The Grammys Denied That Taylor Swift And Kanye West Were Given Last-Minute Nominations For Album Of The Year Because Of Their "Appeal"

"A thousand percent no. That was not a consideration."

The Grammys have denied that Taylor Swift and Kanye West were nominated at the last minute because of their feud and their "appeal" after it was reported that they were added to the list of potential winners the day before the nominees were announced.

Kanye and Taylor smile at each other onstage
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Grammys unveiled the list of nominees for their 2022 award ceremony, further revealing that they'd upped the number in the main fields to 10.

Taylor holding an award
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for the Recording Academy

In recent years, categories such as Album of the Year and Song of the Year have had eight nominees. This was upped from five in 2018.

But in a report by the New York Times, it was claimed that the decision to up the numbers was made at the 11th hour, with nominees such as Swift, West, Lil Nas X, and ABBA among the artists to benefit.

Lil Nas X smiling on the red carpet
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According to the outlet, it was possible to deduce which artists had been added to each field because a previous "final nominations list" — made up of the other eight nominees — had been circulating before they were announced.

In the Album of the Year category, it was reported that Swift's Evermore and West's Donda were last-minute additions, joining the likes of Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever and Olivia Rodrigo's Sour.

Kanye holding his stockinged head in his hands and wearing a bubble jacket
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Universal Music Group

Other nominees in the field include Jon Batiste (We Are), Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (Love for Sale), Justin Bieber (Justice), Doja Cat (Planet Her), H.E.R. (Back of My Mind), and Lil Nas X (Montero). 

In the Record of the Year field, Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" and ABBA's "I Still Have Faith in You" were apparently added to the list of nominees.

Lil Nas X holding awards
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

This marks ABBA's first-ever nomination at the Grammys. The other nominations went to Jon Batiste ("Freedom"), Bennett and Lady Gaga ("I Get a Kick Out of You"), Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon ("Peaches"), Brandi Carlile ("Right on Time"), Doja Cat featuring SZA ("Kiss Me More"), Eilish ("Happier Than Ever"), Rodrigo ("Drivers License"), and Silk Sonic ("Leave the Door Open").

Song of the Year reportedly saw last-minute additions from Doja Cat for "Kiss Me More," which features SZA, and "Right on Time" by Carlile, who was already nominated in the category alongside Alicia Keys.

Doja and SZA at the microphone
Theo Wargo / Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

Other nominees for Song of the Year are "Bad Habits" by Ed Sheeran, Rodrigo's "Drivers License," H.E.R.'s "Fight for You," Eilish's "Happier Than Ever," Silk Sonic's "Leave the Door Open," Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)," and Bieber's "Peaches."

And finally, for Best New Artist, Baby Keem and Arooj Aftab were added to the category, joining Jimmie Allen, Finneas, Glass Animals, Japanese Breakfast, the Kid Laroi, Arlo Parks, Olivia, and Saweetie.

Baby Keem singing onstage
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Roc Nation

According to the New York Times, reps for all the artists nominated the day before the announcement declined to comment.

Harvey Mason Jr., the chief executive of the Recording Academy, said that the decision to increase the number of nominees was one that would "make room for more music, more artists, and more genres, and to embrace the spirit of inclusion."

Harvey Mason Jr smiling
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

"For us this is all positive movement," he explained. "This is us honoring more great artists, more great music, giving artists an opportunity to shine and showcase."

Mason also revealed that the additions to each category were the 9th and 10th most voted for by the Recording Academy's members.

Kanye smiling by a car
Neil Mockford / GC Images

He added, "It lines up perfectly everything that we've been trying to do in the last year in a half, which is to honor excellence in music, serve our music community, and do it in a thoughtful but proactive way."

Recording Academy Copresident Valeisha Butterfield Jones added, "While it may seem rushed, it really was a thoughtful, well-intentioned process that was also data-driven."

The addition of Swift and West to the Album of the Year category in particular raised some eyebrows, especially because of their previous feud and the fact that they already have a combined Grammy nomination count of 111.

Kanye and Taylor speak to each other
Larry Busacca / Getty Images for NARAS

West has been nominated 70 times, winning 22 awards. Meanwhile, Swift has been nominated 41 times, taking home 11 awards, including three Album of the Year wins.

This posed the question of whether the pair had simply been gifted with nominations because of their "appeal" to the show, something Mason was quick to deny.

Kanye and Swift hug
Kevin Mazur / WireImage

"A thousand percent no," he said in response. "That was not a consideration."

Swift reacted to her Album of the Year nomination on Instagram, posting a black-and-white video of herself in a huge ball gown while singing "Champagne Problems," a song from Evermore.

"NO PROBLEMS TODAY JUST CHAMPAGNE," she wrote in the accompanying caption. "I wanted to share this video with you from when @aarondessner and I were doing our fittings for the video and there was a piano, so ofc this happened. SO stoked evermore has been honored like this. Congrats to all our fellow nominees!!"

Swift has enjoyed huge success at the Grammys, having become the first female artist to win Album of the Year twice, and the only female artist to win it three times. She was also the youngest to win the award until recently, when Eilish claimed the record at the age of 18.

Taylor holding three Grammys
Jason Laveris / FilmMagic

If Swift should take home the award in January, she will tie the record for most Album of the Year wins with four, becoming the only person to do so as a main credited artist. She currently ties Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder for the latter record, each with three wins. Swift would also become one of few people to win the award twice in a row, having won with Folklore earlier this year.

The Grammys are set to air Jan. 31. You can read the full New York Times report here.