Grammy season is finally here, and Gaye Magazine wanted to take some time to spotlight a few of the Black, queer artists that have been nominated for various Grammys this year. The Grammys are awards that are presented yearly by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and are meant to recognize outstanding work in the music industry.
For this year's 66th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, we have Wanda Sykes being nominated in one category, Janelle Monáe being nominated in two categories and lastly, Victoria Monét being nominated in a whopping seven categories.
Wanda Sykes, who was previously married to record producer Dave Hall, came out publicly as a lesbian in 2008, after being married to her wife Alex Niedbalski for a month. Wanda Sykes is nominated for Best Comedy Album for I’m An Entertainer. She is joined in this category alongside this year’s host, Trevor Noah.
Janelle Monáe is no stranger to the Grammys as they have obtained a total 10 nominations since 2009, including their nominations this year. This year Janelle Monáe's album The Age of Pleasure is nominated for Album of the Year and Best Progressive R&B Album. NPR Music describes the album as a “stimulant and a guidebook, a compact compendium of fantasies and pep talks designed to encourage listeners to relax into the dopamine-rushed present tense.”
Janelle Monáe is consistently known for their fresh and innovative musical tastes and iconic fashion. They also made history last year by becoming the first recipient of the genderless Spirit of Soul Award at the Soul Train awards. The award was formerly known as the Lady of Soul award but was changed in order to recognize the importance of inclusivity and diversity.
Janelle Monáe has spoken openly about their sexuality in interviews as well as in their songs and has made it known that they identify as nonbinary. “Lipstick Lover” debuted as her first single from her The Age of Pleasure album and speaks exclusively to a rendezvous between the singer and a woman.
Victoria Monét has previously been nominated for her work as a songwriter. Her work with Ariana Grande earned her two nominations at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, which included “Thank U, Next” for Album of the Year. The following year, she received a nomination for co-writing “Do It” by Chole x Halle, which was nominated for Best R&B Song.
However, she is a first-time Grammy nominee this year for her own work and has achieved the second largest nominations ahead of the 66th Grammy Awards ceremony. Her album Jaguar II is nominated for Best R&B Album, and Best Engineered Album.
Her hit single “On My Mama” is nominated for the elite Record of the Year and Best R&B Song. Her performance for “How Does It Make You Feel” has gained her the nomination for Best R&B Performance and lastly, Victoria Monét is nominated for Best New Artist.
Monet has been rumored to have been a former flame of fellow queer R&B artist Kehlani, with both having singles that reference each other in the lyrics. Victoria Monét also nods to her own sexuality in her lyrics with songs such as “Smoke” featuring Lucky Daye.
“To the left or the right, 'long as it rotate. It's a bisexual blunt, it can go both ways."
The Gaye family wishes all nominees the best of luck and we thank them for openly living in their truths and expressing it through their art.