Those reasons can be summed up in just two words: Jon Batiste. The embarrassingly multi-talented musician from New Orleans tops the list of artists vying for music’s top award with an amazing eleven nominations. He shares the record with Kendrick Lamar (2016) and only has one less than Michael Jackson (1984) and Babyface (1997).
Remarkably, he’s in a range of different Grammy categories. Batiste is up for Album of the Year and Best R&B Album (the eclectic We Are). “Freedom” is up for Record of the Year. “I Need You” may win for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
On top of all that, Jon Batiste is also in the Jazz category for music from the motion picture Soul. “Bigger Than Us” from: Soul (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is nominated for a Best Improvised Jazz Solo Grammy. And Jazz Selections: Music From And Inspired By Soul is up for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.
But wait — there’s more! Yet another track from We Are — Movement 11 — is up for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category.
The Recording Academy nominated Batiste once in 2018 and twice in 2020 but he hasn’t won. Quite possibly that’s about to change. And since Batiste’s original score for Soul already won an Oscar, he may be halfway to a coveted EGOT.
The Grammy Awards take place on January 31st from L.A.’s newly-rechristened Crypto.com Arena. We’ll be betting our Bitcoin on this guy.