2014 Grammy nominations: Ed Sheeran's nomination continues to prove Best New Artist makes no sense
In this year's field, Ed Sheeran was nominated, which, at face value, is fine and dandy. Sheeran's a considerable talent and deserves to be recognized. Here's the rub, however: His single "The A Team" earned itself a Song of the Year nomination at the 55th Grammys.
How does the Academy justify this? Their official guidelines for the category are as follows: "For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist." (It should be noted that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist.) The guidelines were changed in 2010 when Lady Gaga was excluded because her first single "Just Dance" had been nominated in 2009. The new rules include a stipulation that an artist can be nominated so long as they hadn't released an entire album and not won.
So, let's look at Sheeran's discography to see how this works. Maybe "The A Team" was just his first single, before he released an album? Nope. "+," the album the song comes from, was released in the U.S. on June 12, 2012, landing it square within the eligibility period for last year's awards. To top it off, he hasn't released another album since.
Nothing about the category's guidelines and Sheeran's discography line up. As it seems, the Recording Academy just picks and chooses who gets the distinction of New Artist -- rules be damned.
Do you think the Best New Artist guidelines for the Grammys are beyond wonky, too?