Grammy Awards 2024: Janelle Monáe Album, Which Credits Several Jamaicans, Nominated For ‘Album Of The Year’


Sister Nancy, Janelle Monáe, Grace Jones

Janelle Monáe’s genre-bending album, The Age of Pleasure, which credited several Jamaican artists and producers, is one of the eight albums nominated for ‘Album Of The Year’ (AOTY) at the upcoming 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

However, contrary to reports, the Jamaican contributors to Monáe’s project have not been nominated for the album.

Grace Jones and Sister Nancy were credited as featured artists on Ooh La La and The French 75, respectively. Barrington Levy is credited as a writer on two tracks, Champagne Sh-t and Black Sugar Beach, which sampled the intro to his 1984 hit Murderer. Derrick Harriot’s 1967 song The Loser — famously covered by Freddie McGregor in 1992’s Born A Winner — is sampled in Monáe’s Only Have Eyes 42.

Patra’s 1993 song Whining Skill and Sister Nancy’s 1982 hit Bam Bam were both sampled in Monáe’s Water Slide. Producer Winston Riley also has songwriting credit for Water Slide.

Mad Cobra was credited as a writer on Lipstick Lover, which sampled Cobra’s 1992 hit Flex. Producers Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon and Sly Dunbar have songwriting credits for Flex.

While the Jamaicans are credited on the album, a new rule change at the Recording Academy has made them ineligible for the AOTY nomination at the 2024 Awards.

In 2021, the Academy had announced a rule change that stipulated that all featured artists, songwriters of new material, producers, recording engineers, mixers, and mastering engineers, who worked on an album, were eligible for Album Of The Year nominations.  Previously, these music professionals had to be credited with at least 33 percent of an album’s playing time to merit a nomination. 

Under that change, Jamaican artists Shenseea and Buju Banton received Album Of The Year nominations at the 64th Annual Awards for their contributions to Kanye West’s Donda album. BEAM was also nominated twice for his contributions to Donda and Justin Bieber’s Justice.

At the 65th Annual Awards, BEAM and Grace Jones were nominated for Album Of The Year for their contributions to Beyonce’s Renaissance album.

Now, for the 66th Annual Awards, the rules stipulate that contributors must be credited for 20% or more playing time on the album to be considered.

Besides Monáe, the other nominees for The Age Of Pleasure are producers Sensei Bueno, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Nana Kwabena Tuffuor, songwriters Jarrett Goodly and Nathaniel Irvin III, and engineers Mick Guzauski, Jayda Love, Yáng Tan, and Dave Kutch.

Interestingly, there’s only one male lead artist nominated in the Album Of The Year category at the upcoming awards: Jon Batiste, who won the award last year and who’s now got his second nomination in the category for World Music Radio.

The other nominees in the category for 2024 are boygenius’ The Record, Lana Del Rey’s Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Miley Cyrus’ Endless Summer Vacation, Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts, SZA’s SOS, and Taylor Swift’s Midnight.