The 2022 Grammy Awards! — Webb’s version

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Webb students discuss the 2022 major grammy nominations! Credit: Nichola Monroe (’22)

“Donda mid,” Kenny Clay (‘25) said.  

Students have things to say after the Grammy nominations were released about a month ago.  

Sadly, as the world awaited this esteemed award show, on January 5th, the Recording Academy released a statement indefinitely postponing “Music’s Biggest Night.”  

In their statement, the Academy wrote, “After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show.”  

They explained that the increasing rate of cases, especially given the new Omicron variant, has prevented them from being able to host a show safe for the participants, which is their number one priority.  

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks.  We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.” 

Despite the postponement, social media was still abuzz with varying opinions on which artists deserved the nominations and which did not.  

Webb students were polled on their opinions of these nominees, and the survey winners in major categories—Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best R&B Album, Best Rap Album, Best Country Album—are as follows:  

 

Record of the Year 

“I Still Have Faith in You” by ABBA  

“Freedom” by Jon Batiste 

“I Get A Kick Out of You” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga 

“Peaches” by Justin Bieber (feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon) 

“Right on Time” by Brandi Carlile 

“Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat (feat. SZA) 

“Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish 

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X 

“drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo 

“Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic  

 

28% of the 80 anonymous survey responders voted for Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open.” Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak’s smooth blend of R&B, soul, funk, and pop from their new album An Evening with Silk Sonic was first performed at the 2021 Grammy’s, and quickly became their most popular song, with almost 700 million plays on Spotify.  

“I think it’s actually a better song compared to a lot of the other ones that have been nominated because one, it hasn’t been super overplayed, two, it has a lot of musicality in it that isn’t really incorporated into a lot of pop songs in general, and three, it has Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak which is pretty cool,” Izzy Kim (‘24) said.  

 

Album of the Year  

We Are by Jon Batiste  

Love For Sale by Tony Bennett and Lady Gago 

Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) by Justin Bieber 

Planet Her (Deluxe) by Doja Cat 

Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish  

Back Of My Mind by H.E.R. 

Montero by Lil Nas X 

Sour by Olivia Rodrigo 

Evermore by Taylor Swift  

Donda by Kanye West  

 

Kanye West’s long-awaited 12th album, Donda, was released on September 3, 2021, and skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard charts, becoming West’s 10th album to reach the number one spot. The album explores themes of mental health, West’s relationship with God, and coping with grief after losing his mother, who the album is named after.  

Many Webb students expressed strong support for West’s album, flooding the comment section with demands that Donda wins Album of the Year. However, others disagreed, expressing their disappointment with the music.  

Donda mid,” Kenny said. 

“YB (NBA Youngboy) better,” Matthew Gooch (‘22), Bradyn Wishek (‘22), and Dylan Lange (‘22) said.  

 

Song Of the Year 

“Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran 

“A Beautiful Noise” by Brandi Carlile 

“drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo 

“Fight for You” by H.E.R.  

“Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish 

“Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat (feat. SZA)  

“Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic 

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X 

“Peaches” by Justin Bieber 

“Right on Time” by Brandi Carlile  

 

“Kiss Me More” is a bop, reflected by 25% of survey responders who voted it as Song of the Year. After “Say So” was called “disco without the luxury,” Doja Cat stepped up her game and this track combines disco with simply put, stellar production and quality. It never fails to get you to dance.  

“I think it’s good and I played that song repeatedly for a whole day. It’s vibey with a good beat and I like the rhythm,” Teddy Meng (‘23) said.  

 

Best New Artist 

Arooj Aftab 

Jimmie Allen 

Baby Keem  

FINNEAS 

Glass Animals 

Japanese Breakfast  

The Kid LAROI 

Arlo Parks  

Olivia Rodrigo 

Saweetie  

 

Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm in the beginning of 2021 with her hit single “drivers license,” which reached a billion streams only eight months later. Her subsequent singles, “deja vu” and “good 4 you” dominated the Billboard charts, and fans compared her music to Taylor Swift and Lorde. 2021 was most definitely a breakout year for Rodrigo, and by the looks of it, she is just getting started in the music industry.  

“I think she deserves it,” Jaydyn Akpengbe (‘22) said. “I think she’s had a really good year.”  

 

Best Pop Solo Performance 

“Anyone” by Justin Bieber 

“Right On Time” by Brandi Carlile 

“Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish 

“Positions” by Ariana Grande  

“drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo  

 

A catchy pop tune, “Positions” was released in October of 2020. Fans were excited for Ariana Grande’s next album, and the song quickly topped the charts at number one. A combination of unique production and Grande’s stunning vocals, “Positions” was the perfect lead single for the album of the same title.  

Although the song was quite popular at the time of its release, many listeners feel like it was not Grande’s best work, criticizing its generic pop vibe.  

“I don’t think it has anything special about it,” Ryan Weigand (‘23) said. “I feel like it’ll die out.”  

 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance  

“I Get A Kick Out Of You” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga 

“Lonely” by Justin Bieber and benny blanco 

“Butter” by BTS 

“Higher Power” by Coldplay 

“Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat (feat. SZA)  

 

The 46% of responders that voted for this song confirms our original declaration that “Kiss Me More” is a banger. In a perfect group performance, each artist needs to add something new that improves the quality of the song. SZA’s rap takes the track to the next level, and students at Webb are giving it the recognition it deserves as Best Pop Duo Performance.  

“I think Doja Cat really took off this year because not a lot of people knew her earlier in her career and she’s been around for a while,” Reece Ollivierre (‘23) said. “‘Kiss Me More’ really kicked off her career. Every time I drive to school, I listen to the radio and it’s always on. It’s very popular and honestly I think it deserves [Best Pop Duo Performance] in general.” 

 

Best Pop Vocal Album 

Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) by Justin Bieber 

Planet Her (Deluxe) by Doja Car 

Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish  

Positions by Ariana Granda 

Sour by Olivia Rodrigo  

 

It is already impressive enough that Rodrigo had two songs from this album reach a billion streams in 2021, but the fact that she was only sixteen when she wrote the album is amazing. Released on May 21st, 2021, Sour was a perfect pre-summer release.  

“I actually really liked it, I thought it was surprisingly good,” Nick Lee (‘22) said. “I wasn’t expecting to like it, especially with this being her first album. I could scream ‘drivers license’, I could scream ‘déjà vu’, I could scream pretty much any song on that album and it’s really entertaining. It gets stuck in your head.”  

 

Best R&B Album 

Temporary Highs In The Violet Skies by Snoh Aalegra 

We Are by Jon Batiste 

Gold-Diggers Sound by Leon Bridges 

Back Of My Mind by H.E.R. 

Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan 

 

Back of My Mind is H.E.R.’s debut studio album, and features artists like Lil Baby, Ty Dolla Sign, Yung Bleu, Cordae, DJ Khaled, Bryson Tiller, and Chris Brown. Described as “dreamy downtempo R&B,” the album peaked at number six on the Billboard charts, marking H.E.R.’s best performing week. 

Webb students that listened to the album, however, did not feel that it brought anything unique to the R&B genre.  

“It is R&B that is nothing special,” Bradyn Wishek (‘22) said.  

“I could do better,” Dylan Lange (‘22) said. “But I love the autotune and the subtle use of two instruments.”  

 

Best Rap Album 

The Off-Season by J. Cole 

King’s Disease II by Nas 

Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler, The Creator 

Donda by Kanye West  

 

Call Me If You Get Lost, Tyler, The Creator’s sixth studio album, was a huge hit in 2021. Fans praised the instrumentals and flow of the music.  

Call Me If You Get Lost was probably one of the top tier albums of the year,” Matthew Gooch (‘22) said. “I think it should have been nominated for best overall album, so I’m kind of mad about that.” 

“I couldn’t do better. ‘SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DO DANCE’ is a great song,” Dylan Lange (‘22) said.  

It was a narrow win for Call Me If You Get Lost, winning with 43% of the votes over Donda’s 42%.  

 

Best Country Album 

Skeletons by Brothers Osborne 

Remember Her Name by Mickey Guyton 

The Marfa Tapers by Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, & Jack Ingram 

The Ballad of Dood & Juanita by Sturgill Simpson 

Starting Over by Chris Stapleton 

 

Webb’s chosen Best Country Album, Starting Over by Chris Stapleton, won 39% of the votes. Released in November of 2020, Starting Over received positive reviews. The songs are pure soulful country infused with a bit of rock elements.  

“I really like Chris Stapleton, but I think his Traveler album of 2015 is definitely better than this album,.” Savanna Cespedes (‘22) said. “But it’s still pretty solid, has solid songs; ‘Starting Over’ being my favorite, followed by ‘When I’m With You’.” 

 

Although it looks like the Grammy’s are going to be on the backburner while coronavirus cases peak due to the Omicron variant, Webb students are still invested in the ceremony, eagerly waiting to see their favorite artists win the awards they deserve. Our enthusiasm only goes to show that in a time full of uncertainty and global panic, music is there, helping us get through it all. 

Updates to come following the real Grammy’s results!  

 

PS: Check out our Spotify playlist of all the Webb survey winners!