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Steve Lacy, Brandi Carlile & More LGBTQ Artists Make Waves With 2023 Grammy Nominations

todayNovember 15, 2022 3

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After months of debating who would score nominations at the 2023 Grammy Awards, we finally have our answers.

The Recording Academy unveiled the new slate of Grammy nominees on Tuesday (Nov. 15), with Beyoncé garnering a whopping nine nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar with eight. Beyoncé also tied with her husband Jay-Z (who scored five nods of his own this year) for the most Grammy nominations by any artist, with 88 total throughout her career.


But Beyoncé was far from the only big winner with the 2023 noms — LGBTQ artists once again found themselves winning big, with nominations across each of the Big Four categories, and representation throughout genre categories including pop (Sam Smith & Kim Petras), rock (Brandi Carlile), R&B (Steve Lacy), country (The Brothers Osborne), alternative (Big Thief) and more.

To celebrate all these nominees, Billboard took a look at the 5 biggest wins for LGBTQ artists in the 2023 Grrammy nominations:

Steve Lacy’s big year continues

Between his first chart-topping single and a sold-out tour, Steve Lacy already had reason to celebrate 2022 as a massive year for his career. But now he gets to add even more on top of that — the alt-R&B star earned four Grammy nominations for his work this year, including record and song of the year for “Bad Habit.” It’s not his first time being recognized at the awards — the star received his first nod as part of the hip-hop collective The Internet for 2015’s Ego Death when he was just 17 years old, and later earned his first solo nomination for his debut album Apollo XXI, both for best urban contemporary album. Lacy returns in 2023 to the now-renamed category for best progressive R&B album with Gemini Rights.

Brandi Carlile returns to Americana as a Grammys staple

Over the course of the last decade, groundbreaking folk singer Brandi Carlile has established herself as a Grammys favorite, earning nominations every year since 2019. 2023 will certainly be no different — the singer-songwriter nabbed a stunning seven nominations, tying pop diva Adele for the third-most nominations of any artist this year, just behind Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. Carlile grabbed two nominations in the Big Four categories (album of the year for In These Silent Days and record of the year for “You and Me on the Rock” featuring Lucius), as well as a pair of rock nominations (best rock performance for “Broken Horses” and best rock song for “You And Me On The Rock”). The star also returned to the categories of best Americana performance and song after she was excluded in 2022 when her song “Right on Time” was deemed a pop song by the Recording Academy — she went on to express her “disappointment” at not getting to represent her community in the genre.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras earn under-the-wire nods

Sam Smith and Kim Petras cut it close when they released their chart-topping collaboration “Unholy” on September 22; eligibility for the 2023 Grammy nominations closed just over one week later on September 30. Yet despite the tight deadline, the power of the pair’s sultry single could not be denied when nominations were announced on Tuesday — while Smith and Petras didn’t manage to earn any Big Four nods, they did get a look in best pop duo/group performance. This marks Petras’s first-ever Grammy nomination, and Smith’s first since he nearly swept the Big Four categories in 2015 with “Stay With Me” and In the Lonely Hour.

Anitta and Omar Apollo round out the Best New Artist roster

In recent years, the best new artist category has featured a bevy of up-and-coming queer artists — 2022 saw Arlo Parks and Japanese Breakfast earn nods, while 2021 featured acts like Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Doja Cat and Kaytranada. It appears 2023 will be no exception — along with names like Latto, Wet Leg and Muni Long, out performers Anitta and Omar Apollo earn nominations for their breakthrough albums Versions of Me and Ivory, respectively. However, some LGBTQ music fans were surprised not to see Dove Cameron, Rina Sawayama or MUNA nominated in the category: Cameron, for example, earned her first Top 40 hit on the Hot 100 with “Boyfriend,” and even went on to win best new artist at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards — yet the singer was shut out of all categories at the Grammys this year.

Randy Rainbow goes up against comedy greats

Randy Rainbow may be best-known for his sharp-witted song parodies on YouTube — so it’s even more surprising that they weren’t what got the viral sensation his first Grammy nomination. A Little Brains, A Little Talent, the performer’s variety album released at the end of 2021, scooped a nomination for best comedy album. Rainbow’s covers of Broadway standards mixed with a few original and parody numbers of his own will face some stiff competition in comedy A-listers Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt, Dave Chapelle and Louis CK.

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