Eligibility for the next Grammy Awards (the 2022 ceremony) ends at the end of September, and musicians are already preparing to start campaigning for nominations and then winning the coveted Golden Gramophones. While many artists go out of their way to make sure they are eligible in as many categories as it makes sense, Taylor Swift has chosen to cut it down and stay focused on one collection instead of two.
In mid-July, Swift’s label confirmed Billboard that the singer-songwriter would not submit his recent release Without fear (Taylor version) for Grammy consideration. The album is a re-recording of his second set Intrepid with a number of unreleased songs added to the songlist to entice fans to hit play or better yet, buy now. Republic Records issued the following statement on the release, explaining the decision:
“After careful consideration, Taylor Swift will not submit Without fear (Taylor version) in any category at this year’s upcoming Grammy and CMA Awards. Intrepid has already won four Grammys, including Album of the Year, as well as the CMA Award for Album of the Year in 2009/2010 and remains the most awarded country album of all time.
The company is correct in asserting that Intrepid was a Grammy favorite the first time around, but that doesn’t fully explain why Swift would choose not to include her in at least some categories for consideration now. In fact, by not doing so, she may be missing several nominations, yet proving that the music she created over a decade ago still holds up.
It is likely that Swift did not want to compete with herself in the Album of the Year category, as her recent feature film Always has a very good chance of becoming a potential winner. the Folklore the brother project was a commercial and critical darling, and she surely doesn’t want to split the vote by allowing the Recording Academy members to put their weight behind either. Always or Dauntless (Taylor version). This sort of thing has happened with other acts before, and it is good practice to only offer one title per ceremony at the highest level.
While she might not want to hurt Alwayschances of being crowned best album of the year, Without fear (Taylor version) could still have competed in the vertical markets reserved for countries. In fact, if Swift had submitted them for review, there’s a good chance the title and its singles racked up some nods.
Without fear (Taylor version) himself could have competed for best country album, while songs like “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”, “You All Over Me” with Maren Morris and “Mr. Perfectly Good” all could have been nominated as winners. potential in categories such as Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Duo / Group Performance, and Best Country Song. In fact, looking at how Swift distributed the tunes and which ones she chose specifically, it seemed at the time of their release. as the star was gearing up for a sweep of the country field.
At this point in her career, Swift no longer needs a Grammy. She’s an 11-time winner and 40-time nominee, and she’s still at the peak of her career, so she surely has more to come. The nods that Without fear (Taylor version) and her singles could have gotten her would have brought her back to the country categories, where she’s been missing since 2017, and they could have added to what could be a huge night for her. In fact, when the nominations are announced in just a few months, Swift could have approached, tied or even broken the all-time record for most nods in a single show … seems more likely.
Right now, the record for most nominations in a single night stands at 12, which both Michael Jackson and Babyface have managed to manage in different years. Looking only at women, the best performance ever belongs to both Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill, who have won 10 trophies at a time. Including Without fear (Taylor version) and his songs, Swift would have been eligible for at least 15 categories. Without country submissions, that number drops by at least four chances. How many actual nominations it will collect remains to be seen.
Swift and her team are right to say Without fear (Taylor version) and his songs, whether new or old, don’t need gold to be special, but does that mean they shouldn’t even be considered for prizes?