If there’s one category of performer that Grammys voters love, it’s mainstream-accessible pop stars like Adele, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, all of whom dominated the major Grammys categories in recent years.
That isn’t the case for the 2018 awards, with the song, album and record of the year categories excluding many pop stars that seemed like shoe-ins for the Grammys’ biggest awards.
Instead, the nominees for album of the year feature Bruno Mars and Lorde alongside hip hop and R&B releases from Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino. These artists also dominate record and song categories, along with the smash-hit Despacito from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber. As a result, Grammys favorites like Sheeran are relegated to the smaller pop categories.
Take a look below at which artists also missed out on the main categories -- or, in many pop stars' cases, failed to earn nominations at all. (Editor's note: The Grammy eligibility period is Oct. 1, 2016-Sept. 30, 2017.)
Sheeran cleaned up at the Grammys in 2016 with Thinking Out Loud, which took home the trophies for song of the year and pop solo performance. With a hit single Shape of You that seemed ready to repeat Thinking Out Loud’s awards success, fans had every reason to expect Sheeran's 2017 album Divide to also be Grammys bait, with experts predicting that the British singer would lead the pack of 2018 nominees. Add the fact that Divide is 2017's second best-selling album, behind his pal Taylor Swift's Reputation, and a Sheeran Grammys sweep almost seemed preordained.
Take it as a sign of the times that Sheeran barely appears on the nominees list, getting snubbed for all the major awards, and only earning two nods in the pop categories.
Lady Gaga has previously been nominated many times in the pop categories, while failing to break through to a song or album of the year win. While her 2016 album Joanne pushed Gaga’s sound beyond the dancefloor with songs like Million Reasons, the release wasn’t enough to earn her nominations in any of the main categories. Instead, Gaga will be competing with Sheeran in the same two pop categories, with Million Reasons facing off against Shape of You for best pop solo performance, and Joanne and Divide both nominated for best traditional pop album.
Despite a string of nominations over the years, Katy Perry has never won a Grammy. Her 2017 release Witness earned mixed reviews with critics, and the Grammys felt similarly lukewarm about the album, leaving Perry off the nominees list entirely.
Kesha’s comeback album, Rainbow, was hailed as a triumph when it arrived this summer, but that wasn’t enough to boost the singer into the main categories. Instead, she will compete for best pop solo performance and best traditional pop album alongside Sheeran and Gaga.
The Weeknd won two Grammys in 2015 for best urban contemporary album and R&B performance, and despite the charts success of his 2017 release Starboy and its eponymous single, he only earned one nomination for urban contemporary album.
Cyrus earned her first Grammy nomination in 2015 for Bangerz, but couldn't replicate that success with 2017's Younger Now. Even with Cyrus' newly stripped-down sound, Younger Now failed to score any nominations.
Similarly, Lovato followed Confident's nomination for best pop vocal album at the 2016 Grammys with a new album this year, Tell Me You Love Me, featuring the successful single Tell Me You Love Me. Yet, the Grammys just weren't loving Lovato's new music, leaving her off the nominees list.
All five former members of the boy band landed in the top 40 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts this year, with Harry Styles impressing critics with his self-titled debut album and Liam Payne and Niall Horan earning breakout hits with Strip That Downand Slow Hands, respectively. Unfortunately for Directioners, neither Styles, Payne, Horan or their fourth bandmate Louis Tomlinson earned Grammy nominations this year. Zayn Malik, who departed the band before their 2015 hiatus, earned one nomination for best song written for visual media with I Don't Wanna Live Forever, his single with Taylor Swift for 50 Shades Darker.
Casual Alicia Keys listeners may have forgotten that the singer released her album Here in November last year, making it eligible for the 2018 awards. Keys received no nominations.
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