protagonist is a woman. However, “Lorelei” is actually told from the point of view of a man named Wayland Beckett (played by Pablo Schreiber), a member of a biker gang who has recently been released from prison, after serving 15 years for armed robbery. (Schreiber is best-known to TV audiences as a former co-star of the motorcycle gang drama series “Sons of Anarchy.”)

Wayland was in his late teens when he went to prison for this crime. Now in his early 40s, Wayland has to find a way to adjust to life outside prison when so much of the outside world has changed. When he walks out of prison, he’s greeted by several members of his biker buddies, who then throw a bonfire party for him to celebrate his release from prison.

Luckily for Wayland, he has a place to live after his prison release. He’s staying at a spare room at a church, where in exchange for free room and board, he has agreed to do regular chores and maintenance for the church. His living situation is much like a halfway house, because he has to abide by the rules set by his supervisor at the church: Pastor Gail (played by Trish Egan), who tells Wayland that she’s also available to him for counseling.

“You know I don’t believe in God, right?” Wayland asks Pastor Gail. She replies, “That’s okay. Just stay out of jail.” The rules are pretty simple: No drugs, no alcohol and no illegal activity on the premises. Unlike the rules at a typical halfway house, this church does not make Wayland have a curfew.

Pastor Gail is involved in a lot of charity work, such as food donations to underprivileged people. At the church, she also leads meetings for people dealing with various issues, but the meetings come with a certain amount of religious lecturing. Wayland comments to Pastor Gail in a teasing tone of voice, “The problem with do-gooders is that nobody likes them.” Pastor Gail replies, “I never gave a shit about being liked. I just believe that people deserve second chances—maybe three or four.”

One day, Pastor Gail asks for Wayland’s help to prepare a room for a meeting to be held that evening for single mothers. Wayland hangs around when the meeting starts. And he sees someone from his past whom he hasn’t seen since he was in prison. Her name is Dolores (played by Jena Malone), but she sometimes goes by the nickname Lola, which is what her three kids call her. And she was Wayland’s girlfriend when they were in high school together.

Wayland and Dolores began dating each other when they were both 15. Viewers will find out in bits and pieces what happened to Dolores and Wayland’s high school romance and why they broke up. Their full story is told in a few flashbacks, but mostly through conversations that Wayland and Dolores have about the past.

At the church meeting, Wayland and Dolores make eye contact, and she excuses herself from the meeting to talk to him outside. Based on their body language and how they look at each other, there’s still some romantic heat and unfinished business between the two of them. Dolores and Wayland haven’t seen each other since he went to prison. They stayed in touch for a little while after he was sent to prison, but they eventually ended their contact while he was incarcerated.

When they were a couple, Dolores (who was a star swimmer on her high school team) and Wayland had planned to move to Los Angeles together after high school. But Wayland got caught up in criminal activities with his biker gang called the Night Horsemen, which led to the armed robbery that landed him in prison. Dolores began dating other people, and she had to drop out of high school when she got pregnant with her first child.

Dolores, who now works as a motel maid, seems pleasantly surprised to see that Wayland is now out of prison. They immediately make plans for a date at a bar after the church meeting. Based on how quickly Dolores runs out of the church meeting when it’s over, she’s eagerly anticipating this date. When Wayland picks her up in his truck, he sheepishly tells her that he doesn’t have any cash. She doesn’t seem to mind too much and she offers to pay for whatever they order at the bar.

During their reunion conversation, Dolores gives a brief update on her life by telling him that she has three kids. Dolores assures Wayland that he’s definitely not the father of her first child, a boy named Dodger Blue (played by Chancellor Perry), who is now 15. She describes Dodger’s father as a “nobody” and a meaningless fling. “I couldn’t even tell you his name,” Dolores says. Later, when Wayland meets Dodger, he knows for sure that he’s not the father because Dodger is biracial, with a black biological father.

The date ends with Dolores inviting Wayland back to her modest house to spend the night. Unlike most movies which portray ex-cons who’ve been recently let out of prison as very horny and ready to have sex with the first available partner, “Lorelei” shows that Wayland is hesitant and insecure in this intimate moment. He whispers to Dolores, “I don’t even know how to do this anymore.”

Dolores is kind and patient with Wayland, who isn’t ready to be fully intimate with her. She asks him if he fooled around wth men in prison, and he says no. They spend the night together cuddling, but they eventually make up for this chaste date with their first night of passion together in years.

The next morning, Wayland is introduced to Dolores’ children. All three of her kids have different biological fathers, who are not involved in raising them. Dodger is a typical teen who is somewhat rebellious. His mother lets him vape in the house, but she doesn’t allow him to do drink alcohol or do drugs. He likes to weightlift and hasn’t decided what he wants to do with his life yet. Later in the story, he tells Wayland that he’s thinking about joining the military after he graduates from high school.

Dolores’ middle child is sassy 12-year-old daughter Periwinkle Blue (played by Amelia Borgerding), nicknamed Peri. Dolores later tells Wayland that Peri’s biological father was a “lowlife” meth addict. Peri is an obedient child overall but shows a great deal of resentment toward Dolores and has a tendency to talk rudely to her. Why the hostility? Peri thinks Dolores is a flaky mother who gives special treatment to her other two kids, especially Dodger.

Dolores’ youngest child is sweet-natured 6-year-old Denim (played by Parker Pascoe-Sheppard), whose assigned gender at birth was male, but there are signs that Denim is a transgender female. Denim only wants to wear Peri’s feminine-identifying clothes and doesn’t want to wear clothes that look like boys’ outfits. Dolores later tells Wayland that Denim’s father was one of Dodger’s schoolteachers, who was married and moved out of the area with his wife and kids soon after finding out that Dolores was pregnant with his child.

The first time that Wayland talks to Dodger, the teenager is lifting weights. When Wayland offers some weightlifting advice, Dodger is rude and standoffish. Peri and Denim are more accepting of Wayland soon after they meet him.

However, the cold response from Dodger makes Wayland uncomfortable, and Wayland skips out on Dolores’ invitation to stay for breakfast. Wayland says he needs to use the bathroom. Instead, he leaves by the house’s back door without saying goodbye.

The next time Dolores sees Wayland, she’s furious at how he snuck out and snubbed her and her family. He says he’s sorry, and she quickly forgives him. Viewers can see where this relationship is going to go. And it does go that way: Wayland ends up moving in with Dolores and becomes a stepfather figure to the kids.

Pastor Gail believes that ex-cons are less likely to re-offend if they’re in a stable relationship with a love partner. She wrote a recommendation to Wayland’s parole officer Raf Ortiz (played by Joseph Bertót) to give permission for Wayland to move out of the church’s spare room and move in with Dolores. However, Raf warns Wayland about the pressures of raising children. The parole officer is skeptical that Wayland can find a job that can pay enough money to support a household of five people.

And finding this type of job is one of the toughest challenges for Wayland, whose options are limited since a lot of places won’t hire ex-prisoners who were convicted of felonies. To make some quick money, Wayland sells his blood. His foul-mouthed cousin Violet (played by Dana Millican) happens to see Wayland coming out of plasma center while she’s driving down the street, and she offers to put in a good word for him at a local auto parts shop/junkyard. It’s kind of a hilarious scene because Violet has this conversation while she stopped her car on the street. Drivers behind her get irritated, and she curses at them to drive around her.

Wayland gets a part-time job at the auto shop, but the salary is very low. (His first paycheck is only a little more than $126.) With financial pressure increasing, Wayland is tempted to take an offer from his biker friend Kurt (played by Ryan Findley) to do some work for Kurt in Kurt’s drug-dealing business. The movie shows whether or not Wayland takes Kurt’s offer.

“Lorelei” shows in a very naturalistic way how Wayland’s relationships with Dolores and her children evolve and go through ups and downs. He eventually learns to trust of all of the children. Peri gets along with Wayland so well that she makes it clear that she likes Wayland more than she likes Dolores, which leads to Dolores feeling hurt and jealous. There’s a sequence involving Peri’s birthday that exemplifies this turmoil.

Dolores’ kids are never shown at school, but there’s mention of the bullying they get because other students tease them for coming from a “trashy” family. In addition, Denim is bullied for being a gender non-conforming child. It’s a problem that neither Dolores nor Wayland really know how to handle.

Dolores is frustrated over being in a dead-end job and wondering what would have happened if she and Wayland had moved to Los Angeles. Wayland seems content to stay in Oregon, so there’s a question if that will be dealbreaker in this relationship. And there are signs that Dolores hasn’t given up her passion for swimming.

The movie has some artistic-looking dream sequences that are supposed to be reminiscent of one of Wayland and Dolores’ best dates when they were teenagers: When they went to a beach to look at the ocean. “Lorelei” creatively uses the ocean and swimming as metaphors for escape, drowning in fear, or a sort of rebirth.

One of the more realistic aspects of “Lorelei” is that it doesn’t tie up Wayland’s financial problems nicely in a neat little bow. For example, in one part of the movie, Wayland impulsively buys an old, run-down ice cream truck that can still operate. Wayland can’t really explain why he bought this truck, but he has vague plans that he might refurbish the truck to start his own ice-cream truck business.

It’s not really spoiler information to reveal that the movie never shows if Wayland followed through on this sort-of goal, because it’s very true-to-life that many people act this way with unfocused goals that they might or might not pursue. The ice cream truck is almost symbolic of how Wayland wishes that he could go back to simpler times when he was a child. At any rate, Denim and Peri love the truck, which is used as somewhat of a device for comic relief, when Wayland drives this conspicuous ice-cream truck in some sketchy situations involving the biker gang.

“Lorelei” might be a letdown to viewers who are expecting a more action-oriented or more melodramatic film instead of the naturalistic way that this movie flows in telling the story. Dolores and Wayland have arguments that are believable. Their rekindled romance doesn’t go smoothly like a fairytale. And there are no real villains in the story—just people trying to get by in the best way that they can.

Malone’s compelling portrayal of Dolores is of someone who’s been damaged and disappointed by life. She loves her kids, but she thinks they deserve better than what she can offer to them. And that feeling of not being “good enough” has slowly chipped away at her core sense of self until she makes a decision to try to try to heal herself in the best way that she can.

Wayland’s emotional arc in “Lorelei” is a lot easier to predict, but Schreiber’s portrayal of this complicated character is still intriguing to watch. At one point in the movie, Wayland says that being in prison changed him. It’s up to viewers to figure out or intepret how he’s changed, since the flashbacks to his teenage years with Dolores are very brief. Schreiber gives a spot-on performance of someone who’s gradually learning that vulnerability can co-exist with masculinity.

It’s also fascinating to watch how Wayland adjusts to becoming an instant “stepfather.” There are moments that will pull at viewers’ heartstrings when Denim asks Wayland more than once if Denim can call him “Dad.” Wayland’s response is a little different every time.

As Dolores’ children, actors Perry, Borgerding and Pascoe-Sheppard make admirable feature-film debuts in “Lorelei.” In real life, Pascoe-Sheppard is non-binary, using the pronoun “they” for their identity, according to the “Lorelei” production notes. Kudos to director Doyle for making the effort to cast a gender-non-conforming role with an actor who is gender-non-conforming instead of taking the easier path of casting a cisgender actor in the role.

“Lorelei” is a specific story about an emotionally wounded couple and the children they are raising, but the movie effectively speaks to universal truths about how insecurities and being held back by past mistakes can affect people’s perceptions of themselves and others. And the movie is ultimately a meaningful story showing that family is not what you’re born into but what you make of it.

Vertical Entertainment released “Lorelei” in select U.S. cinemas, on digital and VOD on JUly 30, 2021.