Following the praise of her critically-acclaimed album Ctrl, SZA has quickly become the one 2018 Grammy Award nominee that you’ll want to keep an eye on. The singer, who broke onto the charts earlier this year with her debut studio album, is rapidly on her way to becoming a household name, and if her recent success is any indication of how quickly she's about to take over the music scene, you'll want to start paying close attention to her every move.
When the 2018 Grammy nominations were released on Tuesday (Nov. 28) morning, some may have been surprised to hear the woman's name who would lead the pack of female nominees due to her quick emergence onto the music scene after dropping her first studio project less than six months ago.
As songwriter for superstars such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, SZA is hardly a newcomer to the music industry, finding herself now competing for accolades alongside the very artists she once penned lyrics for. Tuesday, however, would become a huge defining moment in the newly minted artist's career as she became the most nominated female artist of the 2018 Grammys, with a collaborative five nods in total.
It's worth noting that women were largely shut out of the Grammy competition which is due to take place Madison Square Garden in January 2018, with no female artists receiving a nom for one of the night's largest contests: Record Of The Year. Meanwhile, Lorde was the only woman nominated for Album of the Year for Melodrama. The handful of women who were nominated for this year include Lady Gaga, Kesha, Cardi B, Kelly Clarkson, and Lana Del Rey.
Despite the disparity in female representation, the nominations did seem to have the most diverse mix of artistry that it's ever had in the past with SZA being acknowledged in the ceremony's Best New Artist category alongside Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, and Julia Michaels. SZA also received nods for Best Rap/Sung Performance for her collaboration with Travis Scott "Love Galore." The song will compete against 6lack's "PRBLMS," GoldLink featuring Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy's "Crew," Kendrick Lamar's "LOYALTY" which features Rihanna, and JAY-Z's "Family Feud" featuring Beyoncé. Her remaining nominations are for Best R&B song for "Supermodel", Best Urban Contemporary Album for Ctrl, and Best R&B Performance for "The Weekend."
It's quite a change from past years as hip-hop and R&B artists were widely recognized after years of being overlooked in major categories, according to Harpers Bazaar. Huffington Post also pointed out that this was the first time since 1999 that no white men were nominated for Album of the Year as this year's nominees include Childish Gambino, JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Lorde.
SZA becoming the female MVP of the 2018 Grammy Awards also caused quite a stir in the media as many scrambled to the internet to learn more about the talented 28-year-old artist. An instant success, SZA's album Ctrl debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, and amassed 60,000 equivalent-album units within its first week of being released in June of 2017. It later went on to achieve gold status in October 2017 while Rolling Stone ranked it No. 20 on its list of 50 Best Albums of 2017.
It's safe to say it's been a hell of a year for the New Jersey native who will cap 2017 off with a performance on Saturday Night Live Dec. 9; and what better way to kick of the new year than picking up a few Grammys? SZA's talent is certainly undeniable as both a singer and songwriter and her recent accolades seem to make it perfectly clear that she’ll be around the industry for many years to come.