Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Grammy Awards Snubs: Alicia Keys, “Hey Soul Sister,” R&B


Who can explain the wacky Grammy Awards and their weird nominations?

Last night, the announcement came on national TV. Justin Bieber and other prefab product dominated the screen. So weird, so like the Grammys of the past.

The biggest snub: Alicia Keys. While she and Jay Z got a Record of the Year (a single track) nomination for “Empire State of Mind,” the catchiest song of 2009 and 2010 missed Best Song. And the album from which it came was ignored altogether–“The Element of Freedom.” Where was Keys’s great single, “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”?

Keys, who’s probably the best new artist of the last decade, hasn’t gotten much love from the Grammys in recent efforts. Keys’ absence from Best Album means the category is all white, there’s no R&B, just people mimicking it like Eminem and Lady GaGa.

The other record of 2010 that got almost nothing was Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.” This had to have been one of the most played songs on the radio this year, and a good one. It has one nomination, and for a “live” version, not the studio record. Go figure.

The big winners in the nomination game: Eminem, Katy Perry, Cee Lo, Lady Antebellum, and the less Lady like, Lady GaGa.

Michael Jackson was nominated for his vocal on “This Is It,” a song co-written with Paul Anka and given a lackluster production last year. Still, it was nice.

Luckily, even though his machine tried to orchestrate something, the annoying Bieber was limited to just two nominations: Best New Artist, and Best Pop Album. If he wins either, it will be an embarrassment. But he’ll no doubt be all over the Grammy telecast promoting his concert film. It’s going to be released on the Friday before the Grammys. One can only hope he won’t be chosen to sing for Barbra Streisand at the MusiCares dinner.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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