Once again in 2019, Pop music pushed its own boundaries and definitions, exploring new spaces and ideas while we all sang along. From the dark and brooding sounds of a breakout teen prodigy to a self-assured answer to the worst life has to offer, each of the five nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards add something unique and authentic to the conversation.
These are the albums that shaped our year, the soundtrack to long rides home and bedroom dance parties, moving moments and ordinary afternoons. Old favorites and new sensations alike, these 5 albums were an important part of our listening lives.
Now the choice is yours. Who do you think should win the GRAMMY when the awards happen Sunday January 26 at 8PM. Before you cast your vote, here’s a reminder of this year’s nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Billie Eilish - WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
Conquering the world before the age of 18, Billie Eilish shook up the music landscape and beyond in 2019, forever changing the game and igniting something special with her debut album. She’s the youngest artist ever to be nominated in the top four categories, as her special brand of scary and sincere has spread far beyond typical pop listeners, challenging and inspiring every step along the way.
Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift
“I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa," Beyoncé said of her album The Lion King: The Gift. A companion piece to her work in the film and a love letter to the continent, The Gift is executive produced by Bey and features the star’s wide network of talented friends and family. The African imprint is strong and moving across the collection, most featuring Beyoncé at the center.
Ed Sheeran – No. 6 Collaborations Project
For an artist who is so notoriously impressive on stage by himself, Ed Sheeran certainly works well with others. Sheeran took a break from capturing sold out stadium crowds all alone to invite a few famous friends along on No. 6 Collaborations Project. From Justin Bieber to Chris Stapleton to Eminem, Ed proves to be the perfect partner for your musical imagination.
Taylor Swift – Lover
Taylor Swift shed the dark storm of Reputation, and arrived in the sun-kissed land of Lover this year. The 7th effort from Swift is bright and beautiful, with Taylor speaking louder than ever about sexism, politics, and of course love. On Lover, Taylor manages to reset any and all narratives and reclaim the mantle of hopeful songwriter with a journal full of ambition and adulation.
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
Ariana Grande has had such a successful year, you might have forgotten all of the hardship she has endured. Standing strong against loss, heartbreak, and international incidents with a fractured fortress built on self-love, thank u, next shines and shows Grande answering back with infectious anthems and urgency. Turning personal turmoil into pop supremacy, it’s only made more amazing when you realize it’s her second album of this nature in a span of 6 months.