The 2017 Grammy nominations have been released. All the albums you were gunning for — think Lemonade and 25 and even Purpose — made the cut. However, one influential pop icon was absent from a top category. David Bowie's Blackstar was snubbed for Album of the Year. Not only will the Grammys be feeling the absence of Bowie's physical presence this year, one of the largest accolades won't be given to him posthumously. Luckily, the legend hasn't been snubbed entirely from the nomination list. In fact, in total, Bowie picked up four nominations for his work in 2016's Blackstar.
What Rolling Stone once called "Bowie's best anti-pop masterpiece since the Seventies" didn't go completely unnoticed or unappreciated. The title track — "Blackstar" picked up a nom for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. The album as a whole received a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-classical.
You might be surprised to learn that Bowie wasn't really a Grammy darling. Prior to the 2017 nominees, the icon was nominated 10 times, but he only ever took home one Grammy in 1985 — and it was for a music video. (In 2006, he also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.) However, Bowie has been nominated for Album of the Year before. Take for instance, 1984's Let's Dance which got the nomination that year, but ultimately lost to Michael Jackson's Thriller. (Tough one to beat.)
Bowie has been nominated for "Best Rock Vocal Performance" before as well. (Though the category used to be divided up by gender — i.e. Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Now it's just Best Rock Performance.) In 1985, Bowie was nominated in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category for "Blue Jean," but didn't get the win. But, if there was ever a year for Bowie to receive the accolade for which his title track "Blackstar" is also nominated, it's 2017. The nine-minute, 59-second opening song is a dark, epic, dizzying, and expansive earworm. A win for this song would be the perfect way to cap a decades-long career that proved to be significant to so many.
Fans of Bowie were hopeful that the artist would get more recognition for his 25th and final album. After all, the 2017 Grammys might be the last chance we have to honor one of music's most influential voices. Although both the album and its titular track might not take home any awards, for die-hard fans it shouldn't matter. Blackstar was worthy of praise when it came out, and will continue to be for years to come. That cannot be changed with any amount of Gramophones.