The Grammy Awards is always a special time for the music industry but the announcement of those lucky nominees is typically met with both applause and a wave of hand-wringing and furrowed brows. This week was no different when the shortlists were called out for the 60th annual Grammys, which sees JAY-Z lead the way with eight nominations, including chances for album of the year, record of the year and song of the year, and Kendrick Lamar just behind with seven.
There were no complaints from the Australasian music industries, which are celebrating a bumper crop of nods. Aussie and Kiwi songwriters represented by APRA/AMCOS were behind 26 Grammy nominations this time, with Lorde chasing the biggest prize of them all, Album of the Year, for her Billboard 200 chart-leader Melodrama. The New Zealander is the only female, and only non-African American artist (none of whom are white), in the hunt for the prestigious honour.
Also in with a chance is reigning ARIA female artist of the year Sia, whose Never Give Up (from Lion) is recognised in the category for Best Song Written For Visual Media, while ARIA Hall of Famer Nick Cave has chances for Best Music Film (for “More Time With Feeling”) and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package (for “Lovely Creatures: The Best Of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds 1984 – 2014”).
Viewers at home can keep tabs on Mansionair (Best Dance Recording for Line of Sight by Odesza feat. WYNNE & Mansionair), Opetaia Foa’I (Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media for Moana: The Songs) and Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood (Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance Song for What A Beautiful Name), while a slew of Australian and New Zealand songwriters contributed to nominated works across pop, rap, rock, gospel, reggae, new age, electronic/dance and other categories.
The Grammys has been a happy hunting ground for Australian and NZ acts in recent times. Flume won his first earlier this year, for best dance/electronic album (for Skin) and Gotye cleaned up with a hattrick of trophies in 2013, including record of the year for the instant classic “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring Kimbra. AC/DC, Wolfmother, Keith Urban and Kylie Minogue have also nabbed Grammys since the turn of the millennium.
Those artistic achievements are reflected in the trade data. The royalties earned overseas by APRA-AMCOS members in 2016-17 grew to $43.5 million, up 13.6 per cent year-on-year and more than double the $21.8 million collected just four years earlier.
The 60th Grammy Awards take place in New York Sunday, 28 January 2018 (January 29 local time). All up, winners in 84 categories will be announced on the big day, though not all will be televised.