The 59th Grammy Awards: A Night of Surprises?

The nominations are out for the music industry’s biggest night: the 59th Annual Grammy Awards! And it’s sure to be a doozy. There’s a lot of familiar names on the list, along with some attractive new talent. 

The nominees for the top award, Record of the Year, includes “Hello” by Adele; “Formation” by Beyonce; “7 Years” by Lukas Graham; “Work” by Rihanna, feat. Drake; and “Stressed Out” by Twenty-One Pilots. Album of the Year could honor Adele’s “25”; Beyonce’s “Lemonade”; Justin Bieber’s “Purpose”; Drake’s “Views”; or Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”. Click here for the full list of nominees!

But I also wanted to take a moment and highlight some exciting firsts from this year’s nominations, and what it could mean if these dark horses win. 

Chance the Rapper’s Streaming-Only Album

One of the most interesting developments this year was the release of Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” album. Except it wasn’t available in stores: instead, the artist chose to stream his music on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. Given the critical praise that his album received, the Grammy Awards even had to shift their rules around to allow Chance’s album to be a nominee. He’s laid down the foundation for future artists to follow his example, releasing music for free and still garnering Grammy nods.

Beyonce Gets a Rock Nod

To say that Beyonce’s album “Lemonade” was highlight of the year is an understatement. It not only was another well-produced gem, but also brought together the talents of artists from across genres (did you see that Dixie Chicks performance at the CMA’s?). Included in this list of featured artists was Jack White, lending his vocals to the song “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” As a result, Beyonce and Jack White have received a nomination for the Best Rock Performance category. 

Shoutout to “Stranger Things”

The category for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media looks like a film category at first glance. After all, it has big names like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Hateful Eight” among its nominees. But Netflix sensation “Stranger Things” albums, Volume 1 and 2, have both made it to the list, snagging two spots for themselves. This is a grand first for Netflix; their last Grammy nod was at the 56th Awards ceremony, with Regina Spektor’s “You’ve Got Time” nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media. 

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will air on February 12th, 2017 from 8 pm - 11 pm PST. Tune in to see if our dark horses make the cut!