Spotify playlist: The 2016 Grammy nominations

A playlist comprised of our favorite Grammy artists

Awards season is coming around once again and from Kanye West’s rants to Miley Cyrus’s recent antics with Robin Thicke, everyone loves a good headline.

Next year’s Grammy nominations have already stirred up some controversy, with many believing that some indie acts like Tame Impala or Sleater-Kinney deserved a nod. Many more believe that Madonna and Prince were also snubbed from the Grammy nominations.

Next year’s show is sure to be as dramatic as all the other years. Here’s The Spectrum’s list of our favorite Grammy-nominated artists and songs.

Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

Kendrick Lamar is the man of the hour.

With a record-breaking 11 Grammy nominations for his album To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar is firmly set to takeover the award season this year. One of the standout singles of the album “Alright” has become the theme song for black empowerment during this past year, preaching for an end to social inequality.

Common and John Legend, “Glory”

In honor of the most recent Distinguished Speaker Series speech from John Legend last Thursday, we have included “Glory” in our favorite Grammy-nominated songs.

Created for the movie “Selma,” “Glory” is a gospel-esque R&B song from Common and John Legend up for the Best Collaboration award. The floaty vocals from Legend balance perfectly with Common’s flat, punctuated delivery is a beautiful combination of highs and lows.

Andra Day, “Rise Up”

Following the theme of self-empowerment, Andra Day’s song “Rise Up” is all about taking control of your fate, overcoming personal struggles and finding confidence in yourself.

The song is up for Best R&B Performance. Day’s vocals are the centerpiece of the song, with each line an exhibition of harmony, vocal range and pinpoint singing skills.

Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is almost a near-guarantee each year she releases music to win some sort award.

The bubblegum pop artist is one of the most influential and successful pop artists of her time, despite her young age. This year, her song “Black Space” – another song about a Taylor Swift’s breakup – has topped radio hits since its release. It’s one of the catchiest, most singable songs released this year – the reason for its Grammy nod.

Courtney Barnett, “Pedestrian at Best”

Breakout artist of the year, Courtney Barnett is up for the Best New Artist award. Her album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit has been critically acclaimed for its tongue-in-cheek lyricism, direct, pure-hearted rock-and-roll style and overall charisma.

This isn’t Barnett’s first album, but she deserves the nod because this is the first year she has been so widely recognized.

Drake, “Back to Back”

The biggest surprise in the Grammy nominations was probably Drake’s “Back to Back” being nominated for Best Rap Performance. A diss track is rarely so critically influential.

But nevertheless, “Back to Back” is a strong contender for the win. Who knew fight-ending diss track from this year’s most petty music beef would be up for one of the biggest music awards of the year?

Where is “Hotline Bling” though?

Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at