Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born character would balk at being called a “pop star,” but the Recording Academy has nominated Cooper for more awards than some of the biggest stars in pop today. Taylor Swift’s Reputation and Ariana Grande’s Sweetener were two of the highest-charting, best-selling pop albums released during this year’s Grammy eligibility period, but Swift and Grande received only one and two nominations, respectively. Cooper’s song with Lady Gaga, “Shallow,” is nominated for four Grammys, which means that Bradley Cooper is now a Grammy-nominated recording artist.
“Shallow,” which we called one of the best songs of the year, is a beautiful, anthemic song, and Cooper is actually a great singer. (If he weren’t also nabbing nominations for acting and directing, Cooper could ditch his film career and start a band.) “Shallow” deserves all those nominations, but Swift is usually a Grammy darling, and the Sweetener snubs are especially surprising given how huge that album was. The Recording Academy appears to be precious with some of their categorizations — apart from Beyonce’s big rock nomination last year, those categories seem to be full mostly of classic, stodgy guitar guys and emo legacy acts. The pop categories welcomed some unexpected faces this year, though. Post Malone, who was also nominated in rap categories, is up against Gaga for Best Pop Solo Performance. There’s truly no category leap that a white guy with a guitar can’t pull off.