Decoding This Year's Grammy Nominations

Why Beyonce made history with her 9 nominations.

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Yesterday, the Grammy Academy released their nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards. A fickle and unpredictable academy, the list is always a toss-up. There is typically one killer pop album of the year bestowed with love (this year, Lemonade) and another one being completely snubbed (this year, ANTI). But the biggest surprise this year? All of the top nominees were artists of color. Beyonce leads the pack with 9 nominations, Drake, Kanye, and Rihanna hold 8 noms each, and the newly soaring Chance the Rapper nabbed 7. Simply the announcement of the nominees saw a lot of boundaries broken, reflecting the changing music landscape and reign of diverse artists and new sounds. Which means the ceremony is guaranteed to be an even bigger event. As always, we're here to take a deep look into the this year's Grammy nominations for you pop lovers.

With her 9 nominations, Beyoncé has officially become the most nominated female ever, receiving 62 nominations. Dolly Parton previously held the title, holding forty-six nominations. It's a boundary-breaking moment not just for black women, but all women. Beyoncé made history in the beginning of the year after the release of the album by having every song chart on the Billboard Hot 100 the week after the album's release.

Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper is the first artist to receive a Rap Album of the Year nomination off of a streaming-only album. The Chicago rapper had to publicly petition to get the Grammys to change their archaic rules, in order to get Coloring Book nominated. He even so far as to pay for an ad in Billboard Magazine asking the Grammys, "Why not me?"

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Rihanna's ANTI, largely regarded as a pivotal change in sound and artistic direction for the hitmaker, received no nominations for it as a body of work. The only nominations Rihanna received were for singles from the album and her appearance on Kanye West's "Famous". It comes as a slight to the Barbadian singer, who is frequently criticized for only being able to move pop hits like no other, but not cohesive, well-crafted albums.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest songs of the year was not nominated. Drake received nominations for "Hotline Bling", but his dancehall inspired track of the year "One Dance" was completely ignored by the committees.

Kanye appears to be able to call the Grammys every name in the book and still receive nominations from them. The rapper has repeatedly criticized its decisions and skipped out on shows, crashed the stage, and ranted after the ceremonies. But, somehow, someway, he made the top list of nominees. It'll be interesting to see if West decides to attend the show or not-- or if he has recovered from his recent psychiatric hospitalization in time.

So what can we expect from the actual ceremony? Adele will walk away with awards a plenty, Beyoncé will most likely win in one of the major categories (the question is… which one?), and there will be some love thrown to newcomer Chance the Rapper for sure. Perhaps the most nail-biting category this go around is Album of the Year. There was a collective upset from the public last time Beyoncé lost the award to surprise winner Beck. Will this finally be Queen Bey's year?

We'll just have to wait and see.

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