Three Grammy Award nominations decline nomination in all-white category

"After this year, to have an all-white slate of nominees seemed really tone-deaf"

Three of the five acts nominated for the 2021 best children’s album Grammy Awards have declined their nomination in protests at the all-white list of nominees.

Alistair Moock, who was among those to turn down the honour, scored a nomination for Be A Pain, which tells the story of notable Americans who stood up for their principles – including LGBT trailblazer Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks and The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“After this year, to have an all-white slate of nominees seemed really tone-deaf,” he told NPR.


While Moock said he would love to win a Grammy, he said he would not accept the award while “the playing field’s not even”.

He is joined by fellow nominees Dog on Fleas and the Okee Dokee Brothers in turning down the nominations.

Okee Dokee Brothers singer Joe Mailander commented: “We thought that it was the strongest thing we could do, to stand with people of color whose albums are too often left out of the Grammy nominations.

“This is not just white guys with guitars playing for kids. We want to welcome all different types of music to this community.”

The nominees previously met with the Recording Academy’s interim CEO, Harvey Mason Jr and its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Valeisha Butterfield Jones – who have vowed to take “meaningful action”.


One of two Grammy nominees is Joanie Leeds, who scored the nomination for her ninth children’s folk music album – ‘All the Ladies’. She explained that she did not turn the nomination because the record was about “empowering young women”.

In contrast to the controversy surrounding the category, the Best Rock performance award received only female and female-fronted nominees for the first time at this year’s awards.

Made up of entirely solo women or female-fronted bands, nominees for Best Rock Performance include Fiona Apple for ‘Shameika’Phoebe Bridgers for ‘Kyoto’‘The Steps’ by Haim‘Stay High’ by Brittany Howard, Grace Potter’s ‘Daylight’, and ‘Not’ by Big Thief, the band fronted by Adrienne Lenker.

Nominees for the 2021 Grammys were announced in November 2020, with the event set to take place on January 31.

Female artists lead the nominations, with Beyoncé and Dua Lipa both receiving five, while Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have bagged four and three respectively.

All four artists are nominated for Song of the Year, while Lipa, Haim and Swift will all compete for Album of the Year, courtesy of ‘Future Nostalgia’‘Folklore’ and ‘Women In Music Pt. III’ respectively.

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