It looks like Taylor Swift is conceding the 2019 Grammy Awards for her album, “Reputation.”
Swift has agreed to open the American Music Awards on ABC next Tuesday. She’ll perform “I Did Something Bad” at the start of the show, which will be ironic. The ‘something bad’ will be the act of going against the Grammys.
Swift obviously felt she couldn’t wait to top off the Reputation tour and project that began a year ago, after the last Grammy deadline. The Grammys, on CBS, usually do not allow performers who’ve been on the AMAs to be on their show next February.
Swift’s last album, “1989,” was a Grammy tsunami, winning Album of the Year and many other awards. But “1989” was a much bigger hit than “Reputation,” and times have changed.”1989″ has sold 8 million copies including streaming according to Buzz Angle since its release in 2014. “Reputation” has sold 3 million copies.
It may be that Swift and her team can already sense that this coming Grammys was not going to be hers to lose. Also, Swift is at a contractual crossroads. Her deal with Big Machine/Universal is running out, and there’s a lot of jockeying to keep her there, move her to to big Universal, or maybe accept a larger offer somewhere else. The odds are she’ll stay where she is, but it may be that February 2019 is too long to wait, and she needs some impact now.
If that’s the case, the Grammy Album of the Year category suddenly opens wide. Look for big pushes for Drake’s “Scorpion” and Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener” to fill the Swiftian void.
PS One irony of all this: Kanye West never delivered his album, which he called “Yandhi,” on September 30th. Grammy eligibility is over. His EP, “Ye,” wouldn’t be an Album of the Year nominee. So now they’re both out of the running!