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Awards

More Than Half of 2024's Grammy Nominees Are Independent

Many of the Canadian artists nominated also hail from independent labels.

The 2024 Grammy nominees were announced last week, and at first glance it looks like a good representation of a year dominated by mega-artists, blockbuster albums and tours. But a new announcement from The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) points out a trend that might have been easy to overlook: more than half of this year's nominees are independent.

A2IM represents over 600 indie labels, primarily American. In a release, they point out that many of the nominees come from their members, which include well-regarded labels like 4AD, Domino, Warp and Merge. Many of the Canadian artists nominated for Grammys this year, though, also released music independently.


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That includes roots artist Allison Russell, whose album The Returner and its songs earned four nominations this year. That album came out on Fantasy Records, which is part of A2IM (though it has distribution from Universal Music Group). Indie rock band Alvvays, who earned their first nomination in the Best Alternative Music Performance category, are on Polyvinyl which is also represented by that non-profit collective.

Though they both have major label involvement, superstars Drake and Taylor Swift are also extremely hands-on as artists. Drake & 21 Savage's album Her Loss was co-released by Drake's OVO Sound label (which is independent but distributed by Republic/Universal). And Taylor Swift's Midnights was released by Republic (a subsidiary of Universal), but she's been re-releasing her old albums as "Taylor's Versions" on the label in part to re-gain control of her music from her old label Big Machine.

Alvvays - Belinda Says (Live on KEXP)

The independent sector is well-represented in Canada's biggest music industry awards, too. The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) shares with Billboard Canada that they did an analysis of the 2023 JUNO Awards and found that 74 percent of the nominees were independent. The 2024 Juno nominees have not yet been announced.

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The 2024 Grammy Awards will take place Feb. 4, 2024, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

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Beyoncé

Beyoncé

FYI

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Beyoncé Country Hit A Win For Canadian Songwriters

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Kayla Diamond launches her own boutique imprint, SOCAN names an ombudsman, and time's running out for noms for this year's Rosalie Award honouring trailblazing women in broadcasting.

Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and it has gone to No. 1 on iTunes in 14 different countries and counting. There are some surprising connections. The song is co-written and co-produced by Ontario-born writer/producer Nathan Ferraro, whose previous collaborations include working with Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bear Mountain, RALPH, Shawn Hook, Alyssa Reid, Jessie Reyez, Lowell and Tyler Shaw.

In fact, the song has deep Canadian origins. Two other Canadian songwriters participated in this runaway hit: Megan Bülow (who records and performs as bülow) as and Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland (a.k.a. Lowell), with Ferraro co-producing the track with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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