Kacey Musgraves’ new album Star-Crossed will not be eligible for Best Country Album at the 2022 Grammy Awards, Billboard and Variety report. The Recording Academy reportedly made the decision during its annual screening committee meeting, where members can veto songs and albums if they don’t believe they fit into the genre. Rolling Stone reports that Star-Crossed will instead be eligible in the Pop Vocal Album category.
The Recording Academy’s decision comes amid changes to the nominations process, following criticism from artists including the Weeknd. Starting with the 2022 Grammy Awards, the final pool of nominees for nearly all Grammy awards will be decided by a majority vote of Academy voting members. Previously, Grammy nominations were finalized by 15-30 music industry “peers” representing their “genre communities.”
Star-Crossed was released via the country-oriented Universal Music Group Nashville in partnership with Interscope Records. All of Musgraves’ previous albums were released solely under the UMG Nashville umbrella.
Musgraves has won Best Country Album for Golden Hour and Same Trailer Different Park. She was also nominated for Best Country Album for Pageant Material, and has been nominated in the Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance categories.
UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe wrote a letter to Recording Academy President and CEO Harvey Mason jr. regarding Star-Crossed’s ineligibility, according to Billboard, Variety, and Rolling Stone. “This decision from the country committee to not accept Star-Crossed into the country albums category is very inconsistent and calls into question the other agendas that were part of this decision,” Mabe wrote, according to Variety, which published the purported letter in full.
In the letter, Mabe also addressed the controversy surrounding country star Morgan Wallen, who was suspended by his label Big Loud Records after video emerged showing Wallen using a racist, anti-Black slur. Regardless, Wallen’s album Dangerous: The Double Album stayed atop the Billboard 200 for 10 consecutive weeks.
According to Variety, Mabe wrote:
Additionally, Mabe addressed technical and musical similarities between the Grammy-winning Golden Hour and Star-Crossed, reportedly writing:
Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Kacey Musgraves, Universal Music Group Nashville, and the Recording Academy.