Kacey Musgraves’ album Star-Crossed has been excluded from consideration at the Grammy Awards in the Country Album category.
Despite Kacey Musgraves being a mainstay in the Country Album category at the Grammys, her latest work Star Crossed has been deemed ineligible for a nomination in the same. Instead, the Academy has decided to put it under the Pop Vocal category.
Musgraves’ team and record label have called out the decision to exclude the album from the category as ‘inconsistent’ and ‘dangerous’, as reported by Variety.
Cindy Mabe, President of Universal Music Group Nashville, criticised the decision in a letter to the Recording Academy. “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,” she said.
“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.” she continued.
“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.” she wrote.
The decision to exclude Star-Crossed from the Country Album category was made at the Academy’s annual screening process last week. While filtering out nominations, a committee of critics can decide to exclude an album if they feel it does not fit into the category sonically.
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Claiming that Star-Crossed is more musically country-adjacent than Musgraves’ Golden Hour, Mabe also said that leaving Musgraves out of consideration “actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall.”
“For the past several years, the stories around country music have been the stories of country radio and the limitations put on women’s voices or diversity of any kind from our key artists, their perspectives or their sound. The numbers speak and are a matter of public record with women making up only 10 percent of all country airplay” explained Mabe.
“This year alone country music has been mired in the controversy surrounding one of the formats biggest artists, Morgan Wallen, who used a racial slur and grew fans and audience from it. THIS IS NOT ALL THAT WE ARE. Under the surface are the artists that change it all and they are led by the example of Kacey Musgraves.” she said.
Musgraves’ debut album Same Trailer Different Park won Country Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammys. She was nominated in the Best Country Album category again in 2016 for Pageant Material, and yet again for Golden Hour in 2019.
Two tracks from Golden Hour, ‘Space Cowboy’ and ‘Butterflies’ were also nominated for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. Musgraves also has seven Country Music Association Awards and three Academy of Country Music Awards.
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