SZA’s ‘SOS’ Could Make History for Black Women at 2024 Grammys – The Hollywood Reporter – saimmalik


It’s been 25 years since an album by a Black lady received the album of the yr Grammy Award. The yr was 1999 and Lauryn Hill’s heroic and inventive solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, took house the coveted prize. The win additionally marked the primary time a rap-based challenge received the Grammys’ highest honor.

Hill joined an elite membership of Black girls to win the award: Natalie Cole was the primary to take action in 1992 with Unforgettable… with Love, an album through which she coated requirements carried out by her father Nat King Cole; the album received 5 Grammys together with document of the yr for “Unforgettable,” a duet with dad created after his demise by fashionable digital know-how. Two years later, Whitney Houston received album of the yr with The Bodyguard soundtrack, led by the worldwide hit “I Will All the time Love You,” additionally named document of the yr. Hill earned 5 Grammys on the night time she turned simply the third Black lady to win album of the yr. And the entire wins by Black girls occurred within the ‘90s.

All of the Black girls who’ve launched albums nominated for album of the yr on the Grammy Awards

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Because the Grammys launched in 1959, solely 37 albums by 25 Black girls have earned nominations for album of the yr. 4 Beyoncé albums have been nominated for the highest prize — a document for Black girls — whereas Houston, Mariah Carey and H.E.R. have competed thrice. And different prolific Black girls, from Tina Turner, Donna Summer time and Roberta Flack to Janet Jackson, Missy Elliott and Rihanna, have earned album of the yr nominations with out successful.

That might make a win for SZA’s SOS all of the extra particular, although historical past has proven that Black artists — particularly these performing R&B and rap music — have a small likelihood of successful prime awards on the Grammys. If Beyoncé can’t do it, who can?

SZA and SOS are sturdy contenders. The album is each a business and important success that has had a historic run on the charts. It’s reached triple platinum standing with greater than 11 billion streams; it spent 10 weeks on prime of the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart, marking the longest-running No. 1 album launched by a lady in almost seven years; on the R&B albums chart, it has spent 56 out of 59 weeks at No. 1; and the album launched 5 Prime 10 pop hits, together with the No. 1 smash “Kill Invoice” in addition to “Snooze,” the one tune to spend each week on the Sizzling 100 chart final yr. The tune continues to be wakeful: On this week’s chart, the groove sits comfortably at No. 9.

SZA additionally carried out the album on an explosive tour that I needed to attend twice as a result of it was that good. She has equally as many male followers as she does feminine; like her 2017 debut Ctrl, she continues to be the voice of this era, spitting out lyrics which might be relatable and wild and gritty and introspective. It’s clear she had THE album of the yr, and her 9 Grammy nominations — making her the highest contender — solely drives the purpose house.

However Sunday is not going to go down with out a combat. Album of the yr contenders embrace Taylor Swift, who may make historical past by successful the distinction for a fourth time; Jon Batiste, a Grammy favourite who received the highest award two years in the past; Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey may win their first-ever Grammys; Olivia Rodrigo hit the phrase “sophomore stoop” within the guts, actually, together with her masterful second album; boygenius proceed to be indie darlings; and like SZA, Janelle Monáe may make historical past for Black girls if she wins.

Paradoxically, the primary lady to be nominated for album of the yr on the inaugural Grammys in 1959? A Black lady. It was Ella Fitzgerald with Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook. She misplaced to Henry Mancini’s The Music from Peter Gunn

And there’s an opportunity SZA may additionally lose on Sunday. However everyone knows that successful on the Grammys isn’t equal to successful at life. Simply ask Beyoncé.

An inventory of all of the albums by Black girls which have competed for album of the yr on the Grammy Awards.

1959: Ella Fiztgerlad, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook (winner: Henry Mancini, The Music from Peter Gunn)

1974: Roberta Flack, Killing Me Softly With His Tune (winner: Stevie Marvel, Innervisions)

1980: Donna Summer time, Dangerous Ladies (winner: Billy Joel, 52nd Avenue)

1985: Tina Turner, Personal Dancer (winner: Lionel Richie, Can’t Gradual Down)

1986: Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (winner: Phil Collins, No Jacket Required)

1987: Janet Jackson, Management (winner: Paul Simon, Graceland)

1988: Whitney Houston, Whitney (winner: U2, The Joshua Tree)

1989: Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman (winner: George Michael, Religion)

1991: Mariah Carey, Mariah Carey (winner: Quincy Jones, Again on the Block)

1992: Natalie Cole, Unforgettable… with Love [winner]

1994: Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard soundtrack [winner]

1996: Mariah Carey, Daydream (winner: Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Capsule)

1997: Fuguees (Lauryn Hill), The Rating (winner: Celine Dion, Falling into You)

1999: Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill [winner]

2000: TLC, Fanmail (winner: Santana, Supernatural)

2002: India.Arie, Acoustic Soul (winner: Numerous artists, Brother, The place Artwork Thou? soundtrack)

2004: Missy Elliott, Beneath Development (winner: OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Under)

2005: Alicia Keys, The Diary of Alicia Keys (winner: Ray Charles, Genius Loves Firm)

2006: Mariah Carey, The Emancipation of Mimi (winner: U2, The right way to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb)

2010: Beyoncé, I Am … Sasha Fierce (winner: Taylor Swift, Fearless)

2012: Rihanna, Loud (winner: Adele, 21)

2015: Beyoncé, Beyoncé (winner: Beck, Morning Section)

2016: Alabama Shakes (Brittany Howard), Sound & Shade (winner: Taylor Swift, 1989)

2017: Beyoncé, Lemonade (winner: Adele, 25)

2019: Janelle Monáe, Soiled Laptop (winner: Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour)

2019: H.E.R., H.E.R.

2019: Cardi B, Invasion of Privateness

2020: Lizzo, Cuz I Love You [Deluxe] (winner: Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, The place Do We Go?)

2020: H.E.R., I Used to Know Her

2021: Jhené Aiko, Chilombo (winner: Taylor Swift, Folklore)

2022: Doja Cat, Planet Her [Deluxe] (winner: Jon Batiste, We Are)

2022: H.E.R., Again of My Thoughts

2023: Beyoncé, Renaissance (winner: Harry Types, Harry’s Home)

2023: Mary J. Blige, Good Morning Attractive (Deluxe)

2023: Lizzo, Particular

2024: SZA, SOS

2024: Janelle Monáe, The Age of Pleasure


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