Both Cardi B and Post Malone have had breakout years in music, but neither is eligible to be nominated in the best new artist category at the Grammys.
Jason Lipshutz, editorial director at Billboard, told CNN he believes the 2019 Grammy nominations will hold surprises.
“There’s a lack of consensus in a way that’s really exciting to me,” Lipshutz said. “I think part of that is because the big-four general categories have expanded to eight nominees. I also think that there are fewer ‘shoe-ins’ than in years past.”
A broader, more unpredictable Grammy competition is likely good news for contenders and music lovers.
“One of the byproducts of expanding the categories is that listeners might be introduced to songs and artists and albums that they might not have previously checked out,” Lipshutz said. “We’ve seen that in the past with the Grammys, where you have a kind of out of nowhere album of the year nomination.”
There’s been discussion about a lack of inclusion among Grammy nominees (and eventual winners) in recent years, but Lipshutz is cautiously optimistic there’s at least one genre that won’t be overlooked.
“[Hip Hop] has completely dominated popular music this year,” he said.
More nominees in the major categories could also lead to more diversity among the artists and musical genres recognized.
While pop artists like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are likely contenders, Lipshutz said country artists like Kacey Musgraves and R&B singer Janelle Monáe could also score major nominations.
“These are our big artists, but they’re not kind of ubiquitous superstars and they could really make an impact,” he added.
The Grammy nominations will be announced live Friday on “CBS This Morning” and on Apple Music at 8:30 a.m. ET, with the awards ceremony slated for February 10.