Grammys 2021: Beyoncé Is Queen of Nominations; Trevor Noah to Host

Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Lion King” on July 9, 2019; Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2020.
Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney’s “The Lion King” on July 9, 2019; Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2020.
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images), Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy (Getty Images)

Y’all, we have made it toward the end of the year, which means the formally designated awards season (not just the informal awards season that pretty much happens all year in Los Angeles because...Hollywood) is here! First up, we’re getting Grammy nominations!

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The 63rd Grammy Awards nominations were announced Tuesday and we have the Black-ass scoop. First off, though, the Recording Academy announced its MC early the same morning.

*drumroll* Your host of the night for 2021 is none other than The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah!

“Despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the Grammys have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event,” Noah, who is hosting the ceremony for the first time, said in a statement via Variety. “I think as a one-time Grammy nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award! (This is a metaphorical shoulder, I’m not trying to catch Corona.) See you at the 63rd Grammys!”

Noah is actually a Grammy-nominated comedian, having secured a 2020 nomination in the Comedy Album category for Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia. Dave Chappelle triumphed in the category, however, for Sticks & Stones.

Gayle King (CBS This Morning), Nigerian Afropop singer Yemi Alade, country singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton, four-time Grammy-winning Regional Mexican singer-songwriter Pepe Aguilar, two-time Grammy-winning contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle, singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, two-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Dua Lipa and Sharon Osborne (The Talk) all joined the live-streamed nominations announcement event on Tuesday, each announcing categories in different fields.

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President and CEO of The Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. provided opening remarks for the event, noting the challenges during the global pandemic and saying, “Music helps bring us together.” Mason also assured us the nominations would be diverse, representing today’s society. Let’s see!

So, who is Black and nominated for Grammys 2021? Here are some highlights:

Brittany Howard (who fans know as the lead singer of the band Alabama Shakes) secured solo project noms for Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Alternative Music Album.

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Shout-out to the Black National Anthem getting a Grammy nom. Alvin Chea and Jarrett Johnson are nominated in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella category for their rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Tiffany Haddish (Black Mitzvah) is nominated in the Best Comedy Album.

Beyoncé got the nod for Best Music Video (“Brown Skin Girl”), Best R&B Performance and Best Music Film (Black Is King).

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Megan Thee Stallion stopped by as a surprise to announce some categories, too! Speaking of surprises, Meg got her own surprise as Mason announced that she has gotten her first Grammy nominations.

As for the categories we typically expect there to be Black-ass representation:

Best R&B Performance

“Lightning & Thunder” — Jhené Aiko Featuring John Legend

“Black Parade” — Beyoncé

“All I Need” — Jacob Collier Featuring Mahalia & Ty Dolla $Ign

“Goat Head” — Brittany Howard

“See Me” — Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Sit On Down” — The Baylor Project Featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor

“Wonder What She Thinks of Me” — Chloe X Halle

“Let Me Go” — Mykal Kilgore

“Anything for You” — Ledisi

“Distance” — Yebba

Best R&B Song

“Better Than I Imagine” — Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello & Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Robert Glasper Featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello)

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“Black Parade” — Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)

“Collide” — Sam Barsh, Stacey Barthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar & Benedetto Rotondi, songwriters (Tiana Major9 & Earthgang)

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“Do It” — Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch & Vincent Van Den Ende, songwriters (Chloe X Halle)

“Slow Down” — Nasri Atweh, Badriia Bourelly, Skip Marley, Ryan Williamson & Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Skip Marley & H.E.R.) 

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Best Progressive R&B Album

Chilombo — Jhené Aiko

Ungodly Hour — Chloe X Halle

Free Nationals — Free Nationals

Fuck Yo Feelings — Robert Glasper

It Is What It Is — Thundercat

Best R&B Album

Happy 2 Be Here — Ant Clemons

Take Time — Giveon

To Feel Love/D — Luke James

Bigger Love — John Legend

All Rise — Gregory Porter

Best Rap Performance

“Deep Reverence” — Big Sean Featuring Nipsey Hussle

“Bop” — Dababy

“What’s Poppin” — Jack Harlow

“The Bigger Picture” — Lil Baby

“Savage” — Megan Thee Stallion Featuring Beyoncé

“Dior” — Pop Smoke

Best Melodic Rap Performance

“Rockstar” — DaBaby Featuring Roddy Ricch

“Laugh Now, Cry Later” — Drake Featuring Lil Durk

“Lockdown” — Anderson .Paak

“The Box” — Roddy Ricch

“Highest in the Room” — Travis Scott

Best Rap Song

“The Bigger Picture” — Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew & Rai’shaun Williams, Songwriters (Lil Baby)

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“The Box” — Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore, Songwriters (Roddy Ricch)

“Laugh Now, Cry Later” — Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron Latour & Ryan Martinez, Songwriters (Drake Featuring Lil Durk)

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“Rockstar” — Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro Iv & Rodrick Moore, Songwriters (DaBaby Featuring Roddy Ricch)

“Savage” — Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe & Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion Featuring Beyoncé)

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Best Rap Album

Black Habits — D Smoke

Alfredo — Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist

A Written Testimony — Jay Electronica

King’s Disease — Nas

The Allegory Royce — Da 5’9″

So, what about the Big Four?!

For Best New Artist, we have Megan Thee Stallion, Chika, D Smoke and Doja Cat!

As for Album of the Year, big-ups to Jhené Aiko (Chilombo), Black Pumas (Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition))

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The biggest one of the night is Record of the Year—Beyoncé (“Black Parade”), Black Pumas (“Colors”) DaBaby & Roddy Ricch (“Rockstar”), Doja Cat (“Say So”) and Meg/Bey (“Savage Remix”) all scored noms.

Black Is King and so is Beyoncé, as she scored the most Grammy nominations, scooping nine of them, including Song of the Year (for “Black Parade,” along with Shawn Carter as this award is given to songwriters).

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Roddy Ricch (tied with Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift) with six noms, who is also in the Song of the Year category (songwriters, Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore) for “The Box.”

The biggest Black snub of the year may be The Weeknd, who scored absolutely no Grammy noms this year. He has been racking up other awards such as the recent American Music Awards so it’s definitely noticeable.

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The 63rd Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and will broadcast on CBS. You can view the complete list of 2021 nominations at grammy.com.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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Best Melodic Rap Performance