Album still qualifies for all-genre Album of the Year category
The Recording Academy has deemed Kacey Musgraves’ star-crossed ineligible in the Country Album category at the upcoming 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Billboard states the decision was made during the annual screening committee last week when submissions were reviewed to be sure they are placed in the appropriate category.
Members of the committee can reject recordings if they don’t believe they fit a specific category. However, that still leaves them eligible for the all-genre Album of the Year category.
“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,” shares UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe. “As a prime stakeholder in country music, I would really like to frame what’s happening in our genre right now and help you and the Grammy’s [sic] fully understand the importance of Kacey Musgraves to country music and why this decision is so much more than an entry point for an awards show. Taking her out of the country category actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall.”
Mabe accuses the members of the committee of playing politics, something the entire organization has been accused of in recent years.
“The idea that a handful of people including competitors, who would benefit from Kacey not being in the country category, are deciding what is country only exacerbates the problem. The system is broken and sadly not just for Kacey Musgraves but for our entire genre because of how these decisions are made for music’s biggest stage. Building roadblocks for artists who dare to fight the system is so dangerous and against everything I think the Grammy’s [sic] stand for. But that’s where we are today.”
Musgraves has acquired six GRAMMY wins throughout her career with five being defined to the country category. Two of those were in the Country Album of the Year category in 2014 for Same Trailer Different Park and 2019 for Golden Hour.
The album was released on September 10th via a joint partnership between UMG Nashville and its pop counterpart Interscope Records.
Mabe argues that star-crossed is more country than Golden Hour.
“Sonically, it’s got more country instrumentation than Golden Hour which won Country Album of the Year in 2019. To compare Golden Hour to star-crossed, both albums were produced by Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian and Kacey Musgraves. Both albums were mixed by Shawn Everett. On Golden Hour, Ian, Daniel and Kacey wrote 7 of the 13 songs and on star-crossed they wrote 11 of the 15. Both albums complete each other with Golden Hour telling the story of falling in love and star-crossed telling the conclusion of the breakup. There is no departure in sound from these two projects. This album was consistently classified as country throughout it’s [sic] metadata and overall labeling across the DSP accounts and partners. star-crossed appeared on every major country playlist of every DSP.”
The Recording Academy hasn’t responded on the matter publicly at this point. Earlier this year, the organization did disband the nominating reviews committee following backlash of being diverse and too political.