2019 Grammy Nominations: The Biggest Surprises and Snubs

The 2019 Grammy Awards nominations are out, and the verdict is in on the biggest surprises and snubs from the list.

Nominations were announced Friday morning, and as usual, some of them have fans either scratching their heads or unexpectedly jumping for joy.

From the lack of love for Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift to Mac Miller’s posthumous nod and a surprise accolade for the Backstreet Boys, read on for the biggest shocks from the list.

SURPRISE: The Black Panther Soundtrack Was Nominated for Album of the Year 

The Black Panther soundtrack — which was curated by Kendrick Lamar and includes cuts from the rapper, SZA, The Weeknd and others — is only the thirteenth movie soundtrack to receive an album of the year nod.

Only three soundtracks have won the top prize since 1959: O Brother, Where Art Thou (2002), Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard (1994) and Saturday Night Fever (1979). Other previous nominees include: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago, Star Wars, Grease, Flashdance, Beauty and the Beast and Waiting to Exhale.

Some fans may be wondering why another soundtrack — for A Star Is Born — didn’t receive a nomination when its lead single, “Shallow,” did. But the Lady Gaga-helmed album from the movie wasn’t released within the eligibility window, so it will likely be submitted for consideration for the 2020 Grammys.

SNUB: Nicki Minaj Was Completely Shut Out

This summer, Minaj released the strongest, most cohesive set of her career — but was completely shut out of the 61st Grammys. From her extreme spitting kills (see: the outro of “Barbie Dreams”) to the bevy of killer collaborators (Ariana Grande, Eminem, Lil Wayne), it’s shocking she didn’t at least receive a best rep album nod.

SURPRISE: The Backstreet Boys Earned Their First Nomination in 17 Years

After a brief respite to focus on their families, the boy band reassembled and released their summer hit “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” which nabbed a nod for best pop duo/group performance.

This is the eighth nomination for the act, which has never won a Grammy. They previously scored nominations for: “Shape of My Heart” (2002), “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” (2001), Millennium (2001), “I Want It That Way” (2000) and best new artist (1999).

SNUB: Taylor Swift Only Received One Nomination — and It Wasn’t for Album of the Year

Swift’s 2017 pop behemoth Reputation was acclaimed by critics and beloved by fans, but it only scored one nomination, for best pop vocal album. The race for that Gramophone will be tight, as she’s nominated alongside five fellow powerhouses: Camila Cabello, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes and Pink.

Between its chart-topping prowess and near-perfect production, one would expect Reputation to receive a nod for album of the year, a title she’s won twice before (2010 for Fearless, 2016 for 1989). And it’s unclear if Swift’s camp submitted any tracks for the best pop solo performance category, but it’s a shame her smash “Delicate” didn’t receive any love — isn’t it, isn’t it, isn’t it?

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SURPRISE: Fall Out Boy Scores Second-Ever Nomination

The pop-punk band received a nomination for best rock album for the January album Mania. FOB has released solid, genre-spanning albums for years, but this is the band’s first nod since 2006, when John Legend bested the group for best new artist.

The group — led by frontman Patrick Stump and bassist Pete Wentz — actually scrapped much of the original material for the album to record an almost entirely new one.

“It wasn’t bad, it was just okay — and as a band, we’ve always been like, ‘We’re moving forward, we haven’t done anniversary shows.’ If you’re gonna do that, you need to put out music that you feel is great, otherwise it’s like talking out of both sides of your mouth,” Wentz told PEOPLE in January. “So when we realized that, then the only alternative was to push the record back and make one we believe in. It was a good wakeup call to have.”

SNUB: The Grammys Didn’t Find Mean Girls Very Fetch

The Mean Girls musical — based on the classic 2004 teen comedy — led the 2018 Tony nominations with 12 nods … but received no Grammy nominations. The Band’s Visit, Carousel, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, My Fair Lady and Once on This Island are up for best musical theater album.

SURPRISE: Maren Morris Is Recognized for an Elton John Cover

The country darling received a whopping five nominations, but most surprising is for “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” Morris’s cover from the Elton John tribute album Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The Texas native is also up for the Vince Gill duet “Dear Hate” (best country duo/group performance), as well as her soulful dance collab “The Middle” with Zedd and Grey (record and song of the year and best pop duo/group performance).

Including this year’s news, Morris has amassed 10 Grammy nominations and won the best country solo performance award for her breakout single “My Church” in 2017, the same year she was up for best new artist and best country album.

SURPRISE: Mac Miller Received His First Nod Posthumously

This is the first time the late rapper, who died of an accidental overdose in September at the age of 26, has been nominated for a Grammy. Miller’s August album, Swimming, is in the running for the best rap album along with those from Cardi B, Nipsey Hussle, Pusha T and Travis Scott.

With Miller’s ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande up for several awards, including best pop vocal album, it’s sure to be an emotional ceremony.

SNUB: No Love for Kesha’s RBG Biopic Anthem

Kesha penned “Hear Comes the Change,” a ’60s-inspired stomper demanding equality, for the upcoming Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie, On the Basis of Sex. With its universal plea and timeless vibe (hello, harmonica!), you’d expect a nod for best song written for visual media.

SURPRISE: Tiffany Haddish Is Nominated in the Same Category as a Former President

A pleasant surprise! The Girls Trip star deservedly earned a nod for best spoken word album for the audio version of her uproarious yet poignant memoir, The Last Black Unicorn. And she’s in good company, nominated alongside familiar faces including David Sedaris (Calypso), Questlove (Creative Quest) and Jimmy Carter (Faith – a Journey for All).

The 61st Grammy Awards will take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 10. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.

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