Ever since the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), often referred to simply as the Recording Academy, announced the January 31, 2021 date for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, the music industry has been waiting impatiently for another significant date – that of the announcement of the nominees for the awards.
Musicians, producers, recording engineers, record labels and other musical professionals breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday when the Recording Academy announced that November 24 would be the big reveal. All nominees in the 84 categories will be unveiled during what will this year be an hourlong live stream, starting at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET on Grammy.com.
According to details given on their website, the virtual party will see Harvey Mason Jr, chair and interim Recording Academy president/CEO, joined by past Grammy winners, nominees and hopefuls from remote locations across the country as he reveals the nominees for all 84 categories.
The Grammy Awards, which recognises achievements in the music industry globally, is dubbed music’s biggest night and a gong from the entity is seen as a benchmark of success.
Included in the 84 categories is the Best Reggae Album, which covers both reggae and dancehall. It’s eligibility period – the release of an album/single, which will determine if it is eligible for this year’s awards – ran from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.
A plethora of albums was released by reggae and dancehall acts during the period and has been submitted for Grammy consideration. A list was compiled and, from that list, five albums will be nominated.
Among the albums released on the cusp of the closing date were Reggae Gold 2020, Various Artistes; Got to be Tough, Toots and the Maytals; Back A Yard, Wailing Souls; Higher Place, Skip Marley; In Search of Lost Time, Protoje; and Healing, Tarrus Riley.
Between May 2019 and August 2020, albums or EPs came from Buju Banton, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Lila Ike, Etana, Chezidek, Anthony B, Richie Spice, Shaggy, Dexta Daps, Xyclone and Sevana. A compilation album, fronted by Ghanaian dancehall singer Shatta Wale, Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: Reggae Collector’s Edition, dropped in June.
Additionally, at the start of the year, on January 10, Govana released Humans and Monsters Are Not the Same and, on the same day, Vybz Kartel dropped To Tanesha, the first of two albums for 2020. Papa Michigan released Put Your Loving on Me on January 20, and on March 13, on the cusp of the world closing down, Jah9 released Note to Self. Koffee won the Grammy in 2020 for her EP, Rapture.
Over on the international scene, various music outlets have consistently included The Weeknd with After Hours; Taylor Swift’s Folklore; Dua Lipa for the album Nostalgia and Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters for the big prize – Album of the Year. Lady Gaga is also expected to get a nod for her album, Chromatica.