Who didn’t enjoy Silk Sonic’s debut album An Evening With Silk Sonic? Everyone from mothers fathers, aunts, grandmas, uncles, cousins and children loved that album. Then why aren’t they submitting it for consideration at the 2023 Grammys?
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak had a “clean sweep” this April at the Grammys, winning every award they were nominated for including best R&B performance, song of the year, record of the year and best R&B song for their hit single “Leave the Door Open.”
An Evening With Silk Sonic was released in November 2021, just in time for it to be eligible for the 2023 Grammys and would have qualified for a lot of the high-profile categories such as album of the year, best R&B album and best-engineered album, non-classical.
I was looking forward to the album going up against some of the best and most high-profile R&B and Pop albums this year, including Beyoncé’s Renaissance, Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights, Brent Faiyaz’s WASTELAND, Giveon’s Give or Take, The Weeknd’s Dawn FM and Lucky Daye’s Candydrip.
But in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter, Mars said, “Silk Sonic would like to gracefully, humbly and most importantly, sexually, bow out of submitting our album this year.”
He continued, “Andy and I, and everyone that worked on this project, won the moment the world responded to ‘Leave the Door Open.’ Everything else was just icing on the cake. We thank the Grammys for allowing us to perform on their platform — not once but twice — and awarding us at last year’s ceremony. We’d be crazy to ask for anything more.”
In his own statement, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “Silk Sonic has been such a fun highlight of our last couple of shows and they deservedly had an amazing night at the 64th Grammys earlier this year. We appreciate their decision not to submit this year but look forward to celebrating an amazing year in music together.”
Is it because the group would like a chance for other artists to take home some hardware? Mars has been a big winner at the Grammys since 2011 when he won his first award for “Just the Way You Are.” Since then, he has won 15 times out of a possible 31 nominations. Paak has won four prior to his success with Silk Sonic.
Could it possibly just be a nice gesture from the duo to allow other artists to have a chance to take home some hardware? I doubt it. Artists are incredibly competitive, and these two are no different.
What about this? Are they afraid they might lose? Think about it. They won everything last year, so anything thing this year would feel like a flop. It wouldn’t be the first time a high-profile artist has pulled their nomination. Just last year Drake removed his 2022 Grammy nominations months before the award show. The Canadian rapper was nominated in two stacked categories including Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album. He wasn’t favored in either so maybe he figured it wasn’t worth it. Is that the case with Silk Sonic?
Or could it be to avoid controversy? For years people have (wrongly) accused Bruno Mars of cultural appropriation for the style of music he creates, and trust me, some of those claims only got stronger after he released An Evening with Silk Sonic.
Could it be to avoid criticism, regarding the content of their music? The Forty-Five published a piece shortly after the release of their debut album, diving into the sexism and misogyny that Silk Sonic adopted from a previous era of music, arguing that they should’ve left it out of their music.
Whatever the reason, Silk Sonic and their energy will definitely be missed at the 2023 Grammys.