In the past, GRAMMY voters have given plenty of love for mainstream pop stars, but as "USA Today" points out...they appear to have gone in a different direction this year. Here's "USA Today's" breakdown (as they reported it):
Ed Sheeran - "Sheeran cleaned up at the GRAMMYS in 2016 with 'Thinking Out Loud,' which took home the trophies for song of the year and pop solo performance. Hit single 'Shape of You' seemed ready to repeat 'Thinking Out Loud’s' awards success, and fans had every reason to expect Sheeran's 2017 album, 'Divide,' to also be GRAMMYs bait, with experts predicting that the British singer would lead the pack of 2018 nominees. Add the fact that 'Divide' is 2017's second-best-selling album, behind his pal Taylor Swift's 'Reputation,' and a Sheeran GRAMMYs sweep almost seemed preordained. Take it as a sign of the times that Sheeran barely appears on the nominees list, getting snubbed for all the major awards and only earning two nods in the pop categories."
Lady Gaga - "Lady Gaga has previously been nominated many times in the pop categories, while failing to break through to a song or album of the year win. While her 2016 album, 'Joanne,' pushed Gaga’s sound beyond the dance floor with songs like 'Million Reasons,' the release wasn’t enough to earn her nominations in any of the main categories. Instead, Gaga will be competing with Sheeran in the same two pop categories, with 'Million Reasons' facing off against 'Shape of You' for best pop solo performance, and 'Joanne' and 'Divide' both nominated for best traditional pop album.
Katy Perry - "Despite a string of nominations over the years, Katy Perry has never won a GRAMMY. Her 2017 release, 'Witness,' earned mixed reviews with critics, and the GRAMMYs felt similarly lukewarm about the album, leaving Perry off the nominees list entirely."
Kesha - "Kesha’s comeback album, 'Rainbow,' was hailed as a triumph when it arrived this summer, but that wasn’t enough to boost the singer into the main categories. Instead, she will compete for best pop solo performance and best traditional pop album alongside Sheeran and Gaga."
The Weeknd - "The Weeknd won two GRAMMYs in 2015 for best urban contemporary album and R&B performance, and despite the charts success of his 2017 release, 'Starboy,' and its eponymous single, he only earned one nomination for urban contemporary album."
Miley Cyrus - "Cyrus earned her first Grammy nomination in 2015 for 'Bangerz', but couldn't replicate that success with 2017's 'Younger Now.' Even with Cyrus' newly stripped-down sound, 'Younger Now' failed to score any nominations."
Demi Lovato - "Similarly, Lovato followed 'Confident''s nomination for best pop vocal album at the 2016 GRAMMYs with a new album this year, 'Tell Me You Love Me,' featuring the successful title track. Yet the GRAMMYs just weren't loving Lovato's new music, leaving her off the nominees list."
One Direction - "All five former members of the boy band landed in the top 40 on 'Billboard's' Hot 100 charts this year, with Harry Styles impressing critics with his self-titled debut album and Liam Payne and Niall Horan earning breakout hits with 'Strip That Down' and 'Slow Hands,' respectively. Unfortunately for Directioners, Styles, Payne, Horan and their fourth bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, all were shut out of the GRAMMY nominations this year. Zayn Malik, who departed the band before their 2015 hiatus, earned one nomination for best song written for visual media with 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever,' his single with Taylor Swift for '50 Shades Darker'."
Alicia Keys - "Casual Alicia Keys listeners may have forgotten that the singer released her album 'Here' last November, making it eligible for the 2018 awards. Keys received no nominations."