Everybody Wants to Know How These Grammy Nominees Made the List

Music’s biggest night will be celebrated on Jan. 28, 2018, when the annual Grammy Awards are handed out to the most deserving and not-so-deserving artists.

For the deserving, Jay-Z leads all other nominees with eight, including the coveted album and record of the year for 4:44. Kendrick Lamar and newcomers Cardi B and SZA also received nods representing rap music. And some past winners like Lorde, Bruno Mars, and Pink were recognized for their music as well. But if you’re looking for Taylor Swift to nab some awards for Reputation, you’ll have to wait until next year since the album was released in November it’s not Grammy-eligible this time around.

Of course, with these nominations just like every other year, there are some snubs and surprises — and the latter are making us question how the heck these nominees made the list? Here are some of the most surprising nods this year.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

When you think of Bernie Sanders, you don’t think of a Grammy-nominated artist, but that’s exactly what he is now. Yes, really.

The politician received a nomination for his audiobook Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In and will be up against 20-time Grammy Award winner Bruce Springsteen for his Born to Run autobiography.

In case you’re wondering Hillary Clinton, who recently released an audiobook herself, was snubbed in the Best Spoken Word Album category

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane | Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

This is not a new name to the Grammy nomination list, but in case you haven’t heard Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane makes traditional pop albums. They must be pretty good too because he’s been nominated in the same category twice before.

This year he got the nod for Full Swing, but to win, he’ll have to beat out some Grammy heavyweights like Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Bob Dylan, and Sarah McLachlan.

Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke walks as men mounted on horses gather behind her in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones | HBO

Because this is one of the only awards Game of Thrones hasn’t been nominated for, the recording academy must have figured, why not?

Ramin Djawadi’s Season 7 score earned the nomination for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media and will face off against the film scores for ArrivalDunkirkHidden Figures, and La La Land. We’ll have to wait and see if the GoT success at award shows will carry over to the Grammys.

Father John Misty 

Father John Misty

Father John Misty | Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Another shocking name on the list is Father John Misty — not because we’re surprised by his Grammy nods, but because of one of the categories he was nominated in. Apparently, indie rock, indie folk, and folk rock are just grouped together as alternative music.

He’s up against LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz, Arcade Fire, and the National for Best Alternative Music Album.



Rapsody | Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Artist Rapsody was the surprise story in the rap categories this year, as she is only the fourth solo female artist ever to get the nod for Best Rap Album. But that’s not all. She’s also going up against some big names and usual suspects for Best Rap Song.

In that category, her nomination, as well as Cardi B’s, marks the first time two female-led songs have ever been nominated in the category in the same year.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle poses on the Vanity Fair red carpet in sunglasses

Dave Chappelle | Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

The Best Comedy Album is, of course, one of the awards given out at the Grammys, so it’s not a surprise that a great comedian like Dave Chappelle received a nod. What is surprising though is that it’s his first time. The reason is because he wasn’t eligible in the past.

Chappelle hadn’t previously released his comedy specials as albums and therefore couldn’t be considered. Now though, he’s been nominated for his Netflix specials the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin, and for that, we say it’s about time he made the list. However, he will be facing some steep competition in the category from Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Hart, and Jim Gaffigan.

What’s with only males up for Album of the Year?

Kendrick Lamar holds a microphone on stage

Kendrick Lamar scored the second-most nominations this year. | Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

While the academy did a good job this year of including minorities in the big Album of the Year category (the four nominated are the most since 2005), it missed the mark on including women in several major categories.

So many people were surprised that no female artists at all were considered in multiple categories. Women were completely shut out this year in the Record of the Year, Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Album, and Best Metal Album categories. And when it comes to Album of the Year and Song of the Year, women are only represented once in each category with Lorde’s nod for Melodrama and Julia Michaels’ nod for Issues.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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