2022 NAACP Image Awards: ‘The Harder They Fall’ is the top nominee

January 18, 2022

Regina King, Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield in “The Harder They Fall” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

[Editor’s note: Netflix’s Western action film “The Harder They Fall” is the leading contender, with 12 nominations.]

The following is a press release from the NAACP:

Today, the full list of nominees for the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” were announced in a special virtual event on NAACP’s Instagram channel hosted by actress and musician Kyla Pratt, “Black-ish” actor Marcus Scribner and singer-songwriter Tinashe. The winners will be revealed during the two-hour LIVE TV special, which will be hosted by seven-time NAACP Image Awards Winner Anthony Anderson, airing Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on BET. 

BET and the NAACP place the health and safety of attendees, staff, vendors, and partners first. Due to the ever-changing developments with COVID-19 and variants, the powerful night in Black excellence will continue to move forward without an in-person audience in a not-to-be-missed event.

Netflix leads nominations across motion picture and television + streaming categories. Insecure received the most nominations in the television + streaming categories. H.E.R. received the most nominations in the music recording categories. RCA Records received the most nominations across record labels. Amistad leads nominations across literary categories.

“We are thrilled to recognize this year’s nominees, who have all brought dynamic, entertaining, and thought provoking content to our attention through their incredible work in film, television, music and more,” said Chairman, Image Awards Committee, Karen Boykin-Towns.

“The BET team is immensely proud to continue our partnership with the NAACP and the annual Image Awards, underpinning our longstanding legacy of celebrating Black Excellence,” said Scott Mills, BET President, and CEO. “It is an extraordinary privilege to provide our unparalleled platforms to recognize the vast contributions of Black creators, in a way that only BET, and NAACP can.”

Recognized as the nation’s preeminent multicultural awards show from an African-American perspective, the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” celebrates the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color across more than 80 competitive categories spanning film, television + streaming, music, literature, and podcasts. The “53rd NAACP Image Awards” will also include four new podcast categories:  Outstanding News and Information Podcast; Outstanding Lifestyle / Self-Help Podcast; Outstanding Society and Culture Podcast; and Outstanding Arts and Entertainment Podcast. The “53rd NAACP Image Awards” are presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored by AT&T, Google, T-Mobile, Bank of America, General Mills, FedEx, and Airbnb.

One of the most iconic annual celebrations of Black excellence, the NAACP Image Awards draws the biggest and brightest stars in Hollywood. Previous years’ attendees and winners include Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Lizzo, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx, Chloe x Halle, Regé-Jean Page, Michaela Coel, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Blair Underwood, Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Taraji P. Henson, Marsai Martin, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Sterling K. Brown, Loni Love, Sheryl Underwood, Mandy Moore, Halle Berry, Common, Dwayne Johnson, Audra Day, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Oyelowo, Laverne Cox, Octavia Spencer, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Regina King, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Jacob Latimore, Jill Scott, H.E.R., Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Tracy Morgan, Sylvester Stallone, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Ava DuVernay, the late Chadwick Boseman, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Lin-Mnuel Miranda, Stephen Curry, Stacey Abrams, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Arsenio Hall, Leslie Jones, Susan Kelechi Watson, Madalen Mills and many more.

Voting is now open to the public to determine the winners of the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” by visiting www.naacpimageawards.net – Voting closes on February 5, 2022. Winners will be revealed during the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” telecast on February 26, 2022, on BET. NAACP will also recognize winners in non-televised Image Awards categories February 21-25, which will stream on www.naacpimageawards.net. For all information and the latest news, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.

Internationally, the show will air on BET Africa at 20:00 CAT on February 27, followed by BET France on March 2 at 8:45 pm CEST. The show will also be available to watch on My5 and Sky On-Demand in the UK beginning March 1.

Entertainer of the Year
Jennifer Hudson
Lil Nas X
Megan Thee Stallion
Regina King
Tiffany Haddish

Outstanding Motion Picture
“Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“King Richard” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Respect” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
“The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Hulu)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Denzel Washington – “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (Apple TV+ / A24)
Jonathan Majors – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
LaKeith Stanfield – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mahershala Ali – “Swan Song” (Apple TV+)
Will Smith – “King Richard” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Andra Day – “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Hulu)
Halle Berry – “Bruised” (Netflix)
Jennifer Hudson – “Respect” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
Tessa Thompson – “Passing” (Netflix)
Zendaya – “Malcolm & Marie” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Algee Smith – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Daniel Kaluuya – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Delroy Lindo – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
Idris Elba – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
LaKeith Stanfield – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Aunjanue Ellis – “King Richard” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Audra McDonald – “Respect” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
Danielle Deadwyler – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
Dominique Fishback – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Regina King – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
“American Skin” (Vertical Entertainment)
“Bruised” (Netflix)
“CODA” (Apple TV+)
“Test Pattern” (Kino Lorber)
“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” (Gravitas Ventures)

Outstanding International Motion Picture
“7 Prisoners” (Netflix)
“African America” (Netflix)
“Eyimofe (This is My Desire)” (Janus Films)
“Flee” (Neon / Participant)
“The Gravedigger’s Wife” (Orange Studio)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)
Danny Boyd, Jr. – “Bruised” (Netflix)
Jalon Christian – “A Journal for Jordan” (Columbia Pictures)
Lonnie Chavis – “The Water Man” (RLJE Films)
Sheila Atim – “Bruised” (Netflix)

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
“Coming 2 America” (Paramount Releasing/Amazon Studios)
“Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“King Richard” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Respect” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
“The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)

Outstanding Animated Motion Picture
“Encanto” (Walt Disney Studios)
“Luca” (Walt Disney Studios)
“Raya and the Last Dragon” (Walt Disney Studios)
“Sing 2” (Universal Pictures)
“Vivo” (Netflix)

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture
Andre Braugher – “Spirit Untamed” (Universal Pictures)
Awkwafina – “Raya and the Last Dragon” (Walt Disney Studios)
Brian Tyree Henry – “Vivo” (Netflix)
Eric André – “Sing 2” (Universal Pictures)
Letitia Wright – “Sing 2” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Short-Form (Live Action)
“Aurinko in Adagio” (Universal Pictures)
“Blackout” (Netflix)
“The Ice Cream Stop” (Walt Disney Studios)
“These Final Hours” (Universal Pictures)
“When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon’ Ilanga)” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Short-Form (Animated)
“Blush” (Apple TV+)
“Robin Robin” (Netflix)
“She Dreams at Sunrise” (Tribeca Studios, Procter & Gamble)
“Twenty Something” (Pixar Animation Studios)
“Us Again” (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Searchlight Pictures / Hulu)
Jamila Wignot – “Ailey” (Neon)
Jeymes Samuel – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
Liesl Tommy – “Respect” (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
Rebecca Hall – “Passing” (Netflix)

Outstanding Comedy Series
“black-ish” (ABC)
“Harlem” (Amazon Studios)
“Insecure” (HBO)
“Run the World” (Starz)
“The Upshaws” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
Cedric the Entertainer – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams – “The Wonder Years” (ABC)
Jay Ellis – “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae – “Insecure” (HBO)
Loretta Devine – “Family Reunion” (Netflix)
Regina Hall – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)
Yvonne Orji – “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)
Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Kendrick Sampson – “Insecure” (HBO)
Laurence Fishburne – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Amanda Seales – “Insecure” (HBO)
Jenifer Lewis – “black-ish” (ABC)
Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)
Natasha Rothwell – “Insecure” (HBO)
Wanda Sykes – “The Upshaws” (Netflix)

Outstanding Drama Series
“9-1-1” (FOX)
“All American” (The CW)
“Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
“Pose” (FX Network)
“Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Billy Porter – “Pose” (FX Network)
Damson Idris – “Snowfall” (FX Network)
Forest Whitaker – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
Kofi Siriboe – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Sterling K. Brown – “This is Us” (NBC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)
Dawn-Lyen Gardner – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Octavia Spencer – “Truth Be Told” (Apple TV+)
Queen Latifah – “The Equalizer” (CBS)
Rutina Wesley – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Alex R. Hibbert – “The Chi” (Showtime)
Cliff “Method Man” Smith – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz)
Daniel Ezra – “All American” (The CW)
Giancarlo Esposito – “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)
Joe Morton – “Our Kind of People” (FOX)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alfre Woodard – “SEE” (Apple TV+)
Bianca Lawson – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Chandra Wilson – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Mary J. Blige – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz)
Susan Kelechi Watson – “This is Us” (NBC)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
“Colin in Black & White” – (Netflix)
“Genius: Aretha” – (National Geographic)
“Love Life” – (HBO Max)
“Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” – (Lifetime)
“The Underground Railroad” – (Amazon Studios)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Anthony Mackie – “Solos” (Amazon Studios)
Jaden Michael – “Colin in Black & White” (Netflix)
Kevin Hart – “True Story” (Netflix)
Wesley Snipes – “True Story” (Netflix)
William Jackson Harper – “Love Life” (HBO Max)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Betty Gabriel – “Clickbait” (Netflix)
Cynthia Erivo – “Genius: Aretha” (National Geographic)
Danielle Brooks – “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” (Lifetime)
Jodie Turner-Smith – “Anne Boleyn” (AMC+)
Taraji P. Henson – “Annie Live!” (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Courtney B. Vance – “Genius: Aretha” (National Geographic)
Keith David – “Black as Night” (Amazon Studios)
Tituss Burgess – “Annie Live!” (NBC)
Will Catlett – “True Story” (Netflix)
William Jackson Harper – “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Studios)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Anika Noni Rose – “Maid” (Netflix)
Natasha Rothwell – “The White Lotus” (HBO)
Pauletta Washington – “Genius: Aretha” (National Geographic)
Regina Hall – “Nine Perfect Strangers” (Hulu)
Sheila Atim – “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Studios)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)
“Blood on Black Wall Street: The Legacy of the Tulsa Massacre” (NBC)
“NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt” (NBC)
“Soul of a Nation” (ABC)
“The Reidout” (MSNBC)
“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series
“Desus & Mero” (Showtime)
“Hart to Heart” (Peacock)
“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)
“Tamron Hall” (Syndicated)
“The Real” (Syndicated)

Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series)
“Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC)
“Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
“Sweet Life: Los Angeles” (HBO Max)
“The Voice” (NBC)
“Wild ‘n Out” (VH1)

Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special)
“A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
“BET Awards 2021” (BET)
“Dave Chappelle: The Closer” (Netflix)
“Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3” (Amazon Studios)
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Children’s Program
“Ada Twist, Scientist” (Netflix)
“Family Reunion” (Netflix)
“Karma’s World” (Netflix)
“Raven’s Home” (Disney Channel)
“Waffles + Mochi” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-Series)
Alayah “Lay Lay” High – “That Girl Lay Lay” (Nickelodeon)
Celina Smith – “Annie Live!” (NBC)
Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams – “The Wonder Years” (ABC)
Eris Baker – “This Is Us” (NBC)
Miles Brown – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Joy Reid – “The Reidout” (MSNBC)
Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez – “Desus & Mero” (Showtime)
Garcelle Beauvais, Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai Jenkins – “The Real” (Syndicated)
Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Willow Smith – “Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)
LeBron James – “The Shop: Uninterrupted” (HBO)

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) – Individual or Ensemble
Alfonso Ribeiro – “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (ABC)
Amber Ruffin – “The Amber Ruffin Show” (Peacock)
Cedric the Entertainer – “73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” (CBS)
Iyanla Vanzant – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Trevor Noah – “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Guest Performance
Alani “La La” Anthony – “The Chi” (Showtime)
Christina Elmore – “Insecure” (HBO)
Daniel Kaluuya – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Erika Alexander – “Run the World” (Starz)
Maya Rudolph – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

Outstanding Animated Series
“Big Mouth” (Netflix)
“Peanut Headz: Black History Toonz” (Kweli TV)
“Super Sema” (YouTube Originals)
“We The People” (Netflix)
“Yasuke” (Netflix)

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Television)
Angela Bassett – “Malika: The Lion Queen” (FOX)
Billy Porter – “Fairfax” (Amazon Studios)
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges – “Karma’s World” (Netflix)
Cree Summer – “Rugrats” (Nickelodeon)
Keke Palmer – “Big Mouth” (Netflix)

Outstanding Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama
“Between the Scenes – The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)
“Dark Humor” (Comedy Central / YouTube)
“Della Mae (AspireTV)
“The Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator” (Disney+)
“Two Sides: Unfaithful” (Snapchat)

Outstanding Short Form Series or Special – Reality/Nonfiction
“Life By The Horns” (Snapchat)
“Memory Builds The Monument” (Fifth Ward CRC)
“Widen the Screen: 8:46 Films” (BET)
“Through Our Eyes: Shelter” (HBO Max)
“Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day” (Paramount+)

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television)
Angel Kristi Williams – “Colin in Black & White” (Netflix)
Cierra Glaude – “Queen Sugar” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Deborah Riley Draper – “The Legacy of Black Wall Street” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Halcyon Person – “Karma’s World” (Netflix)
Quyen Tran – “Maid” (Netflix)

Outstanding New Artist
Cynthia Erivo – “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” (Verve Records / UMG Recordings)
Jimmie Allen – “Bettie James Gold Edition” (BBR Music Group)
Saweetie – “Best Friend featuring Doja Cat” (ICY / Warner Records)
Tems – “If Orange Was A Place” (RCA Records / Since ’93)
Zoe Wees – “Girls Like Us” (Capitol Records)

Outstanding Male Artist
Anthony Hamilton – “Love Is The New Black” (My Music Box LLC / BMG)
Drake – “Way 2 Sexy” (Republic Records)
Givēon – “Heartbreak Anniversary” (Epic Records)
J. Cole – “The Off-Season” (Dreamville / Roc Nation)
Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” (Columbia Records)

Outstanding Female Artist
H.E.R. – “Back of My Mind” (RCA Records / MBK Entertainment)
Ari Lennox – “Pressure” (Dreamville / Interscope Records)
Beyoncé – “Be Alive” (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
Chlöe – “Have Mercy” (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
Jazmine Sullivan – “Heaux Tales” (RCA Records)

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album
“Anthems & Glory” – Todd Dulaney (MNRK Music Group)
“Believe For It” – CeCe Winans (Pure Springs Gospel / Fair Trade Services / Red Alliance Media)
“Jonny x Mali: Live in L.A.” – Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music (Life Room Label LLC / K Approved Enterprises. Inc.)
“Overcomer” – Tamela Mann (Tillymann Music Group)
“Power” – Jason McGee & The Choir (My Block, Inc.)

Outstanding International Song
“Essence” – Wizkid featuring Tems and Justin Bieber (RCA Records / Starboy / Sony Music International)
“Peru” – Fireboy DML (YBNL Nation / Empire)
“Somebody’s Son” – Tiwa Savage featuring Brandy (Motown)
“Touch It” – KiDi (Lynx Entertainment / MadeInENY / Empire)
“Understand” – Omah Lay (The KeyQaad / Sire Records)

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album
“Best Friend” – Saweetie featuring Doja Cat (ICY / Warner Records)
“Essence” – Wizkid featuring Tems (RCA Records / Starboy / Sony Music International)
“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe featuring Fat Nwigwe (Tobe Nwigwe, LLC)
“Have Mercy” – Chlöe (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
“Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic (Atlantic / Aftermath)

Outstanding Album
“An Evening With Silk Sonic” – Silk Sonic (Atlantic / Aftermath)
“Back of My Mind” – H.E.R. (RCA Records / MBK Entertainment)
“Certified Lover Boy” – Drake (Republic Records)
“Heaux Tales” – Jazmine Sullivan (RCA Records)
“When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time” – Givēon (Epic Records)

Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album
“Coming 2 America (Amazon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Eddie Murphy, Craig Brewer, Kevin Misher, Randy Spendlove, Jeff Harleston, Brittney Ramsdell (Def Jam Recordings)
“Judas and the Black Messiah (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Mark Isham and Craig Harris (WaterTower Music)
“Respect (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – Jason Michael Webb and Stephen Bray (Epic Records)
“The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – JAY-Z and Jeymes Samuel (Geneva Club / Roc Nation Records, LLC)
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Music from the Motion Picture)” – Salaam Remi, Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq, Warren “E” Felder, Downtown Trevor Brown (Warner Records)

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Song
“Believe For It” – CeCe Winans (Pure Springs Gospel / Fair Trade Services / Red Alliance Media)
“Help Me” – Tamela Mann featuring The Fellas (Tillymann Music Group)
“Hold Us Together (Hope Mix)” – H.E.R. and Tauren Wells (RCA Records / Sony Music)
“Overcome 2021” – Kirk Franklin (Fo Yo Soul / RCA Records )
“Time for Reparations” – Sounds of Blackness (Sounds of Blackness / Atomic K Records)

Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental
“Forever…Jaz” – Jazmin Ghent (Independent Artist)
“Love Languages” – Nathan Mitchell (ENM Music Group)
“Somewhere Different” – Brandee Younger (Impulse! Records)
“Sounds from the Ancestors” – Kenny Garrett (Mack Avenue Music Group)
“The Magic of Now” – Orrin Evans (Smoke Sessions Records)

Outstanding Jazz Album – Vocal
“Dear Love” – Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force (Empress Legacy Records)
“Generations” – The Baylor Project (Be A Light)
“Ledisi Sings Nina” – Ledisi (Listen Back Entertainment / BMG)
“Let There Be Love” – Freda Payne (Alain Franke Records)
“SALSWING!” – Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta (Rubén Blades Productions)

Outstanding Soul/R&B Song
“Damage” – H.E.R. (RCA Records / MBK Entertainment)
“Be Alive” – Beyoncé (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
“Have Mercy” – Chlöe (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
“Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic (Atlantic / Aftermath)
“Pick Up Your Feelings” – Jazmine Sullivan (RCA Records)

Outstanding Hip Hop/Rap Song
“Best Friend” – Saweetie featuring Doja Cat (ICY / Warner Records)
“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe featuring Fat Nwigwe (Tobe Nwigwe, LLC)
“Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow (Columbia Records)
“My Life (with 21 Savage and Morray)” – J. Cole (Dreamville / Roc Nation)
“Way 2 Sexy” – Drake (Republic Records)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional)
Anthony Hamilton featuring Jennifer Hudson – “Superstar” (My Music Box LLC / BMG)
Chlöe x Halle – “Georgia on My Mind” (Columbia Records / Parkwood)
Jazmine Sullivan featuring H.E.R. – “Girl Like Me” (RCA Records)
Leela James featuring Anthony Hamilton – “Complicated (Remix)” (SheSangz Music, Inc. / BMG)
Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open” (Atlantic / Aftermath)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Contemporary)
Chris Brown featuring Young Thug, Future, Lil Durk and Latto – “Go Crazy (Remix)” (RCA Records)
Doja Cat featuring SZA – “Kiss Me More” (RCA Records / Kemosabe Records)
Drake featuring Future & Young Thug – “Way 2 Sexy” (Republic Records)
H.E.R. featuring Chris Brown – “Come Through” (RCA Records / MBK Entertainment)
Tobe Nwigwe featuring Fat Nwigwe – “Fye Fye” (Tobe Nwigwe, LLC)

Outstanding Documentary (Film)
“Attica” (Showtime)
“Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” (Greenwich Entertainment)
“My Name Is Pauli Murray” (Amazon Studios)
“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Searchlight Pictures / Hulu)
“Tina” (HBO Documentary Films)

Outstanding Documentary (Television)
“1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything” (Apple TV+)
“American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free” (PBS)
“Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali” (Netflix)
“High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” (Netflix)
“Insecure” Documentary (HBO)

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Ashley Nicole Black – “Ted Lasso” – “Do the Right-est Thing” (Apple TV+)
Issa Rae – “Insecure” -“Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!” (HBO)
Leann Bowen – “Ted Lasso” – “Lavender” (Apple TV+)
Maya Erskine – “Pen15” – “Blue in Green” (Hulu)
Temi Wilkey – “Sex Education” – “Episode #3.6” (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
Aurin Squire – “Evil” – “C Is For Cop” (Paramount+)
Davita Scarlett – “The Good Fight” – “And the Firm Had Two Partners…” (Paramount+)
Malcolm Spellman – “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” – “New World Order” (Disney+)
Nkechi Okoro Carroll – “All American” – “Homecoming” (The CW)
Steven Canals, Janet Mock, Our Lady J, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy – “Pose” – “Series Finale” (FX Network)

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special
Abdul Williams – “Salt-N-Pepa” (Lifetime Movie Network)
Mario Miscione, Marcella Ochoa – “Madres” (Amazon Studios)
Monique N. Matthew – “A Holiday in Harlem” (Hallmark Channel)
Sameer Gardezi – “Hot Mess Holiday” (Comedy Central)
Sherman Payne – “Black as Night” (Amazon Studios)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris – “Zola” (A24)
Jeymes Samuel, Boaz Yakin – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
Shaka King, Will Berson, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Virgil Williams – “A Journal for Jordan” (Columbia Pictures)
Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele – “Candyman” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle – “South Side” – “Tornado” (HBO Max)
Melina Matsoukas – “Insecure” – “Reunited, Okay?!” (HBO)
Neema Barnette – “Harlem – “Once Upon a Time in Harlem” (Amazon Studios)
Prentice Penny – “Insecure” – “Everything’s Gonna Be, Okay?!” (HBO)
Tiffany Johnson – “Black Monday” – “Eight!” (Showtime)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
Anthony Hemingway – “Genius: Aretha” – “Respect” (National Geographic)
Barry Jenkins – “The Underground Railroad” – “Indiana Winter” (Amazon Studios)
Carl Seaton – “Snowfall” – “Fight or Flight” (FX Network)
Carl Seaton – “Godfather of Harlem” – “The Bonanno Split” (EPIX)
Hanelle Culpepper – “True Story” – “Like Cain Did Abel” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special
Jaffar Mahmood – “Hot Mess Holiday” (Comedy Central)
Kenny Leon – “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” (Lifetime)
Mario Van Peebles – “Salt-N-Pepa” (Lifetime)
Maritte Lee Go – “Black as Night” (Amazon Studios)
Veronica Rodriguez – “Let’s Get Merried” (VH1)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
Denzel Washington – “A Journal for Jordan” (Columbia Pictures)
Jeymes Samuel – “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix)
Lin-Manuel Miranda – “tick tick…BOOM!” (Netflix)
Reinaldo Marcus Green – “King Richard” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Shaka King – “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture)
Andre Gaines – “The One and Only Dick Gregory” (Showtime)
Dawn Porter – “Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer” (National Geographic)
Sam Pollard – “MLK/FBI” (IFC Films)
Samantha Knowles, Yoruba Richen, Geeta Gandbhir, Nadia Hallgren – “Black and Missing” (HBO)
Spike Lee – “NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½” (HBO Max)

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“Harlem Shuffle” – Colson Whitehead (Penguin Random House)
“Libertie” – Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)
“Long Division” – Kiese Laymon (Simon & Schuster)
“The Man Who Lived Underground” – Richard Wright (Library of America)
“The Perishing” – Natashia Deón (Counterpoint Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction
“Dance Theatre of Harlem” – Judy Tyrus, Paul Novosel (Kensington)
“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson (Amistad)
“My Remarkable Journey” – Katherine Johnson (Amistad)
“Renegades: Born in the USA” – Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen (Penguin Random House)
“The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” – Nikole Hannah-Jones (Penguin Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson (Amistad)
“My Remarkable Journey” – Katherine Johnson (Amistad)
“Other Black Girl: A Novel” – Zakiya Dalila Harris (Simon & Schuster)
“The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” – Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (HarperCollins Publishers)
“Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts” – Rebecca Hall (Simon & Schuster)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography
“Just As I Am” – Cicely Tyson (Amistad)
“Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement” – Tarana Burke (Macmillan / Flatiron Books)
“Unprotected: A Memoir” – Billy Porter (Abrams Press)
“Until I Am Free” – Keisha Blain (Beacon Press)
“Will” – Will Smith (Penguin Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Diversity Is Not Enough: A Roadmap to Recruit, Develop and Promote Black Leaders in America” – Keith Wyche (Kandelle Publishing)
“Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business)” – Tabitha Brown (HarperCollins Publishers)
“Permission to Dream” – Chris Gardner (Amistad)
“Teaching Black History to White People” – Leonard N. Moore (University of Texas Press)
“The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations” – Robert Livingston (Penguin Random House)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Perfect Black” – Crystal Wilkinson (University Press of Kentucky)
“Playlist for the Apocalypse” – Rita Dove (W. W. Norton & Company)
“Such Color: New and Selected Poems” – Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)
“The Wild Fox of Yemen” – Threa Almontaser (Graywolf Press)
“What Water Knows: Poems” – Jacqueline Jones LaMon (Northwestern University Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy” – Misty Copeland (Aladdin)
“Change Sings” – Amanda Gorman, Loren Long (Penguin Young Readers)
“Stacey’s Extraordinary Words” – Stacey Abrams, Kitt Thomas (HarperCollins)
“Time for Bed, Old House” – Janet Costa Bates, A.G. Ford (Candlewick Press)
“When Langston Dances” – Kaija Langley, Keith Mallett (S&S Books for Young Readers)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Ace of Spades” – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan)
“Happily Ever Afters” – Elise Bryant (HarperCollins)
“The Cost of Knowing” – Brittney Morris (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)
“When You Look Like Us” – Pamela N. Harris (HarperCollins)
“Wings of Ebony” – J. Elle (S&S Books for Young Readers)

Outstanding News and Information Podcast
“#SundayCivics”
“After the Uprising: The Death of Danyé Dion Jones”
“Blindspot: Tulsa Burning”
“Into America”
“Un(re)solved”

Outstanding Lifestyle/Self-Help Podcast
“Checking In With Michelle Williams”
“The Homecoming Podcast With Dr. Thema”
“The SonRise Project Podcast”
“Two Funny Mamas: Sherri Shepherd & Kym Whitley”
“Under Construction w/ Tamar Braxton”

Outstanding Society and Culture Podcast
“Beyond the Scenes – The Daily Show”
“Jemele Hill Is Unbothered”
“Professional Troublemaker”
“Questlove Supreme”
“Super Soul Podcast”

Outstanding Arts and Entertainment Podcast
“Club Shay Shay Podcast With Shannon Sharpe”
“Jemele Hill Is Unbothered”
“Questlove Supreme”
“Reasonably Shady”
“The History of Sketch Comedy With Keegan-Michael Key”

Social Media Personality of the Year Nominees
@Euniquejg – Eunique Jones GIbson
@KevOnStage – Kevin Fredericks
@Laronhinesofficial – Laron Hines
@_Lyneezy – Lanae Vanee
@Terrellgrice – Terrell Grice

 

 

Review: ‘West Side Story’ (2021), starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Brian d’Arcy James and Rita Moreno

December 2, 2021

by Carla Hay

Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in “West Side Story” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)

“West Side Story” (2021)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Some language in Spanish with no subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in 1957 in New York City, the musical drama remake “West Side Story” features a cast of white and Latino people representing the working-class.

Culture Clash: A young Puerto Rican woman and a young Polish American man fall in love with each other, despite having people close to them who are in rival, warring gangs that are opposed to this romance.

Culture Audience: Besides the obvious target audience of fans of the original “West Side Story” movie musical, this 2021 version of “West Side Story” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of director Steven Spielberg and movie adaptations of Broadway musicals.

Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez in “West Side Story” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)

The 2021 remake of “West Side Story” is exactly the glossy spectacle that you might expect from director Steven Spielberg. The movie is a bonafide crowd-pleasing epic that makes some interesting changes from the 1961’s “West Side Story” movie, a classic that was directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise. In the 2021 version of “West Side Story,” some of these changes work better than other revisions to the original movie. The original “West Side Story” movie was based on a Tony-winning musical that debuted on Broadway in 1957. The Broadway musical was written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Ernest Lehman wrote the screenplay to the 1961 “West Side Story,” while Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay to the 2021 “West Side Story.”

The original “West Side Story” movie starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris as four young people in New York City who are caught in the middle of gang warfare, ethnic bigotry and risky romance. Moreno and Chakiris won Oscars for their supporting roles in the movie, which won a total of 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. (Moreno’s Oscar victory was groundbreaking, as she became the first Latina to win an Academy Award.) Is the 2021 version of “West Side Story” worthy of 10 Academy Awards? No, but there are some standout performances that should bring more attention to some very talented cast members. They do all their own singing, unlike some of the stars of the original “West Side Story” movie.

Most fans of musicals already know the basic premise of “West Side Story,” which is set in New York City (specifically, in a working-class area of Manhattan’s West Side) in 1957. It’s a story inspired by William Shakeapeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In “West Side Story,” a sweet and innocent Puerto Rican woman named Maria, who’s in her late teens, falls in love with a slightly older, streetwise Polish American man named Tony, who is an ex-con trying to start a new and reformed life away from an all-white gang that he used to lead called the Jets. Maria’s domineering older brother Bernardo is the leader of an all-Puerto Rican rival gang called the Sharks. Bernardo is dating Maria’s sassy best friend Anita. Needless to say, the romance of Maria and Tony sparks a war between the Jets and the Sharks.

In the original “West Side Story” movie, Wood was Maria, Beymer was Tony, Moreno was Anita and Chakiris was Bernardo. In the 2021 “West Side Story” remake (which also takes place in 1957), Rachel Zegler is María, Ansel Elgort is Tony, Ariana DeBose is Anita and David Alvarez is Bernardo. Unlike the original “West Side Story” movie, Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake avoids any criticism of “whitewashing” racial casting, by casting the people of color characters with actors who are also people of color. Zegler is a Latina of Colombian heritage. DeBose is multiracial; in interviews, she sometimes identifies herself as African American. (DeBose’s father is Afro-Latino, and her mother is white.)

Perhaps the biggest and best change to the “West Side Story” remake is the clever idea to cast original “West Side Story” movie co-star Moreno in the role of a new character: Valentina, the no-nonsense but kind-hearted owner of a drugstore called Doc’s Chemists, where Tony works. In this version of “West Side Story,” Valentina is the widow of Doc, the store’s owner in the original “West Side Story” movie. (Doc was played by Ned Glass.) Considering all the racial discord in the story, the Valentina character gives the movie added poignancy because a Latina woman has given Tony a chance to redeem himself and start a new life.

Valentina represents the bridge between the divides caused by racism and xenophobia in the community that’s depicted in the movie. And there’s an extra layer of female empowerment/solidarity in a pivotal scene in the movie, when Anita defends herself from being attacked in the store by members of the Jets, and Valentina intervenes to put a stop to the assault. This scene has a greater impact than in the original “West Side Story,” when the upstanding but somewhat wishy-washy Doc was the one who stopped the attack.

Rather than putting the scene in a stereotypical context of a man coming to the rescue of a woman, this “West Side Story” movie has a woman in charge (Valentina), who is the unflinching moral compass in a maelstrom of hate and chaos. The scene is also symbolic of all the racism and sexism that women of color have had to experience and what happens when women help each other in moments of distress and pain. Moreno has talked extensively in interviews about how this scene was the most emotionally difficult one for her to film in the original “West Side Story,” and she has said it was a surreal experience to film it again in the “West Side Story” remake—this time, as the rescuer instead of the one being attacked.

Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake stays true to the main elements of the story. The movie opens with the Jets in a rubble-filled area that’s undergoing reconstruction to make way for higher-priced homes. The Jets, led by Tony’s best friend Riff (played by Mike Faist), are hoodlums who come from dysfunctional families and are hostile toward non-white immigrants whom they feel are taking over the city. Since 1917, Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory, and people born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens. But that doesn’t stop people like the Jets (and many other xenophobic and racist people) from thinking that Puerto Ricans aren’t “real Americans.” If Tony had any past racism when he was in the Jets, it’s not directly mentioned in the movie. What’s clear is that Tony is now a reformed person and very much against racism.

Meanwhile, many of the Sharks, including Bernardo, dislike white people, whom they see as racist oppressors. Puerto Ricans such as Bernardo, María and Anita are U.S. citizens but feel like immigrants in the United States, where English is the dominant language and there’s open hatred and discrimination against people who aren’t white. Bernardo feels that the Sharks are superior to the Jets because, as he tells Riff in one of their many confrontations, at least most of the Sharks have jobs. The Jets—who are U.S.-born, mostly unemployed descendants of white European immigrants—are fueled by anger in their perception that the American Dream has been ripped away from them.

María, Bernardo, and Anita (who all pay rent and share the same apartment in this “West Side Story” remake) represent the American Dream of people whose first language is not English, which they’ve had to learn in order to get certain opportunities. María, Bernardo and Anita also represent Puerto Ricans who come to the United States in search of a better life while the majority of their families still live in Puerto Rico. Coming to a place like New York City—where the cost of living and is higher and the living spaces are smaller than most other U.S. cities—can be a rude awakening that can be handled with optimism or pessimism. This dichotomy is represented in one of the musical’s most famous song-and-dance numbers: “America,” with Anita taking the lead for the optimistic side, and Bernardo taking the lead for the pessimistic side.

A noticeable difference in this “West Side Story” remake is that the Puerto Ricans speak a lot more Spanish—and there are no subtitles. It’s a clear indication that Spielberg (who is one of the movie’s producers) wanted this version of “West Side Story” to be more inclusive to Spanish-speaking audiences and present a more realistic depiction of people who speak more than one language. Although the 2021 version of “West Side Story” has no subtitles for the Spanish-language dialogue, it’s easy for people who don’t know Spanish to figure out what what’s being said, based on the cast members’ tones of voice, body language and facial expressions.

In this movie remake, the Puerto Rican characters are less concerned about assimilating in English-speaking America than their counterparts were in the 1961 version of “West Side Story.” Valentina even says so, when she makes this comment about her interracial marriage: “I married a gringo. He thinks that makes me a gringo. I ain’t.”

“West Side Story” was ahead of its time for having the androgynous Anybodys character, who is presented in both movies as a young transgender man, during an era when the word “transgender” did not exist. In the “West Side Story” remake, Anybodys (played by Iris Menas) is a lookout for the Jets. Anybodys is sometimes referred to as a “girl,” but Anybodys would rather be just one of the guys.

There’s a point in the movie where people start using male pronouns to describe Anybodys—and that makes Anybodys very happy. In the 2021 “West Side Story” remake, Anybodys has less screen time than the Anybodys in the first “West Side Story” movie. The character is depicted with more subtlety and less-exaggerated mannerisms in the remake.

Just like in the original “West Side Story,” the movie begins with the introduction of the Jets, followed by the Sharks, and the tensions between the two gangs. The Jets are first seen emerging from the rubble with paint cans, which they use to commit vandalism on an outdoor wall mural of the Puerto Rican flag. (This vandalism of a Puerto Rican flag mural is new to the remake.) The Sharks see this vandalism, are offended, and a brawl ensues between the two gangs until police arrive to break up the fight.

On the scene is Officer Krupke (played by Brian d’Arcy James), a “regular Joe” cop who would like nothing more than for the Jets and the Sharks to stop fighting each other, even though he knows that’s not very realistic. Krupke’s swaggering boss is Lieutenant Schrank (played by Corey Stoll), who’s even more impatient with these rival gangs than Krupke is. Schrank gruffly insults the Jets by calling them “the last of the can’t-make-it Caucasians,” and he barks this order: “Evict yourself from my crime scene, Bernardo!”

The Jets and the Sharks don’t trust each other, but both gangs have even less trust of the police. It’s why no one in either gang will snitch when the police try to find out who started the violent fight. No one is arrested this time, but the fight’s not over. As soon as the cops leave, Riff and Bernardo agree that there should be a rumble to decide which gang will come out on top. Anita and María openly express their disapproval of Bernardo’s gang activities, but he doesn’t pay attention to them, and there’s not much María and Anita can do to stop him.

Riff is somewhat of a reluctant chief of the Jets because he became the default leader when Tony was sent to prison for attempted murder of a young man during a gang fight. Now on parole, Tony is keeping his distance from the Jets because he truly wants to turn his life around and no longer be a criminal. Tony will not rejoin the Jets, despite Riff’s constant pleas.

Faist’s version of Riff has an insecure scrappiness to how he handles his gang leadership, indicating that Riff craves and fears power. He looks like he’s got a more fascinating and harrowing story to tell than Russ Tamblyn’s version of Riff in the first “West Side Story” movie. Tamblyn’s Riff looks like a frat boy gone bad. Faist’s version of Riff looks like a real street survivor who’s had a rough life and has the facial scars to prove it.

Riff has a platinum-blonde girlfriend named Velma (played by Maddie Ziegler), who is loyal and loving to him, but she disapproves of him getting involved in violent crimes. It’s a change from the Velma in the first “West Side Story” movie, where Velma was much more of a gang moll who looked the other way or encouraged Riff to be a violent thug. Ziegler became an actress after years as a professional dancer. Her dance expertise shows in Velma’s feisty and eye-catching dance moves.

In this “West Side Story” remake, Tony goes into more details about his life in prison in ways that weren’t in the original “West Side Story” movie. He still talks more about how prison changed him and made him determined to lead a law-abiding and productive life, but he expresses more guilt about the crime and more remorse about how he hurt the victim. After he was released from prison, Valentina gave Tony a job and a place to stay. (He lives in the store’s basement.) Valentina has known the members of the Jets since they were children. She has become a mother figure to Tony, who is estranged from his parents.

Just like in the original “West Side Story,” Tony and María meet and have a “love at first sight” encounter at a dance attended by local young people, including the members of the Jets and the Sharks. The dance’s chaperone announces at the dance that it’s a “social experiment” to better integrate white people and Latinos who live in the area. “And then you can all go back to your feral lives,” the chaperone cynically adds. However, racial segregation is still a fact of life that the attendees find difficult to change at this dance. They still congregate in groups according to race, including the inevitable dance-off where Anita and Bernardo outshine everyone else.

As an example of how much slicker this version of “West Side Story” is, the dance is held at a shiny-looking, well-lit school gymnasium, compared to the somewhat dark and grimy-looking dancehall in the original “West Side Story” movie. It’s a setting that looks a little too polished and well-kept for an area that’s supposed to be populated by people who are struggling financially and has public schools that are more run-down than they should be.

Tony has come to this dance reluctantly, after much persuasion from Riff, who wants to use the dance as away for Tony to see all of his former gang pals again. But once Tony and María lock eyes, meet cute behind the gym bleachers, and exchange some smitten dialogue, Tony can’t think of anything else but being with María. Tony and María couple up immediately by dancing together and having their first kiss just a few minutes after meeting that night. They agree to meet the next day at a museum.

Tony and María’s attraction to each other doesn’t go unnoticed. Bernardo orders Tony to stay away from María . Bernardo would rather that María date someone who’s Puerto Rican, such as his mild-mannered best friend Chino (played by Josh Andrés Rivera), who is not a member of the Sharks, although Chino would like to be. Chino was sort of Maria’s date at this dance, but Chino and María’s relationship has always been about platonic friendship only.

At the dance, Bernardo gets a little rough by pushing Tony away when he sees that Tony is interested in María. Riff and the rest of the Jets come to Tony’s defense, which leads the Sharks to get in on the dispute. María and Anita are disgusted with all of this seemingly never-ending fighting between the Sharks and the Jets, so they leave the dance. However, Tony doesn’t join his former gang cronies in this fight and instead runs out of the dance to look for María , but she is long gone.

The next day at Doc’s store, Tony has told Valentina about this new romance. He asks Valentina how to say, “I want to be with you forever” in Spanish, so that he can make this declaration of love to María on their first date. These kids move fast. Even Valentina notices how quickly Tony wants to commit to María, by cracking this joke: “You sure you don’t want to ask her out for coffee first?” Because this movie is set in the 1950s, when it was more common for people in the U.S. to get married in their late teens and early 20s, this swift courtship is easier to believe than if the movie had been set in the present day.

María and Tony are blissfully happy together in the short time that they’ve known each other, but their romance is threatened by the growing hatred between the Jets and the Sharks. The “West Side Story” remake keeps the sentiment that María and Tony have a pure love for each other. It’s a love that borders on obsession, especially in a scene where María gets some very bad news about something Tony did to hurt one of María’s loved ones, and her priority is to comfort Tony. However, there’s a slight but noticeable difference in how the remake presents this scene, which is in a better way than the first “West Side Story” movie.

The “West Side Story” remake has no drastic revisions to the songs’ tempos or arrangements. The movie also doesn’t add any original songs that were written specifically for this remake, in an attempt to get awards for new and original movie music. The song placements mostly stay true to the original, with some notable exceptions.

“I Feel Pretty,” Maria’s joyous ode to romance and self-confidence, has a different setting. In the original “West Side Story” movie, Maria sang “I Feel Pretty” in a private room with three seamstresses. In the “West Side Story” remake makes this musical number a much more public spectacle.

María works as a cleaning woman at a boutique. She sings “I Feel Pretty” while dancing through the rooms of the boutique with several other cleaning women during after-hours. This setting gives the scene a more aspirational tone to what the characters do, as they let loose in a boutique where they work but probably can’t afford the clothes that are sold in the boutique.

Fans of Moreno will have to wait until the last third of the movie for Valentina’s big musical moment: the show-stopping tune “Somewhere,” which she performs solo. It’s an absolute exquisite rendition that might make some viewers more than a little misty-eyed. All of the cast members rise to the occasion to make this “West Side Story” very entertaining and emotion-filled. There isn’t a mediocre performer in the movie’s principal cast.

Zegler carries her scenes as María with an eager-to-please demeanor. She doesn’t have the star power of Wood, but Zegler and Elgort have nice chemistry together as María and Tony. Elgort doesn’t always sound like the working-class New Yorker that he’s supposed to be as Tony when he speaks, but Elgort gives Tony the type of heartthrob charm that makes it easy to see why María falls so hard and fast for him. Elgort and Zegler have singing voices that are very good, but not particularly distinctive.

DeBose lights up every scene that she’s in and is the breakout star of the movie. Her version of Anita has a commanding presence and the flashiest dance movies. Debose’s larger-than-life portrayal of Anita is ideal for this type of splashy movie musical. Anita has a big personality, but she also has a more realistic view of life and love than starry-eyed María. And that’s why, for adults with enough life experience, Anita is a more relatable character than María.

Alvarez’s Bernardo has more machismo, as well as a little more emotional depth, than the Bernardo of the original “West Side Story” movie. Bernardo uses his arrogance to cover up his insecurities over feeling like he’s someone who’s “not good enough,” so he over-compensates. What he sees as being over-protective of María is really being over-controlling. What he sees as pride in being a Shark is really an endorsement of violent racism.

In the original “West Side Story,” Anita and Bernardo were an attractive couple, but you never got the impression that they had much romantic passion for each other. There’s more believable sexual heat with Anita and Bernardo in this “West Side Story” remake. DeBose and Alvarez seem to have natural chemistry with each other as Anita and Bernardo, who sees himself as the ultimate alpha male. Sex in the movie is hinted at but not explicitly shown. For example, Anita and Bernardo kiss passionately before slamming a bedroom door behind them; María and Tony wake up together half-dressed in bed.

As for the dazzling dance numbers, “West Side Story” movie remake choreographer Justin Peck brings his ballet background to the movie, with dance moves that are more complicated but a little more graceful, enhancing the stellar work by choreographer/director Robbins for the first “West Side Story” movie. DeBose is a standout in the dance scenes, which have a more sensuous and unbridled energy than the original “West Side Story” movie. (And that’s probably because depictions of sexuality in movies had more restrictions in movies released in 1961, compared to 2021.)

For the “West Side Story” remake, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and production design make things look bigger and more over-the-top in scale. An overcast night can’t just be an overcast night. It looks like a fog-filled, full-moon scene out of a horror movie. A crumbling slum area can’t look like a crumbling slum area. It looks like a bombed-out war zone. It’s all very impressive, in terms of visuals.

And yet somehow, this more ambitious, bigger-budget version of “West Side Story” loses some of the neighborhood intimacy that the original “West Side Story” movie had. Everything looks professionally done in the remake, but just a little too staged and calculated. And maybe that’s because the movie was filmed and built on soundstages. (The “West Side Story” remake was filmed at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn.) Sometimes bigger isn’t always better.

The ending of the “West Side Story” remake doesn’t end as abruptly as the first “West Side Story” does. Without giving away too many details, it’s enough to say that the remake has a more melodramatic ending with some preachiness. It’s a revision that some “West Side Story” fans might like, while others won’t. This slightly new ending doesn’t take away from the overall spirit of “West Side Story,” which is a celebration of life and love, with the knowledge that both can be precious, fleeting and experienced with a lot of heartache.

20th Century Studios will release “West Side Story” in U.S. cinemas on December 10, 2021.

Review: ‘Sing 2,’ starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Bono and Halsey

November 28, 2021

by Carla Hay

Pictured in front row, from left to right: Klaus Kickenlober (voiced by Adam Buxton), Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), Porsha Crystal (voiced by Halsey), Clay Calloway (voiced by Bono), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), Darius (voiced by Eric André), Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll) in “Sing 2” (Image courtesy of Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures)

“Sing 2”

Directed by Garth Jennings

Culture Representation: Taking place in the fictional U.S. city of Redstone City and briefly in the fictional U.S. city of Calatonia, the animated film “Sing 2” features a predominantly white cast of actors (with a few black people) voicing the characters of talking animals that are connected in some ways to showbiz.

Culture Clash: The owner and star performers of Calatonia’s New Moon Theater take their act to Redstone City, the nation’s entertainment capital, in the hopes of becoming bigger stars, but the ruthless mogul who can give them their big break expects the group’s act to include a reclusive rock star who hasn’t performed live in 15 years. 

Culture Audience: Besides appealing to the obvious target audience of “Sing” fans and fans of the movie’s voice cast members, “Sing 2” will appeal primarily to people who don’t mind watching a “jukebox musical” with a poorly constructed, flimsy plot.

Pictured from left to right, beginning second from left: Jimmy Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale), Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) and Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) in “Sing 2” (Image courtesy of Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures)

Plagued by “sequel-itis,” the animated musical “Sing 2” sacrifices character development for a plot that sloppily rushes storylines and then turns into a commercial for Bono and U2’s music at the very end. The movie loses much of the charm of 2016’s “Sing” by having the main characters go off on different tangents and by introducing several new characters that are presented in a very superficial way. The “Sing” movie series (which is about talking animals, many of which can sing) also loses a lot of comedic appeal with “Sing 2,” by introducing a murderous villain that drags down the story with soulless acts of evil.

This decline in quality can’t be blamed on a change in filmmaker leadership. “Sing” and “Sing 2” were both written and directed by Garth Jennings and have the same producers (Janet Healy and Christopher Meledandri), as well as the same chiefs of certain departments, such as film editing, visual effects and music. The voice actors of most of the lead characters in “Sing” reprised the same roles for “Sing 2.”

Considering all of the talented people involved, it’s a disappointment that so much of “Sing 2” seems like a lazily conceived cash grab that does nothing innovative. The entire movie lacks suspense (there are absolutely no surprises) and over-relies on stringing together what are essentially separate animated music videos and trying to make it look like it’s all part of a cohesive plot. The visuals of “Sing 2” are perfectly fine, but there should be more to a movie than it just looking good.

Sequels are supposed to tell you more about the main characters, but “Sing 2” fails in this regard because you won’t learn almost anything new about the main characters from watching this sequel. “Sing 2” continues to have an overload of pop hits (original recordings and cover versions), but it’s less effective in this sequel, compared to the first “Sing” movie. That’s because “Sing 2” is essentially a mediocre “jukebox musical,” where song placement is more important than having a well-written storyline and memorable dialogue. Most of the new characters in “Sing 2” have hollow and stereotypical personalities.

“Sing 2” also follows a predictable plot formula for the second movie in an animated series: The main characters travel out of their home environment and get involved in new adventures somewhere else. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that formula if it’s done with an engaging story. (It’s a formula that Pixar Animation has mastered with many of its sequels.) Unfortunately, “Sing 2” does not have a story that’s very interesting.

“Sing 2” is also one of those sequels that doesn’t do a very good job of introducing the main characters to viewers who didn’t see the first “Sing” movie. “Sing 2” assumes that people seeing this sequel are already familiar with the main characters. But that’s an assumption that just makes the screenwriting look even lazier than it needed to be.

Some of the characters in the first “Sing” movie struggled with different personal issues. For example, one character has a criminal parent who discouraged him from being a singer, and that parent ended up being incarcerated for a robbery. Another character suffered from stage fright. If any those issues are mentioned in “Sing 2,” they’re vague references when they should be a little more detailed, to give the characters more depth. In addition, “Sing 2” doesn’t really mention that all of the main characters that are singers met each other through a talent contest that was the focus of the first “Sing” movie.

If you must waste your time on the inferior “Sing 2,” it’s best to see the first “Sing” movie so you can understand the backstories of the main characters and see their real personalities. In “Sing 2,” almost all of the main characters’ personalities are reduced to soundbite-like dialogue in between singing songs. The good news is that all of the cast members who sing do a very fine job with their performances.

In “Sing” (which takes place in the fictional U.S. city of Calatonia), an ambitious koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) owns an inherited theater that’s in danger of shutting down due to his financal problems. In order to get publicity for the theater and increase attendance, Buster holds a talent contest that attracts several Calatonia residents, and some of these characters end up being the stars of the contest. In “Sing 2,” Buster wants to take his productions out of regional theater and into the big leagues of a Vegas-styled musical show.

These singing stars from the “Sing” talent contest make their return in the “Sing 2” movie:

  • Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a pig who’s a harried housewife and a mother of 25 piglets.
  • Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), a porcupine who’s a rock singer/guitarist and a feminist.
  • Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), a gorilla who can play sing and piano a lot like Elton John.
  • Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), an elephant who’s shy and insecure except when she’s singing.
  • Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), a pig who’s flamboyant and an occasional duet partner with Rosita.

Also returning for “Sing 2” is Buster’s eccentric administrative assistant Miss Crawly (voiced by writer/director Jennings), an iguana with a glass eye that often falls out and causes mishaps. Making cameos in “Sing 2” are two other characters from the first “Sing” movie: Johnny’s gorilla gangster father Big Daddy (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz) and elderly sheep Nana Noodleman (voiced by Jennifer Saunders), who is a wealthy benefactor and former theater diva.

In the beginning of “Sing 2,” New Moon Theater (the venue owned by Buster) is presenting a musical production of “Alice in Wonderland,” with Meena in the starring role of Alice. The show is a local hit that plays to sold-out audiences. During a performance, Buster is excited to see that an important talent scout named Suki Lane (voiced by Chelsea Peretti) is in the audience and taking notes.

Suki (who is a brown dog that can walk upright and has human-like arms and legs ) works for the mega-company Crystal Entertainment in Redshore City, the entertainment capital of the nation. Redshore City is designed to look a lot like Las Vegas. Miss Crawly tells Buster that Suki has been paying attention to the show and seems to be entertained.

After the performance, Buster rushes after Suki to talk to her before she can leave. He asks her what she thought of the show. Suki haughtily replies, “It’s a cute little show, but it’s not what we’re looking for. You’re not good enough. You’ve got a nice little local theater here, and it’s great for what it is, but trust me: You’d never make it in the big leagues.”

Buster is stung by this criticism, but he’s not ready to give up so easily. Even if his productions are considered regional theater, he knows that these shows have value because they frequently sell out. Suki gets in a chauffeured car to leave. Buster chases after the moving car on his bike, and he holds on to the car door to continue to talk to Suki.

Suki thinks that Buster is crazy and tells the driver to speed up, in order to get rid of Buster. Buster is essentially run off of the road, and he lands in a nearby canal. This debacle is witnessed by several residents who are near the canal. It’s a humiliating moment for Buster, but it’s played for laughs in the movie.

A discouraged Buster tells Nana about Suki’s rejection. He moans, “I’m a failure!” Nana scolds Buster for letting this setback make him think that he should give up. She tells him that if he doesn’t believe in himself and what he has to offer, then no one else will. Buster takes this advice and decides to round up Meena, Rosita, Ash, Johnny, Gunter and Miss Crawly to go on a road trip with him to Redstone City. The goal is to convince Crystal Entertainment to let them do a musical at the much-larger and more famous Crystal Tower Theater.

Ash already has a paying gig at a local rock club in Calatonia, but she’s being underpaid. When Buster meets up with Ash to ask her to go on the trip, he sees her backstage after a performance, right before she’s supposed to do an encore. The club owner/manager hands Ash a paycheck, and she’s annoyed because the amount is far less than what other artists at the club are getting paid.

Ash says to the club owner/manager: “I have a rule about not letting guys like you tell me what I’m worth. Unless I get paid like everyone else, I’m outta here!” And with that, she walks out of the building with Buster, without doing the encore.

The owner of Crystal Entertainment is Jimmy Crystal (played by Bobby Cannavale), who is literally and figuratively a wolf. He’s a hard-nosed, ruthless business mogul who insists that people call him Mr. Crystal. He is first seen judging auditioners at Crystal Tower Theater and giving red-buzzer rejections to every act, no matter how talented the act is.

Meanwhile, Buster and his group have arrived at Crystal Entertainment headquarters, but they don’t make it past the reception area because they don’t have an appointment. However, they go in a side employee entrance, find some sanitation worker uniforms, and disguise themselves as sanitation workers, in order to sneak into the auditions.

After a quick change back into their regular clothes, this enterprising group sneaks onto the audition stage. Buster makes an earnest pitch to offer his theater group for a musical show at Crystal Tower Theater. Mr. Crystal rejects them, of course. Buster tries to get Mr. Crystal to change his mind, but Mr. Crystal doesn’t want to hear it and is infuriated that these rejected auditioners don’t want to leave the stage.

Just as Mr. Crystal is about to have them thrown out, he overhears Gunter say that Gunter is a fan of Clay Calloway, a rock superstar lion who has been in seclusion for the past 15 years. Mr. Crystal asks if they know Clay. Buster lies and says yes. Mr. Crystal then changes his mind and says that he’ll agree to let Buster’s group do a show at the Crystal Tower Theater, on one condition: Clay Calloway has to be part of the act too.

Buster continues to lie and says it won’t be a problem because he and Clay are friends. When Mr. Crystal asks what the name of the show is, Gunter comes up with a title on the spot: “Out of This World.” It’s described as an outer-space musical. Mr. Crystal doesn’t care about the details because he just wants Clay Calloway to perform at the Crystal Tower Theater.

Mr. Crystal gives Buster and his group just three weeks to produce the show. He puts them up in the Crystal Tower Hotel and pays for all of their expenses. Buster is elated and decides he’ll figure out a way to convince Clay Calloway to be a part of the show. Ash is a big fan of Clay’s and she wants to go with Buster for this persuasive visit. Ash explains that Clay has become a grieving recluse ever since the death of his wife Ruby, who was his muse.

In the meantime, Buster works with Gunter on the concept for the “Out of This World” musical. They come up with the idea to have Rosita star as an astronaut looking for an outer-space explorer, with Gunter as a robot sidekick/aide. During this mission, she will have to visit four planets that have four different themes: war, love, despair and joy. This idea is as poorly conceived as it sounds.

Meanwhile, there’s more to Mr. Crystal than meets the eye. When an uninteresting movie like this is filled with hackneyed stereotypes, here’s one more: Mr. Crystal is really a gangster. A Vegas-styled hotel/casino owner who’s involved with illegal activities? Where did the filmmakers get this idea?

“Sing 2” starts to go off the rails in how it presents the preparations for this horrendous “Out of This World” musical production, by having the stars of the show go off in different directions with silly subplots. Rosita decides to invite her husband Norman (voiced by Nick Offerman) and their 25 kids to Redstone City. (After all, Mr. Crystal is paying for everything.) And so, there’s a scene of the kids being brats as they invade a food buffet area in the hotel and cause all types of chaos.

Rosita is playing an astronaut who has to do some high-flying stunts on stage. And therefore, it’s not a good time for Rosita to find out that she’s afraid of heights. Around the same time, Mr. Crystal insists that his daughter Porsha Crystal (voiced by Halsey) will be the star of the show. Buster is put in the awkward position of telling Rosita that she’s being replaced in the starring role. Porsha is a spoiled airhead who sounds like she’s spent too much time watching “Jersey Shore.”

Johnny is supposed to play a dancing gladiator-type of warrior in “Out of This World,” but Johnny doesn’t know how to dance. And so, the show’s uptight and mean-spirited monkey choreographer Klaus Kickenklober (voiced by Adam Buxton) makes Johnny’s life a living hell. But what do you know: One day, Johnny sees a sassy lynx street dancer named Nooshy (voiced by Letitia Wright), who attracts an enthusiastic crowd. Johnny is impressed with Nooshy’s talent, so he hires her to give him private dance lessons.

Meena, who is very inexperienced when it comes to dating, is paired with a conceited yak actor named Darius (voiced by Eric André), so she’s dreading the love scenes that they have to do in the musical. “Sing 2” has such slipshod screenwriting, Meena’s and Darius’ character roles in “Out of This World” are never clearly defined, except to show that they’re supposed to play each other’s love interest in “Out of This World.” Darius could have been breakout “Sing 2” character as a hilarious buffoon, but he’s mainly brought out for some underwhelming scenes where the jokes fall flat.

Meanwhile, Meena catches the eye of a mild-mannered elephant named Alfonso (voiced by Pharrell), an ice cream truck vendor. It’s obvious that Alfonso wants to date Meena, but she’s bashful about how to handle it. Alfonso compliments Meena on her singing talent, but she’s afraid to have conversations with him. None of these new supporting characters in “Sing 2” has a backstory or fully developed personality.

Meanwhile, there’s a time-wasting scene where Miss Crawly drives to reclusive rock star Clay’s estate (while System of a Down’s “Chop Suey!” is playing), to find out if she can get access to him. Some more problems ensue involving her glass eye, because the filmmakers seem to want to make Miss Crawly’s glass eye the main gimmick for the slapstick comedy about her. Needless to say, Miss Crawly is unsuccessful in getting to Clay. Buster and Ash decide to give it a try.

The second trailer for “Sing 2” already revealed that Clay (voiced by Bono, lead singer of U2) does come out of seclusion to perform on stage. But even if this major plot development hadn’t already been disclosed, it would be very easy to predict. The movie blandly and vaguely handles how Clay is convinced to come out of seclusion.

“Sing 2” is Bono’s animated feature-film debut as an actor. Bono’s speaking voice in this role is lowered one or two octaves from his real speaking voice. It seems like he’s trying to sound like a husky-voiced American rock star (somewhat like a combination of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits), but Bono’s natural Irish accent can still occasionally be heard in the dialogue.

As for the music of “Sing 2,” just like the first “Sing” movie, a lot of it comes in snippets of one minute or less per song. Songs that drop in for a longer than a minute (but still quickly) include Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Mercury Rev’s “Holes,” Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” Eve’s “Who’s That Girl” and Camila Cabello and Mendes’ “Señorita.”

The longer musical numbers are serviceable, although there are a few standout moments. Halsey shines in her biggest number, when she sings a rousing rendition of the Struts’ “Could Have Been Me.” Halsey’s version of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” is also impressive. Johansson does nicely with her cover version of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

However, the Tori Kelly/Pharrell Williams duet of Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer” has no heat. It’s also a very tame song selection for the characters of Meena and Alfonso, who are supposed to be in the early stages of a romance. Their first duet should’ve been more of a passionate love song or a more emotion-filled song about longing for love.

It seems like the “Sing 2” filmmakers bent over backwards to make Bono and his Clay character overshadow the movie’s last 15 minutes to steal the show. In the first “Sing” movie, main characters Rosita, Meena, Ash and Johnny all had their big individual singing moments in the spotlight. In “Sing 2,” everyone seems to have to clear a path for Bono/Clay.

In “Sing 2,” the Johnny character is woefully under-used as a singer. The movie seems more concerned about showing him awkwardly learning dance moves. It’s a shame, really, because Egerton is such a talented singer. His rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in the first “Sing” movie was one of the catalysts to Egerton being cast in John’s 2019 musical biopic “Rocketman.”

“Sing 2” is essentially a vehicle to promote U2’s music in the latter half of the movie. There are four U2 songs in “Sing 2”: the aforementioned “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” and “Your Song Saved My Life,” which was written for the “Sing 2” soundtrack. Obviously, “Your Song Saved My Life” is supposed to be Clay’s big moment. “Your Song Saved My Life” isn’t bad, but it’s not outstanding, and it won’t be considered a U2 classic.

If you want to know another reason “Sing 2” is such a disappointing mess, the filmmakers made Bono—one of the most charismatic rock stars on the planet—a dull and dreary character in this movie. The Clay character could’ve been played by almost anyone, but it seems like in order to get U2’s music for this movie, the filmmakers had to cast Bono in this role. It’s too bad that Bono and the rest of the talented voice actors are stuck in this hack karaoke project that has a major studio budget.

Universal Pictures will release “Sing 2” in U.S. cinemas on December 22, 2021.

Review: ‘The Beatles: Get Back,’ starring Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr

November 25, 2021

by Carla Hay

Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in “The Beatles: Get Back” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

“The Beatles: Get Back”

Directed by Peter Jackson

Culture Representation: Taking place in London in January 1969, the three-part documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back” features a predominantly white and mostly British group of people (with one Japanese person and one African American person) representing the middle-class and wealthy in this chronicle of the beginning of the Beatles’ last recording sessions, as well as the Beatles’ last live public performance.

Culture Clash: Before the band broke up in 1970, the Beatles had internal struggles and disagreements over who would lead the band and how each member’s talent and contributions were valued within the group.

Culture Audience: Besides appealing to the obvious target audience of Beatles fans, “The Beatles: Get Back” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of 1960s rock music who want detailed observations of what music studio sessions looked like at the time.

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon in “The Beatles: Get Back” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

The three-episode official Beatles docuseries “The Beatles: Get Back” gives Beatles fans more than enough of what they might be looking for in this intimate chronicle of the band’s recording sessions and rehearsals in London in January 1969. “The Beatles: Get Back” (directed by Peter Jackson) expands on the footage that was in director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 Beatles documentary “Let It Be,” which is no longer officially distributed but has been widely bootlegged. “The Beatles: Get Back” is the docuseries for you, if you’re the type of music fan who relishes seeing several different rehearsal snippets of the same Beatles songs that mostly ended up on the band’s 1969 “Abbey Road” album and 1970 “Let It Be” album. If you have absolutely no interest in watching the Beatles in a recording/rehearsal studio, then you might be bored and might not be able to finish watching this documentary.

That’s because most of the footage in this 468-minute docuseries (that’s 7.8 hours) takes place at recording/rehearsal studios: Twickenham and Apple Corps, to be exact. (Apple Corps is the London-based entertainment company founded by the Beatles in 1967, and is not to be confused with the California-based computer technology company Apple Inc. that was co-founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976.) The docuseries culminates with the Beatles performing a brief surprise concert on the rooftop of Apple Corps headquarters, which would end up being the band’s last live public performance. A great deal of the docuseries shows the repetitive nature of doing takes and re-takes of songs in the studio. In that regard, “The Beatles: Let It Be” could have used tighter editing to keep the interest of people with short attention spans.

The vast majority of the docuseries footage is within the confines of a studio. But what happens in that studio is pure magic for people who want to see how the Beatles crafted many of their songs from this period of time. There’s plenty of footage of the band’s personal interactions, but it’s only in the context of this work environment.

And that’s why the docuseries will appeal most to die-hard Beatles fans, who aren’t going to mind that this documentary’s cameras didn’t follow Beatles members Paul McCartney (bass guitar), John Lennon (rhythm guitar), George Harrison (lead guitar) and Ringo Starr (drums) outside of the studio to show what they were like outside of work. People who want to see more controversy in this documentary will be disappointed. However, the filmmakers made the decision not take the tabloid route, so that the documentary would remain focused mainly on the Beatles’ music.

“The Beatles: Get Back” is an insightful look at the band dynamics that foreshadowed why the Beatles broke up in 1970, but the documentary also shows the special chemistry and camaraderie that the Beatles had together. People who know Beatles history are the ones who will have the most appreciation of this deep-dive look into these recording/rehearsal sessions. After all, how many times does someone need to see the different ways that Beatles songs such as “Get Back,” “The Long and Winding Road” or “Don’t Let Me Down” were recorded or rehearsed? Die-hard fans will tolerate this type of repetition the most. The documentary also shows that the Beatles spent a lot of time in the studio performing cover songs for fun.

At the time this documentary footage was filmed, the idea was to record the next Beatles album live in the studio and make a documentary about it. (“Abbey Road” was actually recorded after the “Let It Be” album, but “Abbey Road” was released first.) The band also planned to do a live concert as a TV special. Lindsay-Hogg was the director hired for the documentary and the TV special, with the entire project tentatively called “Get Back,” named after one of the hit songs that would be on the “Let It Be” album. A big problem was that with less than three weeks before the concert was to take place, the band still couldn’t agree/decide on where the concert should be.

In the docuseries, band members have disagreements with each other, but no one has screaming arguments or destroys instruments in anger. Yoko Ono (an avant-garde artist who was Lennon’s girlfriend at the time and became his wife in March 1969) is not seen pitting Lennon and McCartney against each other, and she doesn’t try to tell the band what to do. In other words, this not the Beatles version of the 1984 rock mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap.” That might come as a surprise to people who have come to expect drama akin to a soap opera in behind-the-scenes music documentaries about rock bands on the verge of splitting up.

And so, people looking for that type of turmoil won’t find it in “The Beatles: Get Back,” whose producers include McCartney, Ono (Lennon’s widow), Olivia Harrison (George Harrison’s widow), Starr and Jackson. The documentary does show how George Harrison briefly quit the Beatles, but his departure is not the disaster it could have been. That’s mainly because the other band members carry on with their work, as if they know deep down that Harrison will change his mind and come back less than a week later. (And that’s exactly what happened.)

Harrison’s temporary split from the Beatles was not made public at the time. This abrupt departure of someone from the most famous band in the world would be harder to keep a secret in today’s celebrity news environment, where this type of news would spread quickly on the Internet. It’s a testament to how the Beatles employees and associates who knew about Harrison quitting back then were discreet enough to not leak this information.

There’s so much to delve into “The Beatles: Get Back” because each episode of the series is longer than the average episode of a docuseries. Episode One is 157 minutes. Episode Two is 173 minutes. Episode Three is 138 minutes. “The Beatles: Get Back” director Jackson (who is a Beatles superfan) and his team lovingly restored the footage that was originally directed by Lindsay-Hogg.

Over the 21 days that Lindsay-Hogg and his team documented the Beatles in January 1969, there were about 60 hours of filmed footage and about 120 hours of audio recordings that ended up being edited for “The Beatles: Get Back” docuseries. The results are footage and audio that look and sound clear and crisp. The songs performed in the studio sessions have quick-cut editing in the docuseries. It’s as if the filmmakers don’t want the entire performance of each song to be seen, in anticipation of the Beatles’ rooftop concert. On-screen captions indicate which takes of these songs ended up on a Beatles album.

It’s explained in the beginning of the series that the Beatles had the daunting task of writing and rehearsing 14 new songs within a two-week period, in order for them to make the deadline for the TV concert. The Beatles didn’t agree on everything, but they all agreed that if this concert was going to happen, it wouldn’t be to play their old hits. They wanted it to be a showcase for their new songs. For recordings and rehearsals, they started off at Twickenham Studios for the first eight days, and then spent the remaining 13 days at Apple Studios.

Here’s a summary of the highlights from each episode:

Episode One

(Days 1 to 7)

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in “The Beatles: Get Back” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

The episode begins with a brief chronological history of the Beatles, leading up to January 1969. At this point in the Beatles’ career, the band members were managing themselves, ever since Beatles manager Brian Epstein died of a sedative overdose in 1967, at the age of 32. McCartney is clearly the band member in charge, but disagreements over who should be the band’s next official manager were among the big reasons why the band broke up. Beatles fans will notice in this docuseries that these tensions were brewing and an indication of trouble to come. More on that later.

Even though Epstein wasn’t much older than the Beatles, certain band members still refer to him as “Mr. Epstein” and describe him as a father figure who was the one who kept them disciplined and taught them a certain work ethic as a band. With Epstein gone, McCartney has tried to step into the role of a leader who expects everyone to be their best and show up on time. But it’s how McCartney handles that leadership role that causes friction with other members of the group, especially Harrison and Lennon.

Lennon and McCartney co-wrote most of the songs that ended up on Beatles albums. If McCartney wrote most of a Lennon/McCartney song, McCartney was the one who sang lead vocals. If Lennon wrote most of a Lennon/McCartney song, Lennon was the one who sang lead vocals. Harrison would write Beatles songs on his own and sing lead vocals on them, but his songs were very much in the minority on Beatles albums. On rare occasions, Starr (whose real name is Richard Starkey) got a songwriting credit and lead vocals on a Beatles song.

This is the type of Beatles history that is not explained in the docuseries. However, people who are unfamiliar with the Beatles can discern these group dynamics when watching this docuseries, because every time a song is performed, the song’s title and the last name(s) of the songwriter(s) are listed on the screen. Even people with scarce knowledge of the Beatles have some idea that the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo was the dominant songwriting partnership in the Beatles.

Although early in the Beatles’ career, Harrison was nicknamed in the media as “The Quiet Beatle,” Starr was actually the quietest member of the Beatles at this point in 1969. He’s often seen silently observing (and sometimes napping) while the other members of the band hash out some of their differences. He’s also the most easygoing member of the Beatles and the one most likely to want to keep the peace. It’s probably why the Beatles chose Starr’s home as the place for the Beatles to meet with Harrison after he abruptly quit the group.

McCartney is either motivational or bossy, depending on your perspective. He’s the one most likely to have big ambitions for the Beatles. He repeats throughout the documentary that he doesn’t just want to do albums. He wants the Beatles’ music to serve a bigger purpose and have more visual documentation of their art, such as filming the recording of the album.

Lennon is the sarcastic joker of the group. After recently getting involved in an intense love affair with Ono, he is shown as becoming less interested in arriving on time for band meetings and studio sessions. Lennon and Harrison are the Beatles members who are most likely to be tardy in these studio sessions.

Ono is never far from Lennon during most of these sessions, where she often sits next to him as if she’s also a member of the band. She doesn’t talk much, but her influence over Lennon is obvious, since she’s the only woman who’s allowed to join in and contribute vocals with the Beatles when they’re writing and recording. She doesn’t sing. The sound that comes out of her mouth is more like screeching or caterwauling.

During the first days of these sessions, Harrison seems motivated and greets people warmly. Harrison and Starr say “Happy New Year” to each other the first time that the band meets for these sessions. In another scene, Harrison compliments McCartney by saying of McCartney’s newly grown facial hair: “I think the beard suits you, man.” But as time goes on, Harrison looks both emotionally alienated and exasperated. And it’s not just because McCartney is telling Harrison how he wants Harrison’s guitar playing to sound.

It’s also because Harrison can see that, once again, most of his song ideas are being ignored. At this point in Harrison’s life, he was deep into Hare Krishna spirituality. It shows in the documentary, because a few of Harrison’s Hare Krishna friends/hangers-on, including two named Shyamsunder Das and Mukanda Goswami, are seen occasionally sitting cross-legged in the background, looking zoned-out or meditative.

For the concert TV special, McCartney was keen for the Beatles to perform a live concert again for the first time in three years (the Beatles quit touring in 1966), but he doesn’t want the band to perform in a typical and predictable setting. It’s here that McCartney tries to assert his leadership because he comes up with the idea that the Beatles should do a surprise concert at a place where they could get arrested. He half-jokingly suggests that the Beatles perform at the House of Parliament, where the band would undoubtedly be ejected. “You have to take a bit of violence,” McCartney says of his idea to do a guerilla-styled concert.

Lindsay-Hogg hates the idea. “I think it’s too dangerous. You could go back to Manila,” he says. It’s a reference to the Beatles’ harrowing 1966 experience of facing a group of angry citizens who aggressively manhandled the Beatles for skipping a meeting with Imelda Marcos, the wife of then-Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos. Lindsay-Hogg is fixated on an idea to have the Beatles perform at an open-air amphitheatre in the desert of Subrata, Libya. (It’s a terrible idea because of the difficult logistics involved. The ancient amphitheatre was not built for a 1969 rock concert that would require a lot of electrical wiring.)

Lindsay-Hogg also suggests that maybe the Beatles could perform at orphanages. He appeals to Harrison’s charitable side by trying to get him to agree to a charity concert. “They say charity begins at home,” Harrison quips. McCartney responds by joking that they should have the concert at Harrison’s house.

Film producer Denis O’Dell pushes for the Beatles to do the concert on some type of ship or boat. However, practical-minded Harrison says that this idea is “insane,” because the acoustics would be substandard and the production costs would be too high. Harrison mentions the Beatles’ widely panned 1967 TV special “Magical Mystery Tour” as an example of an expensive mistake. Lennon doesn’t seem to care where the Beatles play, while Starr says almost nothing at all when it comes to ideas or suggestions.

It’s in this docuseries’ first episode that viewers are also introduced to many of the key crew members who were part of the Beatles’ inner circle for this documentary. There’s Lindsay-Hogg, an American-Irish hotshot director who talks in an upper-crust accent and is often seen puffing on a cigar. He likes to remind people that he’s a huge Beatles fan, not just a hired gun. Far from being a “yes man,” Lindsay-Hogg is very opinionated and isn’t afraid to disagree with some of the Beatles’ ideas.

Beatles music producer George Martin conducts himself with the air of a calm and dignified businessman, but he is surprisingly not in this documentary as much as people might think he would be. Instead, engineer Glyn Johns (who is most definitely not a businessman type) has the most screen time as the one who takes charge of the technical side of the recording sessions. Other staffers and associates who are seen in the documentary, beginning with this episode, include Apple president Neil Aspinall, music publisher Dick James, roadie/personal assistant Mal Evans, roadie Kevin Harrington, cinematographer Tony Richmond, camera operator Les Parrott, song recordist Peter Sutton and electronic engineer Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas.

Harrison is the first one the documentary to mention that the Beatles should break up. “Maybe we should have a divorce,” Harrison tells the other Beatles. Lennon quips, “Who would have the children?” McCartney jokes, “Dick James.” McCartney’s comment refers to how, at the time, James (through his Northern Songs Ltd. publishing company) owned the copyrights to Beatles songs written by Lennon and McCartney. Later in 1969, James sold Northern Songs to Associated Television (ATV) without telling Lennon and McCartney in advance. The battle to own the Beatles’ song publishing could be its own documentary.

Starr’s wife Maureen Starkey makes a brief appearance. Just like the other women in this documentary, she doesn’t say much. The episode ends with Harrison getting up and announcing he’s leaving the band. Lennon says that if Harrison doesn’t come back in a few days, the Beatles should get Eric Clapton as a replacement. (Clapton was Harrison’s best friend at the time.) An episode epilogue caption says that the attempted reconciliation with Harrison at Starr’s house did not go very well.

What the documentary doesn’t mention is that Starr’s wife Maureen Starkey and Harrison were having an affair at the time, according to several books about the Beatles. Meanwhile, Clapton was in love with Harrison’s wife Pattie (Clapton wrote the 1971 song “Layla” about her), and she would eventually leave Harrison in 1977 for Clapton, who became her second husband two years later. If this is the type of love triangle drama that people wanted to see in this documentary, you’re not going to find it.

Episode Two

(Days 8 to 16)

Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon in “The Beatles: Get Back” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

As we all know, Harrison eventually did come back to the Beatles, as seen in this episode. During his absence, the other band members have a bittersweet laugh when a bouquet of flowers arrives for Harrison at the studio. Starr opens the greeting card and sees that the flowers are from a Hare Krishna group that obviously doesn’t know that Harrison had recently quit the band.

But the most intriguing part of the episode is that McCartney starts to get real about the band’s problems. The documentary mentions that a hidden microphone was placed in a flower pot to capture a conversation between Lennon and McCartney over Harrison’s unhappiness in the Beatles. This secret recording was clearly the filmmakers’ attempt to find out McCartney’s true feelings, since he was the band member who tended to be the most image-conscious and careful about what he said on camera.

In this undercover conversation, Lennon says of Harrison’s discontent: “It’s a festering wound that we’ve allowed … and we didn’t give him any bandages. We have egos.” McCartney says of Harrison’s concerns: “I do think he’s right.” McCartney also tries to appeal to Lennon’s ego by saying that the Beatles will always be Lennon’s band.

Through his actions and words in this documentary, McCartney seems to want to give the impression that he’s stepping up in a leadership role because no one else in the Beatles wants to do it. The problem, which has also been documented in several books about the Beatles, is that the other members of the group get frustrated when McCartney acts like his ideas are usually the best ideas. Harrison isn’t the only one who’s starting to drift away and feel alienated.

In another part of the episode, when McCartney knows that he’s being filmed, he says to a group of people (including Eastman and Starr) that Lennon is losing interest in the Beatles. If Lennon had to choose between the Beatles or Ono, McCartney predicts: “Obviously, if it came to a push between Yoko and the Beatles, it’s Yoko.” McCartney also says that he and Lennon are spending less time writing songs together because their lifestyles have changed. He mentions that because the Beatles weren’t touring, he and Lennon weren’t spending time together in hotel rooms, where Lennon and McCartney would get a lot of songwriting done.

New romances were affecting the Lennon/McCartney friendship. Linda Eastman, a photographer from New York, had recently begun dating McCartney and would become his wife in March 1969. Eastman is in the documentary as a laid-back presence, who occasionally takes photos and snuggles with McCartney. During a band meeting where they discuss Harrison quitting the group, Eastman pipes up that she noticed that at the reconciliation attempt at Starr’s house, Ono seemed to be talking for Lennon instead of Lennon talking for himself.

The documentary doesn’t give a lot of evidence to support a lingering perception among some Beatles fans that Ono is mainly to blame for breaking up the Beatles. She doesn’t talk much when she’s with the Beatles in these studio sessions. On the rare occasions that she smiles, it’s when she gazes lovingly at Lennon or shows other public displays of affection with him. She’s shown as not being particularly close to anyone in the Beatles’ inner circle except for Lennon. McCartney says prophetically, “It’s going to be such an incredible, comical thing, like in 50 years’ time [people will say], ‘They broke up because Yoko sat on an amp.'”

Still, there’s no denying that there’s unspoken tension between McCartney and Ono. During a group discussion, McCartney talks about how he still wants the Beatles to be on the top of their game in the documentary. “We want to show the world what we have,” McCartney says. Ono chimes in, “Or what we haven’t.”

The reality seems to be sinking in with McCartney that he and his longtime pal Lennon are going in different directions with their lives. McCartney seems to want to hold on to an idea that the Beatles can continue, but only if they agree with his wish that they don’t do anything in a boring and predictable way. Meanwhile, a frustrated Harrison seems like he wants to be a solo artist, whether the other band members approve or not. As for Starr, he just seems to want to know if he has a job and where to show up. When McCartney half-jokingly suggests that the Beatles should announce their breakup at the end of their upcoming concert, Starr reacts with a mortified look on his face that’s priceless.

In between all of this interpersonal drama, the Beatles are still capable of working together in a respectful and cohesive manner as musicians in a studio. Harrison starts to become more jovial, while Lennon cracks jokes to lighten the mood. After Harrison comes back to the band, McCartney seems more mindful of how he gives suggestions to Harrison, in order to avoid looking like an overly critical taskmaster.

McCartney also mentions to his bandmates that he has personal film footage of the time that the Beatles spent at a 1967 retreat with the spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was exposed years later as a con artist. McCartney vividly describes scenes from this footage, some of which are shown in the documentary. Lennon and McCartney have a laugh when McCartney comments on the retreat, “You can see from the film that it’s very much like school.”

Harrison’s wife Pattie appears very briefly in this episode when she visits the studio. Out of all of the Beatles’ significant others at the time, she’s the one who is seen the least in the documentary. Pattie was busy with her modeling career at the time, but she and other people have since revealed that her marriage to Harrison was in deep trouble in 1969, because of the love triangle with Clapton.

A great scene in this episode is when comedian/actor Peter Sellers (who was Starr’s co-star in the 1969 movie “The Magic Christian”) stops by for a visit. It’s the first time that Sellers has met the members of the band, other than Starr. Sellers is quiet and bashful. Some viewers might speculate that he seems a little star-struck by the Beatles. He also seems a little bored, because he doesn’t stay for long. Maybe he thought being in a recording studio with the Beatles would be one big party.

In this encounter with Sellers, Lennon proves to be a lot funnier than world-famous comedian Sellers. As Sellers says a “nice to meet you” goodbye to the group, Lennon makes a drug joke when he says to Sellers: “Just don’t leave the needles lying around.” Everyone in the room laughs, except for Sellers, who seems a little taken aback by this joke and that someone can get bigger laughs than he usually does.

Speaking of drug references, there are some noticeable ones in this episode. Lennon shows up late at the studio one day, and he says it’s because he stayed up all night while he was on drugs. “I was stoned and high and watching films,” Lennon confesses. McCartney, ever aware of the Beatles’ image, looks slightly alarmed, knowing that Lennon was caught on camera with this comment. McCartney responds, “Is there a need to do this in public, Mr. Lennon?”

Earlier in the episode, Starr is seen on camera asking personal assistant Evans, “Do you have any pep pills?” And the band’s goofiest antics and loopiest comments in this episode and the other episodes in the docuseries could be interpreted as actions of people under the influence of unnamed substances. At any rate, no one actually says out loud which illegal drugs might have been consumed. The Beatles are seen smoking a lot of cigarettes and drinking alcohol (usually wine or beer) during these sessions. Even if illegal drug taking had been caught on camera, it wouldn’t have made the final cut in a Disney+ documentary.

This episode shows how image-conscious the Beatles were, since there are multiple scenes of them reading articles about themselves in newspapers and magazines and making comments about what they see in this media coverage. Harrison is irked by a Daily Mail article written by Michael Housegro, in which Housegro claims that Lennon and Harrison got into a fist fight and that the Beatles are on the verge of breaking up.

Housegro was wrong about the fist fight, and Harrison asks someone in the room if the Beatles can sue over the article. The answer is no. Harrison and Lennon have a bit of a laugh over it though, and pretend to get in a fist fight when the article is read out loud. Later, McCartney reads the article out loud in a very sing-song, sarcastic manner while plugged into a microphone and pretending that article’s words are lyrics to a song.

The Beatles move their recording/rehearsal sessions to Apple when their scheduled time at Twickenham comes to an end. When they begin working at Apple, it’s the first time that the documentary shows life outside the studio bubble. The members of the band show up in separate cars and walk inside without any bodyguards or entourages. If there were any paparazzi photographers lurking about, they’re not shown in this documentary.

It’s in this episode that Apple Scruffs (the nickname for the female fans who would wait outside Apple headquarters to get a glimpse of the Beatles) are first seen. Two Apple Scruffs named Eileen Kensles and Sue Ahearne are interviewed. They both say that what they want most for the Beatles to do next is to perform a live concert.

At Apple headquarters, Magic Alex had constructed a custom-built studio for the Beatles. However, the band discovers that ths custom studio equipment has too much distortion. Beatles producer Martin comes to the rescue by letting the Beatles use some equipment that he had, thereby diverting a major setback.

Things get livelier when keyboardist Billy Preston joins the sessions. His enthusiasm and talent seem to lift the Beatles’ spirits. McCartney briefly considers eventually making Preston a permanent member of the Beatles, but McCartney ends up nixing the idea. “It’s bad enough with four [members of the band],” McCartney comments.

And if you didn’t already know that “Get Back” was originally going to be a protest song against white nationalism, anti-immigrant racism and xenophobia, then you’ll find out what were some of the lyrics that McCartney originally wanted for the song. “Get Back” eventually evolved into a non-political song, but it’s interesting to see the thought process that went into the crafting of this song. At this point in his career, McCartney avoided making overt political statements in his songs, so his original intention for “Get Back” would have been a major departure for him.

Another song that went through a metamorphosis was Lennon’s “The Road to Marrakesh.” Never heard of it? That’s because the docuseries shows in this episode that “The Road to Marrakesh” was an early version of “Jealous Guy,” a song that would end up on Lennon’s 1971 solo album “Imagine.” The song’s melodies essentially remained the same, but the lyrics became very different when the song morphed into “Jealous Guy.”

Making brief appearances in this episode are photographer Ethan Russell (the cover of the “Let It Be” album features his photos), Apple executive Peter Brown and art dealer Robert Fraser. Brown and author Steven Gaines would later write the unauthorized Beatles tell-all book “The Love You Make: An Insider Story of the Beatles,” which was published in 1983. It’s considered one of the first exposés of the Beatles in-fighting that went on behind the scenes.

Lindsay-Hogg was also the director of the concert TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus,” which featured Lennon and Ono among the guest performers. Lindsay-Hogg is seen asking Lennon if he wants to be a guest on this TV special, and Lennon readily agrees. It’s because of “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” that Lennon came into contact with Allen Klein, who was the Rolling Stones’ manager at the time.

Klein was a controversial figure in the histories of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. By all accounts, he desperately wanted to manage the Beatles. Klein does not make an appearance in “The Beatles: Get Back” docuseries, but it clearly shows through Lennon’s descriptions of Klein how Klein began to woo and charm his way into the Beatles’ lives.

In this episode, the idea to have a live TV concert is scrapped. And it comes as no surprise, because the band was never ready to do a live TV show with just two weeks of preparation. However, McCartney still wants the Beatles to perform their new songs live somewhere and having it filmed. Lindsay-Hogg and Johns suggest doing a surprise show without a permit on the rooftop of Apple Corps, thereby making McCartney’s idea to have a guerilla-styled Beatles concert become a reality.

Episode Three

(Days 17 to 21)

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon in “The Beatles: Get Back” (Photo courtesy of Disney+)

Considering the internal problems that the Beatles were experiencing at the time, you would think that this strife would get worse as this docuseries goes on. In fact, this last episode is the most light-hearted of the three. One of the main reasons why it has so many laugh-out-loud moments is because of how it shows people’s various reactions to the Beatles’ surprise rooftop concert. The Beatles also seem more relaxed with each other, compared to previous days of the sessions.

During the rooftop concert, people are interviewed on the street by members of the film crew. Reactions are mostly positive. One middle-aged man says of the free concert: “It’s nice to have something for free in this country at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the complainers look like out-of-touch grouches in retrospect. One young man snarls angrily that the roof is “a bloody stupid place to have a concert.” An elderly woman is infuriated when she comments on the Beatles doing a free show on a rooftop: “I don’t see how it makes sense! It woke me up from my sleep, and I don’t like it!”

There’s also a very Keystone Kops moment when two young police officers are the first cops to respond to the noise complaints caused by the concert. One of the cops wants to take charge, but it’s obvious that he’s reluctant to arrest anyone in the Beatles. He does a lot of huffing and puffing and says this empty threat: “We’ve got 30 complaints within minutes … Turn it [the volume] down, or I’m going to have to start arresting people!” Meanwhile, the agitated cop’s partner barely says a word. You can tell that these reactions were not scripted, which makes everything even more hilarious.

Earlier in this episode, Eastman’s then-6-year-old daughter Heather (from Eastman’s first marriage) is shown being an adorable and happy kid in the studio. She brings a lot of joy to the people around her. McCartney treats her like a doting father (he bounces her up in the air and hugs her a lot), while the other Beatles (especially Lennon and Starr) are friendly and attentive to Heather. She’s talkative, curious, and is allowed to run around and play in the studio. When Heather sees Ono shrieking in a microphone, Heather starts to do that too. Lennon reponds to Heather’s vocal imitations by saying jokingly: “Yoko!”

Heather isn’t the only one acting goofy in the studio. A scene in this episode shows Starr, McCartney, Martin and Lindsay-Hogg appearing to have a serious conversation. Suddenly, Starr blurts out: “I’ve farted. I thought I’d let you know.”

Some Beatles associates featured in this episode include tape operator (and future artist/producer) Alan Parsons, sound engineer Keith Slaughter, Apple press officer Sally Burgess, producer/engineer Chris Thomas, Paul McCartney’s younger brother Mike McCartney, Apple office doorman Jimmy Clark and Apple office receptionist Debbie Wellum. When the cops show up during the Beatles’ rooftop concert, Wellum does a brilliant job of acting ignorant in stalling the cops as long as possible from going up to the roof.

But problems in the Beatles remain. While planning the rooftop concert, Paul McCartney is enthusiastic about it, while Harrison says irritably: “I don’t want to go on the roof.” Starr and Lennon chime in and both say consecutively: “I would like to go on the roof.” And with those statements, Harrison is outnumbered, and he seems to stop complaining about having to do this rooftop concert. However, Harrison still voices his dislike of the idea that the Beatles should continue to do films. It’s the opposite of how McCartney feels.

At this point in the Beatles’ history, Harrison is openly discussing taking his rejected Beatles songs and making a solo album out of it. He talks about it with Lennon and Ono, who tells Harrison that she thinks the solo album is a good idea. Meanwhile, Harrison is seen helping Starr come up with some ideas to finish Starr’s song “Octopus’s Garden,” which ended up on the “Abbey Road” album. It’s an example of how underrated Harrison was as a songwriter for the Beatles, because Starr (under his real name, Richard Starkey) is the only credited songwriter for “Octopus’s Garden.” This documentary clearly shows that Harrison co-wrote the song.

In this episode, Harrison talks about trying to finish a song that would become one of his most beloved ballads: “Something,” an “Abbey Road” hit single that was inspired by his then-wife Pattie. The first line of the song ended up being: “Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover.” But the documentary shows that Harrison had difficulty coming up with that first line.

Harrison considered using the phrase “attracts me like a Cadillac” or “attracts me like a pomegranate.” Lennon advises Harrison to just write what naturally comes to mind. “The Beatles: Get Back” is superb when it has this type of camaradie moment that shows a glimpse into how a classic Beatles song was written.

Lennon is in mostly a good mood during these final days of filming the documentary. He announces jubilantly that Ono’s divorce from her second husband Anthony “Tony” Cox has become final. (Lennon had already offically divorced his first wife Cynthia in November 1968.) Lennon is also seen praising Klein.

“I think he’s fantastic!” Lennon gushes to Harrison about Klein. “He knows everything about everything! He knows what we’re like. He knows me as well as you do!” The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were both signed to EMI Records at the time. Lennon also says he’s impressed that Klein was able to get an EMI royalty rate for the Rolling Stones that’s higher than the Beatles’ royalty rate, so Lennon wants Klein to do the same for the Beatles.

The Beatles have ther first meeting with Klein in this episode, but the meeting was not filmed for the documentary. In a voiceover, Johns is heard expressing cautious skepticism about Klein: “He’s a strange man, but very, very clever.” Johns also describes Klein’s habit of abruptly changing the subject in a conversation if someone says something that Klein doesn’t want to hear. “That bugs me a bit, actually,” adds Johns of Klein’s rudeness.

Harrison and Starr seem noncommittal about Klein at this point. However, people who watch this documentary should observe the expression on McCartney’s face when Klein’s name is mentioned by Lennon. Beatles fans now know that McCartney had already been planning to have Linda Eastman’s attorney father Lee Eastman take over management duties for the Beatles. McCartney is clearly concerned (and probably annoyed) that Lennon could persuade the other members of the band to want to hire Klein as the manager of the Beatles.

It’s a red flag of the management disagreements that would end up being a huge part of the Beatles’ breakup. But the docuseries ends in the best possible way, by showing the rooftop concert that would be the last time that the Beatles would ever perform together in public. (All of the Beatles’ wives/girlfriends are there except for Harrison’s.)

For the rooftop concert, the documentary shows the band performing “Get Back” (twice, but not consecutively), “Don’t Let Me Down” (twice, but not consecutively), “One After 909,” “Dig a Pony” and “I’ve Got a Feeling.” All these years later, the Beatles are still considered by many people to be the greatest rock band of all time. “The Beatles: Get Back” is a densely layered exploration into their artistic side, but it admirably never loses sight of the Beatles’ human side.

Here are the songs that are featured in “The Beatles Get Back” docuseries:

Beatles-Written Songs (for the Beatles or for Solo Material) Performed as Excerpts

In alphabetical order:

  • “Across the Universe”
  • “All Things Must Pass”
  • “Another Day”
  • “The Back Seat of My Car”
  • “Because I Know You Love Me So”
  • “Bonding”
  • “Carry That Weight”
  • “Castle of the King of the Birds”
  • “Commonwealth”
  • “Dehra Dun”
  • “Dig a Pony”
  • “Dig It”
  • “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • “Every Little Thing”
  • “Fancy My Chances With You”
  • “For You Blue”
  • “Get Back”
  • “Gimme Some Truth”
  • “Golden Slumbers”
  • “Half a Pound of Greasepaint”
  • “Help”
  • “Her Majesty”
  • “I Bought a Piano the Other Day”
  • “I Lost My Little Girl”
  • “I Me Mine”
  • “I’m So Tired”
  • “Isn’t It a Pity”
  • “I Told You Before”
  • “I’ve Got a Feeling”
  • “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
  • “Just Fun”
  • “Let It Be”
  • “The Long and Winding Road”
  • “Love Me Do”
  • “Madmen”
  • “Martha My Dear”
  • “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
  • “Mean Mr. Mustard”
  • “My Imagination”
  • “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  • “Octopus’s Garden”
  • “Oh! Darling”
  • “Old Brown Shoe”
  • “One After 909”
  • “On the Road to Marrakesh” (which later became “Jealous Guy”)
  • “Please Please Me”
  • “Polythene Pam”
  • “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”
  • “Song of Love”
  • “Strawberry Fields Forever”
  • “Suzy Parker”
  • “Teddy Boy”
  • “Too Bad About Sorrow”
  • “Two of Us”
  • “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?”
  • “Within You, Without You”
  • “You Wear Your Women Out”

Cover Songs Performed as Excerpts

In alphabetical order:

  • “Act Naturally”
  • “Blue Suede Shoes”
  • “Bye Bye Love”
  • “Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer”
  • “Going Up the Country”
  • “Hallelujah I Love Her So”
  • “Hi-Heel Sneakers”
  • “Honey Hush”
  • “House of the Rising Sun”
  • “Johnny B. Goode”
  • “Kansas City”
  • “The Midnight Special”
  • “The Mighty Quinn”
  • “Miss Ann”
  • “New Orleans”
  • “Queen of the Hop”
  • “Rock and Roll Music”
  • “Save the Last Dance for Me”
  • “School Days”
  • “Shake, Rattle and Roll”
  • “Stand By Me”
  • “Take These Chains From My Heart”
  • “Twenty Flight Rock”

Disney+ premieres each of the three episodes of “The Beatles: Get Back” on November 25, November 26 and November 27, 2021.

UPDATE: Walt Disney Pictures will release the 60-minute feature film “The Beatles: Get Back–The Rooftop Concert” as an exclusive IMAX event screening with a pre-recorded filmmaker Q&A on January 30, 2022. “The Beatles: Get Back–The Rooftop Concert” will then have a global theatrical engagement from February 11 to February 13, 2022. The complete docuseries “The Beatles: Get Back” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 8, 2022.

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: ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!,’ starring Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, Judith Light and Vanessa Hudgens

November 22, 2021

by Carla Hay

Andrew Garfield and Alexandra Shipp in “Tick, Tick…Boom!” (Photo by Macall Polay/Netflix) 

“Tick, Tick…Boom!”

Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Culture Representation: Taking place mostly in 1990 in New York City, the musical biopic “Tick, Tick…Boom!” features a racially diverse cast of characters (white, African American, Latino and multiracial) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Aspiring playwright/composer Jonathan Larson, who’s frustrated that he hasn’t reached his goals by the age of 30, struggles to complete his first musical, which he hopes will end up on Broadway.

Culture Audience: “Tick, Tick…Boom!” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of movie musicals, Broadway musicals, Lin-Manuel Miranda and star Andrew Garfield.

Robin de Jesús, Mj Rodriguez and Ben Levi Ross in “Tick, Tick…Boom!” (Photo by Macall Polay/Netflix)

It’s very fitting that Pulitzer prize-winning Broadway musical mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) makes his feature-film directorial debut with an emotionally stirring and ambitious musical celebrating another Pulitzer prize-winning Broadway musical mastermind: “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson. In 1996, Larson tragically and unexpectedly died at the age 35 of an aortic dissection. A brief period of Larson’s life (mostly in 1990) is recreated with a winning blend of exuberance and gravitas in the Miranda-directed musical “Tick, Tick…Boom!,” based on Larson’s solo artist show that featured a book and biographical original songs written by Larson. After Larson’s death, “Tick, Tick…Boom!” was reworked as a three-actor show and premiered off-Broadway in 1996. For a while, Miranda portrayed Larson during the off-Broadway stint of “Tick, Tick…Boom!”

In the “Tick, Tick…Boom!” movie role of Larson, Andrew Garfield gives a stunning and heartfelt performance that perfectly captures the highs, lows and everything in between of what it means to be a passionate but struggling artist. Miranda and “Tick, Tick…Boom!” screenwriter Steven Levenson crafted a story that does cinematic justice to the musical genre, with elements that combine gritty drama with whimsical fantasy. This blend mostly works well, although some viewers who are unfamiliar with Larson’s story might be confused by the timeline jumping in the movie. Most other people will simply be enthralled by the journey.

Larson was born in White Plains, New York, on February 4, 1960. In the beginning of the “Tick, Tick…Boom!,” Jonathan is living in New York City and is a few days away from turning 30. And he’s not happy about it. Why?

Jonathan, who writes and performs pop/rock music, hasn’t achieved his goal of writing a musical that’s gone to Broadway. He’s beginning to question if he made the right decision to be a playwriter/composer. He’s so financially broke, he hasn’t been paying his utility bills. And he’s worried that eviction from his apartment might be in his future.

Things aren’t completely bleak for Jonathan. He and his girlfriend Susan (played by Alexandra Shipp) are in love. She is completely supportive of his goals, even if it means Jonathan gets so immersed in these goals that he doesn’t pay enough attention to her. Jonathan is also proud and supportive of Susan’s chosen career. Susan contemplated being a doctor, but she chose instead to have a career in modern dance, and she overcame a setback of fracturing her ankle. She’s been more successful than Jonathan in actually getting paid as a professional artist, although Jonathan is quick to point on in a movie voiceover that Susan doesn’t care about becoming rich and famous.

Jonathan also has three other special people in his life, who are all close friends of his: Michael (played by Robin de Jesús), his opinionated gay best friend from childhood; Carolyn (played by Mj Rodriguez, also known as Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), a sassy co-worker at the Moondance Diner, where she and Jonathan work as servers; and sweet-natured Freddy (played by Ben Levi Ross), who’s also a Moondance Diner server. Michael used to be a struggling actor and Jonathan’s roommate, but he gave up this lifestyle to have a steady income as an advertising agency executive.

Jonathan has been working on a musical called “Superbia,” which he describes as an “original dystopian musical that I’ve been writing and rewriting.” It’s the “rewriting” part that has got Jonathan anxious, because he currently has writer’s block in finishing the musical. Another problem is that Jonathan has a hard time describing the plot of the musical, because he doesn’t quite know where the plot is going.

Jonathan throws a 30th birthday party for himself at his apartment. Michael, who is more financially practical than Jonathan, gently chides Jonathan for spending money on the party when Jonathan hasn’t been paying his bills. Jonathan and Susan still have romantic sparks between them, but something has shifted in their relationship: Jonathan turning 30 has given him a new restlessness and insecurity about his career goals, while Susan wants a sign that Jonathan is ready to make a more solid commitment to her.

Susan and Jonathan don’t live together, and they’re not in a rush to get married. However, Susan wants to eventually live with Jonathan, who doesn’t really want to commit to a “yes” or “no” answer in contemplating taking their relationship to the “live-in partner” level. Jonathan and Susan’s relationship is tested in a big way when Susan gets a job offer to be a dancer and dance instructor in the Berkshires, a rural part of Massachusetts.

The news about this job offer comes around the same time that Jonathan gets a big opportunity for his musical theater dreams: He’s been asked to present “Superbia” as a workshop at Playwright Horizons. The director of Playwright Horizons is Ira Weitzman (played by Jonathan Marc Sherman), an experienced, middle-aged theater benefactor who is encouraging to Jonathan but is skeptical that Jonathan can be focused enough to finish “Superbia.”

Invitations have gone out for the “Superbia” workshop, but few people have responded so far. Still, Jonathan is under immense pressure to finish his musical by the deadline. He’s too embarrassed to tell Ira the biggest problem: He hasn’t written a single song for the musical yet.

“Tick, Tick…Boom!” has two parallel countdowns: (1) The more explicitly stated countdown to Jonathan finishing his “Superbia” musical on time, and (2) Jonathan’s own internal and implicit countdown to write a musical that ends up on Broadway before he thinks he’s too old. The title of “Tick, Tick…Boom!” comes from Jonathan’s description of how he feels like his life is a ticking time bomb where his dreams will explode into disappointment if he doesn’t reach his career goals by the deadlines that he sets for himself.

During these intense scenes of Jonathan rushing to finish “Superbia” on time, he encounters some other problems: Susan is pressuring Jonathan to set aside time to talk with her about the decision she’ll make on whether or not she’ll take the dance job in the Berkshires. He avoids Susan because he wants to work on “Superbia.” Jonathan, who uses a computer for writing the musical’s book, experiences a major setback when his electricity is suddenly turned off the night before the workshop, and he still hasn’t finished the musical.

Jonathan’s fast-talking agent Rosa Stevens (played by Judith Light) does the best she can to get him work, but she’s blunt in telling him that it’s difficult when he hasn’t had any work produced on Broadway. At this point in time, Jonathan’s best shot of getting investors for “Superbia” is through this upcoming workshop, which could lead to “Superbia” going to Broadway, if everything goes according to Jonathan’s plan. As far as he’s concerned, this workshop for “Superbia” is a “make it or break it” moment in his career.

But now for the moments in “Tick, Tick…Boom!” that might turn off or confuse some viewers: This entire tension-filled story telling what happened to Jonathan and his race to finish “Superbia” on time is told within a flashback context where Jonathan is describing this part of his life in a solo-artist rock concert musical called “Tick, Tick…Boom!” During this concert, he sings and narrates the story (often while playing piano), while he’s backed up by a band and two other singers who sing lead vocals the songs: Karessa (played by Vanessa Hudgens) and Roger (played by Joshua Henry).

In real life, Larson began performing “Tick, Tick…Boom!” (originally titled “Boho Days”) in an off-Broadway show, beginning in 1990, just a few years before completing “Rent.” “Tick, Tick…Boom!” essentially keeps the same premise as the stage version, except that Larson’s flashback storytelling is acted out in scenes on screen. What happened to “Superbia”? That’s revealed in “Tick, Tick…Boom!,” which has plenty of vibrant musical numbers, although some of the narrative aspects of the screenplay are a little clunky.

For example, there’s a scene in the movie where Jonathan, while performing his “Tick, Tick…Boom!” show on stage, has a flashback to several years earlier, when he met legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim (played by Bradley Whitford) at a musical theater workshop. At the time, Jonathan was presenting an unnamed project that ultimately never made it to Broadway and possibly never even got produced.

Jonathan describes this workshop for aspiring playwrights and composers as having a rotating number of guest panelists who evaluate each musical presented. The panelists are usually professional Broadway writers. Stephen was one of the two panelists evaluating Jonathan’s musical. It’s an amusing scene where Stephen and a fictional character named Walter Bloom (played by Richard Kind) is the other panelist.

After Jonathan presents songs from his musical, Walter immediately gives an insulting rant, including saying that the musical has no identity. Walter also says that the musical style doesn’t know if it wants to be more like rock music or more like Broadway show tune music. Meanwhile, Stephen (who’s the most famous person in the room) gives a positive review: He says the musical knows exactly what it is, but the songs need more work. Walter, who is clearly intimidated by Stephen’s clout, quickly changes his mind and agrees with everything that Stephen says.

At one point, Stephen praises one of the songs as having “first-rate lyric and tune.” In a voiceover, Jonathan says, with awe still in his voice, that those words from one of his theater idols gave Jonathan the type of encouragement that he carried for years. As part of this flashback, Jonathan and Stephen are then shown having a one-on-one evaluation session, where Stephen gives Jonathan some more helpful advice.

This flashback scene, although very well-acted, is one of the drawbacks to the movie’s back-and-forth timeline structure. If viewers aren’t paying attention, they can mistake the scene of Jonathan meeting Stephen for the first time as something that took place in or close to 1990, not years earlier, as Jonathan quickly mentions in describing this flashback.

At any rate, even though Jonathan and Stephen have not been in contact for years, Stephen is one of the people whom Jonathan invites (by leaving a message with Stephen’s manager) to Jonathan’s “Superbia” workshop. There’s a scene where Jonathan somewhat desperately calls several people in an attempt to boost attendance at his workshop just a few days before it takes place.

Most of the criticism that “Tick, Tick…Boom!” might get is how it packs in a lot of issues within what’s supposed to be a very short timeline. There’s a point in the movie where Jonathan literally has less than 12 hours before the workshop and he still hasn’t written most of the “Suburbia” songs and he’s still struggling with the book for the musical. Whether someone is familiar with musical theater or not, the movie still has a timeline that’s kind of messy.

For example, it’s not adequately explained how Jonathan could be doing such a last-minute scramble to finish the musical’s songs the night before the workshop rehearsals. Certain scenes muddle the timeline on how much he needs to get done before the actual workshop. Certain parts of the movie go to great lengths to repeat that Jonathan hasn’t finished any songs for “Superbia” yet. And then, he talks about the one last song he really needs to finish is a pivotal song for the musical’s second act. But these deadline worries aren’t really shown in chronological order.

That’s why the workshop rehearsal scenes seem a little off-kilter. These brief rehearsals are hastily explained in the movie by having Jonathan showing up with sheet music for songs that might or might not be half-finished. Everyone in the group is expected to magically start playing and singing, as if they can easily learn this music and act like within minutes, they already know this music by heart. It’s a big leap and stretch of the imagination for the movie’s audience to take.

Instead of showing how he crafted these songs, the movie goes on a path of subplots and other tangents. You still won’t really know what “Superbia” is about by the end of the movie. If Jonathan doesn’t care enough about “Superbia” for it to be ready for the workshop, why should this movie’s viewers care? And maybe that’s the point, because the subplots are context to what ended up inspiring “Rent,” the real-life Larson’s best-known work.

One of the biggest themes in “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is the decisions that aspiring artists have to make between pursuing their artistic passion when it pays little or nothing, or giving it up to work full-time at a job that pays a steady income. Many artists who haven’t “made it” find a way to compromise, by having a day job to pay the bills and pursuing their artistic passion in their free time.

Jonathan is in that “in-between” zone, but he wonders out loud how much of a loser he might be if he keeps being a restaurant server well into his 30s. He likes his co-workers, but he knows the job doesn’t pay enough to get him out of his financial hole. However, working at the Moondance Diner is one of the few jobs he can get with the flexibility of work hours that can give him the time to work on his musicals.

Michael has already made his own decision on how he’s going to make living, and he’s at peace with giving up acting, because he considered himself to be a mediocre actor. Michael makes enough money at his ad agency job to move into an upscale apartment building and buy a BMW. Jonathan thinks Michael is being a sellout, because he thinks Michael gave up his real passion: being an actor.

Meanwhile, Michael thinks Jonathan should not give up his passion to be a musical theater writer because Michael thinks that Jonathan has extraordinary talent that should not be squandered. However, Michael thinks Jonathan needs to stop having a self-righteous attitude about being a starving artist and find a way to make more money so that Jonathan can be more financially responsible in paying basic bills. Jonathan and Michael have an argument about it, because in their own separate ways, Michael and Jonathan feel like the other one is being somewhat of a hypocrite in their career decisions.

In the “race against time” aspect of the “Superbia” workshop, Jonathan finds out that Ira won’t pay for the number of band musicians that Jonathan says he needs for the “Superbia” workshop. And so, there are scenes where Jonathan has to rush to find a way to come up with the money. As a last resort, he accepts Michael’s offer to be part of a paid focus group for the ad agency.

Jonathan’s participation in the focus group is one of the movie’s funnier scenes. He’s only in this focus group for the money. Jonathan has a deeply cynical attitude toward ad agencies, which he thinks are in the business of lying to “sell shit to people that they don’t need.” Laura Benanti portrays Judy, the ad agency’s slightly uptight leader of the focus group. Utkarsh Ambudkar has a comedic cameo as Todd, one of the gullible focus group participants. (In real life, Ambudkar and Miranda are two of the members of the performance group Freestyle Love Supreme.)

There are other issues in Jonathan’s life. He’s terrified of being considered a failure. Jonathan’s parents Nan (played by Judy Kuhn) and Al (played by Danny Burstein), who appear briefly in the movie, are emotionally supportive and not far from his mind, because he doesn’t want to be a disappointment to them. (In real life, Larson had a sister named Julie, but she’s not mentioned in the movie.) And then, certain people in the story have a health crisis that deeply affects many people.

It’s a lot to pack in a movie that’s a musical within a musical. Despite having a timeline that could’ve been been presented better, “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is able to rise above its flaws, thanks to stellar performances from the cast members. Garfield is the obvious standout. He’s able to convey genuine emotions without falling into the musical actor trap of over-emoting.

Shipp, Hudgens and de Jesus also have moments where they shine in the film. “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is not one of those musicals where only the musical numbers are the highlights. There are plenty of spoken-word-only dramatic moments that are among the best in the movie, particularly those that involve the friendship between Jonathan and Michael. As Jonathan’s jaded agent Rosa Stevens, Light plays her role for laughs, and it comes very close to being a parody of real-life agents.

And because “In the Heights” and “Hamilton” creator Miranda is considered Broadway royalty, it’s no surprise that several Broadway stars signed up for cameos in Miranda’s feature-film directorial debut. The most memorable, star-studded scene in “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is for the tune “Sunday,” which takes place at the Moondance Diner. It’s a fantasy sequence where Jonathan lifts up his hands, the front of the diner’s walls fall away, and the diner’s customers join in song.

And what a bunch of customers they are. It’s like a who’s who of Broadway: Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Joel Grey, Phylicia Rashad, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, André Robin De Shields, Beth Malone and Howard McGillin. Also in this scene are “Hamilton” co-stars Renée Elise Goldsberry and Phillipa Soo, as well as original “Rent” Broadway co-stars Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wilson Jermaine Heredia. Miranda has a cameo in this scene as a Moondance Diner cook.

An early highlight of the film is “No More,” performed by Garfield and de Jesús in an energetic song-and-dance duet about Jonathan and Michael expressing how they don’t want to be struggling artists anymore. Another standout is a cast rendition of “Boho Days,” performed at Jonathan’s birthday party and with Garfield on lead vocals. Shipp and Hudgens have their best moment in “Come to Your Senses” a powerful timeline-jumping duet that shows the characters of Susan and Karessa trading off lines of the song. And de Jesús will probably bring some viewers to tears with Michael’s heartbreaking performance of “Real Life.”

Other songs written or co-written by Larson that make it into the movie include “30/90,” “Out of My Dreams,” “Green Green Dress,” “Sugar,” “LCD Readout,” “Swimming,” Johnny Can’t Decide,” “Sextet,” “Therapy,” “Ever After,” “Debtor Club,” “Why,” “Come to Your Senses,” “Louder Than Words” and “Only Takes a Few.” “Play Game” is presented in the style of 1990s-styled rap video clip, with real-life rapper Tariq Trotter as the fictional rapper H.A.W.K. Smooth. The screenplay could have benefited from an improved structuring of its narrative, but the movie’s songs, performances and direction combine to create an enjoyable experience where the movie’s two-hour running time seems to fly by effortlessly.

Netflix released “Tick, Tick…Boom!” in select U.S. cinemas on November 12, 2021. The move premiered on Netflix on November 19, 2021.

2021 CMA Awards: Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs win big

November 10, 2021

by Carla Hay

With four prizes, Chris Stapleton was the biggest winner at the 55th Annual CMA Awards, which were presented at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2021. ABC had the U.S. telecast of the ceremony, which was hosted by Luke Bryan. Stapleton received the awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year—all for “Starting Over.”

Other winners were Luke Combs (who was named Entertainer of the Year) and Kelsea Ballerini, who won two prizes for “Half of My Hometown” (featuring Kenny Chesney): Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year.

Other winners of the 2021 CMA Awards included Old Dominion (Vocal Group of the Year); Brothers Osborne (Vocal Duo of the Year); Carly Pearce (Female Vocalist of the Year); and Jimmie Allen (New Artist of the Year). Eric Church, who was tied with Stapleton with the most nominations (five) going into the ceremony, ended up winning no CMA Awards this year.

Performers at the ceremony included Bryan, Stapleton, Church, Combs, Allen, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Gabby Barrett, Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Chris Young, Kane Brown and Zac Brown Band. All-star team-ups included Mickey Guyton featuring Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, as well as Dierks Bentley featuring Breland and Hardy.

Presenters included Trace Adkins, Ingrid Andress, Ballerini, Deana Carter, Lauren Daigle, Russell Dickerson, Faith Fennidy, Florida Georgia Line, Freddie Freeman, Amy Grant, Dulé Hill, Alan Jackson, Elle King, Lady A, Zachary Levi, Scotty McCreery, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Susan Sarandon, Saycon Sengbloh, Kurt Warner, Lainey Wilson and Trisha Yearwood.

The 55th Annual CMA Awards ceremony was a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton was the executive producer. Alan Carter was the director, and David Wild was the head writer.  

The following is a complete list of winners and nominees for the 2021 CMA Awards:

*=winner

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs*
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s)

  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
    Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
    Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt
  • “The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett
    Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
    Mix Engineers: Chris Galland, Manny Marroquin
  • “Hell Of A View” – Eric Church
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • “One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton*
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Artist(s), Producer(s) and Mix Engineer(s)

  • 29 – Carly Pearce
    Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy RobbinsMix Engineer: Ryan Gore
  • Dangerous: The Double Album – Morgan Wallen
    Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey MoiMix Engineer: Joey Moi
  • Heart – Eric Church
    Producer: Jay JoyceMix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • Skeletons – Brothers Osborne
    Producer: Jay JoyceMix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • Starting Over – Chris Stapleton*
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris StapletonMix Engineer: Vance Powell

SONG OF THE YEAR
Award goes to Songwriter(s) 

  • “Forever After All”
    Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford
  • “The Good Ones”
    Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
  • “Hell Of A View”
    Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell
  • “One Night Standards”
    Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
  • “Starting Over”*
    Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Gabby Barrett
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Maren Morris
  • Carly Pearce*

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR  

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton*

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

  • Lady A
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion*
  • Zac Brown Band

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne*
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR 
Award goes to Artist(s) and Producer(s) 

  • “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan
    Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
  • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
    Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
  • “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert
    Producer: Martin Johnson
  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
    Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
  • “Half of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)*
    Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR 

  • Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle*
  • Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
  • Aaron Sterling, Drums
  • Ilya Toshinskiy, Banjo
  • Derek Wells, Guitar

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR 
Award goes to Artist(s) and Director(s) 

  • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
    Director: TK McKamy
  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
    Director: Peter Zavadil
  • “Gone” – Dierks Bentley
    Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
  • “Half of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)*
    Director: Patrick Tracy
  • “Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne
    Director: Reid Long

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

  • Jimmie Allen*
  • Ingrid Andress
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Mickey Guyton
  • HARDY

The presentations of the following CMA Awards were not televised:

*=winner

“THE 55th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” – FINALISTS FOR BROADCAST PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (by market size):   

Weekly National

  • “American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) – Westwood One
  • “Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One*
  • “Country Gold” (Terri Clark) – Westwood One
  • “The Crook & Chase Countdown” (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase) – iHeartMedia
  • “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence” (Tracy Lawrence and Patrick Thomas) – Compass Media Networks

Daily National

  • “The Big D and Bubba Show” (Derek Haskins, Sean Powell, Patrick Thomas and Carsen Humphreville) – Compass Media Networks
  • “The Bobby Bones Show” (Bobby Bones, Amy Brown, “Lunchbox” Dan Chappell, Eddie Garcia, “Morgan #2” Huelsman, “Raymundo” Ray Slater, “Scuba Steve” Stephen Spradlin, “Mike D” Rodriguez and “Utility Hillary” Borden) – Premiere Networks
  • “CMT After Midnite” (Cody Alan) – Premiere Networks*
  • “The Lia Show” (Lia Knight) – Westwood One
  • “The Music Row Happy Hour” (Buzz Brainard and Ania Hammar) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio


Major Market

  • “Angie Ward” – WUBL, Atlanta, Ga.
  • “Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.*
  • “Hawkeye in the Morning with Hawkeye and Michelle” (“Hawkeye” Mark Louis Rybczyk and Michelle Rodriguez) – KSCS, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  • “The Morning Bull: George, Mo & Cowboy Dave” (George Lindsey, “Mo” Monica Lunsford and “Cowboy Dave” Bayless) – KILT, Houston, Texas
  • “Tampa Bay’s Morning Krewe with J.R., Launa and Kevin” (“J.R.” Jon Jaus, Launa Phillips and Kevin Ebel) – WQYK, Tampa Bay, Fla.

Large Market

  • “Jesse Tack” – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • “Lexi & Banks” (“Lexi” Elena Abatgis and “Banks” Jared Danielson) – KUBL, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah
  • “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.*
  • “The Wayne D Show” (“Wayne D” Danielson and Taylor Rosenberg) – WSIX, Nashville, Tenn.

Medium Market

  • “Brent Michaels” – KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • “Ellis and Bradley Show” (Bill Ellis and Beth Bradley) – WSSL, Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.
  • “Julie and DJ in the Morning” (“Julie K” Kansy and “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers) – WPCV, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
  • “Mo & StyckMan” (“Mo” Melissa Wagner and “StyckMan” Greg Owens) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.*
  • “Steve & Gina In The Morning” (Steve Lundy and Gina Melton) – KXKT, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa

Small Market

  • “Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox and Tracy Berry) – KKNU, Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
  • “Dr. Shane and Tess in the Morning” (Shane Collins and Tess Connell) – WPAP, Panama City, Fla.
  • “KTTS Morning Show with Nancy & Rick” (Nancy Simpson and Rick Moore) – KTTS, Springfield, Mo.
  • “Liz & Scotty in the Morning” (Liz Del Grosso and Scotty Cox) – KCLR, Columbia, Mo.
  • “Steve, Ben and Nikki” (Steve Stroud, Ben Walker and Nikki Thomas) – WXBQ, Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.*

“THE 55th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” – FINALISTS FOR RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (by market size):   

Major Market

  • KNIX – Phoenix, Ariz.
  • KNUC – Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
  • KYGO – Denver-Boulder, Colo.*
  • WNSH – New York City, N.Y.
  • WXTU – Philadelphia, Pa.
  • WYCD – Detroit, Mich.

Large Market

  • WFMS – Indianapolis, Ind.
  • WMIL – Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
  • WQDR – Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  • WSIX – Nashville, Tenn.
  • WUBE – Cincinnati, Ohio*

Medium Market

  • KATM – Modesto, Calif.
  • KXKT – Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
  • KUZZ – Bakersfield, Calif.*
  • WQMX – Akron, Ohio
  • WXCY – Wilmington, Del.

Small Market

  • KCLR – Columbia, Mo.*
  • KTTS – Springfield, Mo.
  • WBYT – South Bend, Ind.
  • WXBQ – Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.
  • WXFL – Florence-Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  • WYCT – Pensacola, Fla.

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 CMA Awards: Luke Bryan is the show’s host

October 18, 2021

Luke Bryan arrives (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association and ABC:

The Country Music Association and ABC have announced Country Music superstar and “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan will host “The 55th Annual CMA Awards.” Country Music’s Biggest Night broadcasts LIVE from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday November 10, 2021 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.

“The CMA Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for Country Music,” says Bryan. “Being asked to host the CMA Awards was definitely something I put a lot of thought into before answering. The pressure that comes along with that can be overwhelming, but knowing I get to help honor and celebrate so many of my friends, I knew it was something I couldn’t turn down. I mean, growing up in Georgia, I remember watching Vince Gill, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, to name a few. They were so good. And then becoming a part of this amazing Country Music family and sitting on the front row while Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker took the reins, all of these artists are heroes and friends, and I am honored to have my name included in this group. I’m looking forward to making it fun and memorable and using this platform to continue to make Country Music shine.”

Bryan, a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, will make his CMA Awards hosting debut on this year’s stage.

“We are so thrilled to have Luke join us as this year’s CMA Awards host,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer. “His fun and playful energy is something television viewers have welcomed into their homes week after week as a judge on ‘American Idol,’ and I know he has something exciting up his sleeve for the CMA Awards. We cannot wait to bring music fans a magical night of performances and truly some of the most special moments our show has ever delivered in just a few weeks.”

“We are so grateful Luke will host the biggest event in Country Music. That’s my kind of night and it will be yours too,” said Rob Mills, executive vice president, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “I am excited for Luke to bring the same humor, energy and emotion as host of the CMA Awards that he has for the last five years on ‘American Idol.'”

Since his debut, Bryan has garnered 27 No. 1 hits and has more RIAA certified digital singles than any other Country artist with 68.5 million, has 15.6 billion streams worldwide, and has sold nearly 13 million albums. His headline concert tours have played sold-out shows for 12 million fans inclusive of 36 stadium concerts, Farm Tours, Spring Break shows, and seven sold-out “Crash My Playa” destination concert events. He has won over 50 major music awards including five wins as Entertainer of the Year. His third and most recent Entertainer win was awarded by the Academy of Country Music this past April. Additional awards include six recognitions as a CMT Artist of the Year, NSAI Artist/Songwriter of the Year, the first-ever recipient of the ACM Album of the Decade Award for “Crash My Party,” seven CMT Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and four American Music Awards – as well as being named Billboard’s Top Country Artist of the 2010s, the Most Heard Artist of the Decade by Country Aircheck, and the Artist Humanitarian Recipient by the Country Radio Broadcasters this past February. Bryan is set to return as a celebrity judge for a fifth season, alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, on ABC’s “American Idol” in 2022. Airing now, fans can see Bryan’s original five-part docuseries, “Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary,” on IMDb TV, Amazon’s premium free streaming service. Visit LukeBryan.com or follow Luke on Twitter @LukeBryanOnline, Instagram and Facebook.

Performers and presenters for “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” will be revealed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to CMAawards.com for more details.

Winners of “The 55th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot is open now for CMA members, with voting for the CMA Awards final ballot closing Wednesday, Oct. 27 (6:00 p.m. CST).  

“The 55th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer; Alan Carter is the director, and David Wild is the head writer.

About the CMA Awards  

The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC is the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

About the Country Music Association

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association (CMA) is the premier trade association of the Country Music industry. Representing professionals making a living in Country Music globally, the organization serves as a critical resource of support and information, honors excellence in the genre and provides a forum for industry leadership. CMA is dedicated to expanding Country Music around the world through a number of core programs and initiatives including the organization’s three annual television properties – the CMA Awards, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas,” all of which air on ABC. The organization’s philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, works tirelessly to provide equitable access to music education in order to create impactful change for students and teachers across the United States.

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” and fall’s groundbreaking No. 1 new series, “Big Sky”; trailblazing comedy favorites “black-ish,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs” and “Home Economics”; 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(R) 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(R),” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.” ABC programming can also be viewed on demand and on Hulu.