Celebrated singer Kacey Musgraves is familiar with the Grammy Awards. Her debut 2013 album Same Trailer Different Park won a Grammy for Best Country Album, as did her 2018 LP Golden Hour. Now with six wins and nine nominations to her name, some assumed her recent project Star-Crossed would similarly be recognized by the Recording Academy at their 2022 ceremony. It may still be, but apparently not as a country album.
The Recording Academy deemed Star-Crossed ineligible for a country award at their 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will take place on January 31, 2022. According to Billboard, the decision was made last week during the Recording Academy’s annual screening committee meeting, where submissions are reviewed and placed in various categories. Apparently, members of the committee didn’t see Star-Crossed as a fit for the country category, though it’s still eligible for all-genre awards.
Cindy Mabe, president of Universal Music Group Nashville, wasn’t happy with the Recording Academy’s decision. Mabe penned a letter to the Recording Academy to explain why she felt the decision was “inconsistent” with previous years. “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.
Mabe went on to describe country music’s problem with gender diversity, namedropping Morgan Wallen along the way:
“The numbers speak and are a matter of public record with women making up only 10 percent of all country airplay. This year alone country music has been mired in the controversy surrounding one of the formats biggest artists, Morgan Wallen, who used a racial slur and grew fans and audience from it. THIS IS NOT ALL THAT WE ARE. Under the surface are the artists that change it all and they are led by the example of Kacey Musgraves. […] As a prime stakeholder in country music, I would really like to frame what’s happening in our genre right now and help you and the Grammy’s fully understand the importance of Kacey Musgraves to country music and why this decision is so much more than an entry point for an awards show. Taking her out of the country category actually does harm to a format struggling with change and inclusivity overall.”
Star-Crossed is out now via UMG Nashville/Interscope Records. Get it here.