SZA deserves “All the Stars”

Solána Rowe, also known as SZA, has been experiencing “Good Days” since she earned nine nominations for the up-and-coming Grammy Awards.

The nominations list for the 2024 Grammy Awards was released on Friday, unveiling not only three new categories, but also a plethora of winning opportunities for numerous artists, albums and songs alike.

Surpassing other serious contenders like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, SZA took the cake in a total of nine nominations, receiving recognition in categories like “Best Traditional R&B Performance,” “Best R&B Song,” “Best Melodic Rap Performance” and “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.”

Her newest album “SOS” was also nominated for “Album of the Year” and “Best Progressive R&B Album,” while her smash-hit single “Kill Bill” was nominated for both “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year.”

Grammy nominations are nothing new to Rowe though, as the singer has received several in the past as well.

In 2018, she was nominated for “Best New Artist” and for four other categories regarding various works on her debut studio album, CTRL.

In 2019, Rowe and rapper Kendrick Lamar’s single “All the Stars,” originally written for the record-breaking “Black Panther,” received three nominations, including “Song of the Year.”

While SZA’s “Good Days” was also nominated in 2022 for “Best R&B Song,”her first and only Grammy Award win was for the overwhelmingly successful “Kiss Me More” alongside pop singer Doja Cat. The track took home the award for “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.”

Averaging about five nominations per year, nine is a big jump for SZA, especially since many of her previous nominations are for songs featuring other artists. In comparison to this year, all but one of her nominations are for her work as a solo artist.

Although the Grammys have faced criticism in the past, The Recording Academy has been working hard to create change for the better. Through the addition of new categories and more women nominees, The Recording Academy hopes to make the process of these awards more inclusive, accurate and transparent.

“Seeing the women nominees this year, and the number of them, was not a surprise but it was something that made me happy,” said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO and president of The Recording Academy.

According to the Associated Press, he believes that the increase in representation will prompt future artists to think, “Maybe somebody will love what I do one day, or maybe I have an opportunity to express myself or voice my thoughts like that person.”

Watching the music industry evolve under this notion with SZA leading the charge is something that I am more than delighted to see. Despite what has been said about this system, it is still a huge achievement to be honored by The Recording Academy.

On the same day that the Grammy nominations were announced, SZA was also honored with the “Big Femme Energy Honoree Award” at the second annual Give Her FlowHERS Gala in Beverly Hills.

In her acceptance speech, she expressed her gratitude and described the whirlwind of emotions that she was feeling.

“This is a strange stage in my life, not because anything is wrong per se, but probably because everything is right,” Rowe said.

As a long-time fan, it makes me so happy to see her getting the recognition she truly deserves. After a record-shattering year and a sold-out world tour, the success of SZA has been a long time coming.

For myself and so many others, SZA is a light. Her music has pulled me out of many dark moments and has been by my side through some of my best times. Her ability to communicate such complex emotions and be vulnerable in her work is unlike any other, and it makes me feel less alone.

Seeing SZA’s growth as an artist makes me feel like a proud parent and I couldn’t be more excited to see what else this year and 2024 will have in store for her.

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