American Music Award nominations show a disparity in category diversity


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

The nominees for artist of the year are Justin Bieber (top left), Post Malone (top right), Taylor Swift, Roddy Rich and The Weeknd. The awards will broadcasted on Nov. 22.

Every year, music enthusiasts around the world await the most popular music awards shows, one of them being the American Music Awards (AMAs). The award show, which usually takes place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. every fall, hands out awards to various musicians from a range of music genres that are dependent on the votes of the public.

This year, the public noticed that one of the major categories contained mostly male artists. Among Post Malone, The Weeknd, Roddy Rich and Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift was the only female artist nominated for artist of the year. 

Throughout the years, Swift has won 28 AMAs, one being the artist of the decade award. Swift has also been nominated for artist of the year seven times, winning five of them. She’s the only female artist that has been constantly nominated for this award, along with other categories such as favorite female artist and favorite album. 

The nominations only reinforced fans’ and critics’ opinions that there isn’t enough representation of female artists in the industry. For both the rap and country album awards, the nominees are also all male, and for other nominations such as favorite songs of a certain genre, there is only one female artist nominated. 

Music fans have shed light on this issue since 2017, but they have been met with controversy, with some people saying that music has no genres and that if an artist’s music was good, they would get nominated. 

Halsey tweeted about this issue back in 2017 when the list of nominees was released. She responded to the announcement, saying, “Really honored to have received an @AMAs nomination but disappointed to hear near exclusively male names…such a missed opportunity. So many incredible female artists have been released this year. Hoping the coming award shows give them the credit that is due to them.” 

Some critics say that the AMA’s lack of non-gender-specific categories could not only harm highlighting the true range of talent in the music industry but also the number of artists who come out and support the award show itself. 

The response that was received by fans, fellow artists and the media are a clear reflection of the call for a greater and diverse representation of artists within the nominees in the music award show, like the AMAs.