Why Was ‘Meant to Be’ Nominated for a Country, Not a Pop, Grammy? A Recording Academy Exec Explains
When the 2019 Grammy Awards nominees were announced on Friday morning (Dec. 7), Florida Georgia Line and pop star Bebe Rexha found themselves nominated in the Best Country Duo / Group Performance category for their smash hit song "Meant to Be" -- but not in any pop categories, despite the fact that Rexha is considered the song's primary artist. In fact, "Meant to Be" wasn't even considered for nomination in the Grammys' pop categories ... but why?
A recording cannot be nominated in more than one Grammy Awards field, the Recording Academy's Head of Awards, Bill Freimuth, tells The Boot. "We don't want to see someone winning Best Pop Duo / Group and best Country Duo / Group, because it's either one or the other," he explains. That means that when FGL and Rexha's song was submitted for Grammy Awards consideration, it had to go in either the country pile or the pop pile, metaphorically speaking.
"We actually have a whole system in place that we call our screening committees or sorting committees. These are all genre experts who meet in September and go through all of the entries submitted in a particular genre and make sure that it's a good fit in that genre," Freimuth shares. "So, this year, regarding that particular track, the screening committees met, they listened to it, and they decided that the overall feel of that track was more country than it was pop."
Screening committees are instructed to disregard an artist's history (or lack thereof) in a genre, Freimuth adds. "So even though Bebe is, of course, much more well-known as a pop artist, we asked them to disregard that and just listen to this track and tell us what they heard," he continues, "and they told us they heard country."
In 2018, "Meant to Be" hit No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40 and Country Airplay charts. It is also No. 1 on the year-end Hot Country Songs chart, having stayed atop that chart for a record-setting 50 weeks.
The 2019 Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 10. The televised ceremony will begin at 8PM ET on CBS; the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony will be available to stream online earlier in the evening. Further details, including a list of performers, will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about country winners, fashion and moments at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest Grammys headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.
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