Kacey Musgraves’ ‘star-crossed’ Moved to Pop at the Grammys

Photo: Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank through Getty Images

In 2019, the solar set on Kacey Musgraves’s pop-country opus Golden Hour when it received Album of the Year at the Grammys, changing into the first nation album to earn the high prize since Taylor Swift’s Fearless in 2010. Now, when she returns to the Grammys this year for her equally genre-blurring follow-up album star-crossed, Musgraves will discover herself in unfamiliar territory: the pop classes. A consultant for Musgraves confirmed to Vulture that star-crossed shall be in competition for Best Pop Vocal Album, following studies from Rolling Stone and Billboard that the project wouldn’t be eligible for Best Country Album. Musgraves’s label, Universal Music Group Nashville, first submitted star-crossed for Best Country Album (an award three of Musgraves’s earlier albums have been nominated for, with two profitable), per an e mail from Cynthia Mabe, the label’s president, obtained by the shops. “This decision from the country committee to not accept star-crossed into the country albums category is very inconsistent and calls into question the other agendas that were part of this decision,” Mabe reportedly wrote to the Recording Academy.

To be eligible in a style class at the Grammys, at least 51 % of the songs on an album should fall into it. That judgment is made by a genre-screening committee — totally different from the nomination-review committees, which the Recording Academy not too long ago removed in most classes. The “Rules and Guidelines” packet for the upcoming sixty fourth Grammy Awards says entries in the nation area “utilize a stylistic intention, song structure, lyrical content and/or musical presentation to create a sensibility that reflects the broad spectrum of country music style and culture.” But because it goes on to observe, “The Field includes recordings and songs that are country in content as opposed to those that may have a ‘country flavor,’ but are aimed at the contemporary or pop audience.” Country awards our bodies like the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music, in the meantime, outline eligibility by whether or not music charted on the Billboard nation charts; star-crossed debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums upon its launch.

The Academy nonetheless reportedly thought-about some star-crossed songs to be nation, with a supply telling Rolling Stone that “camera roll” shall be eligible for Best Country Song. (It’s not unusual for an album in a single style class to submit songs in others.) Yet Mabe, in her e mail to the Academy, wrote, “Sonically, [star-crossed has] got more country instrumentation than Golden Hour which won Country Album of the Year in 2019. … There is no departure in sound from these two projects.” She went on to emphasize Musgraves’s significance to the nation style as a progressive lady. “Taking her out of the country category actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall,” Mabe wrote. Grammy nominations shall be introduced November 23.

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