Brandi Carlile “Surprised And Disappointed” Grammys Are Categorizing Her New Single As Pop, Not Roots

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Brandi Carlile “Surprised And Disappointed” Grammys Are Categorizing Her New Single As Pop, Not Roots

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When Brandi Carlile’s team submitted her In These Silent Days single “Right On Time” to the Recording Academy for 2022 Grammy consideration, they submitted for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance, and Best Music Video, Short Form. Surprising Carlile, the song was not accepted into any of the American roots categories.

Carlile, who has won six Grammys over the years in the Country, Americana, and Roots categories, took to Instagram to express her complicated feelings about being deemed ineligible for the Roots categories, saying she was “flattered to be considered ‘pop’ as a 40-year-old crooning lesbian mother” but also “surprised” and “disappointed.” (Note: In These Silent Days, as opposed to “Right On Time,” will be eligible for Grammy consideration next year, due to it being released in October.)

“Americana/American Roots music is more than a genre to me,” Carlile began. “It represents my community, my family, my friends and my beautiful island of misfits. I am also proud that it represents a great number of people actively WORKING to platform marginalized people – LGBTQIA, women, and people of color (who, of course, actually built the genre).”

Here is the rest of Carlile’s statement:

The importance of staying and working within Americana is greater than just me. There is not a moment where I don’t view my role as something larger. I feel great responsibility in representing marginalized queer people in rural America who are raised on country and roots music but are repeatedly and systematically rejected by the correlating culture. Every rung I can sling my gay sequined boot up on top of gets queer people a little higher on the ladder to being seen as just a bit more human in the great American roots landscape

I am very proud to be the Americana Association’s Artist of the Year two years in a row and to have debuted at number one on the Billboard Americana chart! It was an honor to have made my album at the same place I made my last one….and with all the same folks! Same producers and band. I cut every song live with acoustic guitars, vintage electrics plugged into old fender amps, beautifully aged pianos and with my fog horn vocals bleeding into every mic.

While I’m incredibly flattered to be considered “pop” as a 40-year-old crooning lesbian mother, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit surprised and disappointed to learn the Recording Academy decided to move “Right On Time” out of the American Roots genre and into the pop category.

Being recognized by the Grammys — in any form — is a great honor. I just want folks to know this wasn’t my decision. Regardless, it doesn’t change who I am or what my Americana community continues to mean to me.

Carlile, of course, is not the only artist who has been recategorized this year by the Recording Academy’s awards team. To many fans’ surprise, the accompanying album to Bo Burnham’s Netflix comedy special Inside was deemed ineligible for the Best Comedy Album award for the 2022 Grammys, with the Academy arguing it didn’t meet the criteria. Likewise, Kacey Musgraves’ new album star-crossed was deemed ineligible for Country Album Of The Year at the Grammys.

The 64th Grammy nominations are due November 23. Prior to the nominations, genre screening committees, made up of music industry professionals and artists, meet every year before the first-round ballots go out to review submissions and make sure they are placed in the appropriate genre categories.

As for Carlile, this decision must come as something of a real shock, since her 2019 album By The Way, I Forgive You won Best Americana Album at the 61st Grammys, and its standout single “The Joke” won Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance.

Read Carlile’s full statement below.


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