When Bonnie Raitt won the Best Album Grammy Award in 1990, she broke a 17-year drought. Unless you were a member of a band (named for its two founding male members) no woman had claimed Best Album since Carole King in 1972.
Well – it’s 2024 now, and how things have changed. Were it not for Jon Batiste, not a single Y chromosome could be found among the 24 slots taken by the nominees for Best Album, Best Record, and Best Song at this year’s Grammys.
Of course, that’s not really accurate, since all three awards recognize more than just the performer, and despite the apparent dominance of female singers on this year’s nominee list, men continue to rule the production world and are well-represented among the songwriters. In the remaining “Big 4” category – Best New Artist – there is a much more democratic breakdown along performer gender – a near 50/50 split.
Who will win the big four trophies at the 2024 Grammy Awards?
Batiste is one of five artists nominated for album, record, and song. He joins Miley Cyrus, Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, and Taylor Swift to hit that trifecta. Billie Eilish, Lana Del Ray, and indie supergroup boygenius each scored two nominations in those categories.
There are reasons why female voices – and to a somewhat lesser extent, gay, trans, and non-binary voices – seem to be closer to the cutting edge of pop music today than ever before. This maybe isn’t the time or place to explore that complex topic. Perhaps another time. Today, with the Grammys rapidly approaching, we’re going to take a quick look at who will win, who should win, and who should have been nominated in each of those big four categories.