On Tuesday, the nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards were announced and have already inspired a flurry of conversation about competition within the categories. Will Adele or Beyoncé reign supreme for Album of the Year? Or will be somebody else sneak in and pull off an upset. One category that isn't scrutinized quite like Album of the Year or Song of the Year but regularly brings out strong competition, is the Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
This year, the nominees for Best Music Video are "Formation" by Beyoncé, "River" by Leon Bridges, "Up & Up" by Coldplay, "Gosh" by Jamie XX, and "Upside Down & Inside Out" by OK Go. It is likely that Beyoncé will reign supreme. Not only is she leading the pack in terms of overall nominations for nominees, but "Formation" was one of the most popular singles of the year, and its politically-charged music video may have been divisive, but it definitely raised its profile.
Looking back at the history of this category, which began in 1984, there is no clear domination by any particular artist. The most anyone has won is twice, and four different artists are tied for first in terms of wins: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Johnny Cash, and Peter Gabriel. Director Mark Romanek leads the pack for wins as a director, with three, for Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream" music video, Janet Jackson's "Got 'til It's Gone" music video, and Johnny Cash's "Hurt" music video. Icelandic pop singer Bjork has a record of her own in this category, having been nominated four times, without any wins.
Female performers have a tendency to do well in this category, which might be of further advantage to Beyoncé. Last year, the winner was Taylor Swift's music video for "Bad Blood", her collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar. In 2013, the music video for "We Found Love" by Rihanna and Calvin Harris won, in 2012, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele won, and in 2011, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga was victorious. However, male artists won in 2014 (Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z for "Suit and Tie") and 2015 (Pharrell Williams for "Happy").
Making a music video is a good way to show one's creative flair in a short amount of time, and a few notable film directors have helmed Grammy-winning music video. These include Spike Jonze, who directed the music video for Fatboy Slim and Bootsy Collins' "Weapon of Choice", Tarsem, who directed R.E.M.'s video for "R", and David Fincher, who directed the Rolling Stones' video for "Love is Strong" as well as the video for "Suit and Tie."
Who will win? We'll find out on Sunday, February 12.