Though the Grammys have been around since 1959, it took some time for certain genres to be recognized. For instance, there were no categories specifically for rock music until 1980, rap didn’t have its own category until 1989. So while the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album, introduced in 2005, might seem belated to some, the Grammys are doing better at recognizing EDM (or “electronic dance music”) than they have in the path. The recently announced nominees for the 59th Grammy Awards show how EDM has made its way into the mainstream as a genre that just about anyone can enjoy.
The most prominent artists that will fall into this category at the upcoming Grammy Awards are the Chainsmokers. The duo of DJs Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart have been lighting up the charts with their number one single, “Closer”.
The Chainsmokers are nominated in several categories, including Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Dance Recording. Their closest rival on Grammy night might be Australian DJ/Producer Flume, who is nominated for Best Dance Recording for his track “Never Be Like You.” Flume also was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album for his album Skin. He will compete alongside Louie Vega, Underworld, Tycho, and Jean-Michel Jarre.
The crossover success into non-dance/electronic music categories demonstrates how popular EDM has become. For instance, the Chainsmokers were nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, alongside competition such as Lukas Graham, Rihanna, Sia, and Twenty One Pilots. For an EDM act to be able to make it into that category is very impressive. It is also equally impressive that they managed to be nominated for Best New Artist, alongside the likes of Chance the Rapper, Anderson .Paak, Maren Morris, and Kelsea Ballerini. By nominating the Chainsmokers in a diverse array of categories, the Grammys are showing that EDM has its place in music.
Then again, they have been doing a good job of realizing the power of electronic music for a number of years now. In 2014, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories won Album of the Year and they have been recognizing many of the prominent names in electronic music, such as Skrillex and the Chemical Brothers. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine a Grammy ceremony one of these years where a majority of the Album of the Year nominees are electronic artists. For now we will wait and see if The Chainsmokers and Flume take home any hardware on February 12.