How Does An Artist Get Nominated For A Grammy?

by Emily Lackey

Reading the Grammy Award Eligibility Guidelines is a lot like reading the tax laws in this country. For one, they change every year, constantly growing in some places and shrinking in others. But the Grammys eligibility rules are also incredibly detailed and line edited with each change that is made to them. It’s a bit of a snoozefest to read them, really, but the important take away from them, in my opinion, is how artists are nominated for Grammys. Obviously what makes art good is entirely subjective — let’s be real — but the committee for the 2016 Grammy Awards tried their best to be as objective as possible when it came to nominated artists for awards. By defining exactly what the voters should be looking for, they avoid any outrage over the nominees. According to GrammyPro.com, the thing that decides who gets nominated for a Grammy Award is “technical superiority without regard to chart performance.”

Um, okay. That’s all well and good (and puts to rest a number of naysayers who claim the award show is just one big popularity contest), but what exactly does that super vague definition mean? And couldn’t they, like, firm that up a bit? Because that’s the tricky thing about art. It’s kind of hard to pin down exactly why something is good and why something isn’t. So I’ve gone ahead and turned those wishy washy aspects of what makes an artist worth of a Grammy Award concrete. Technical superiority? How in the world is anyone supposed to measure that?

Judging by this year’s nominees, I have a feeling that these are the more quantitative qualities that the committee used to decide their votes.

The Artist With The Biggest Squad

The bigger the squad, the more categories you’ll be nominated for. Take Taylor Swift, whose squad is pretty much infinite, and who was nominated for seven Grammy Awards this year.

The Artist With The Highest Hair

Measured in inches to be exact. Plenty of singers and songwriters have qualified throughout the years (anyone remember Flock of Seagulls?), but this year The Weeknd racked up seven nominations with his killer rack of hair.

The Artist Whose Music Inspired The Most Viral Videos

It’s been a banner year for viral videos the world over, but the fact that Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” had teachers dancing in the lunchroom, old ladies grooving in the street, and even celebrities snapping their fingers is likely what got the committee’s attention this year. The song — and album by the same name — were nominated in three categories this year.

The Artist Who Is The Most British

Ed Sheeran and that shock of orange hair take the cake this year, but other artists who have been nominated for the same reason: Adele, and even the Beatles back in their day.

So there you have it: The real measures by which this year’s artists were (supposedly) nominated for Grammy Awards. Take that technical talent with a grain of salt. You know the committee will always be swayed by concrete measures like the thickness of an artist’s accent and the number of kickass girls that always seem to be standing nearby.

Image: Giphy (4)