Grammys Song of the Year vs. Record of the Year: What’s the Difference?
Being nominated for a Grammy in any category is a major feat, but there are some categories that stand above the rest, like Song of the Year, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Record of the Year. But just what is the difference between Song of the Year and Record of the Year? The two seem so similar, don't they?
Since the awards show began decades ago, Song of the Year and Record of the Year have been two of the most prestigious categories to be nominated in. The two categories are very different, though it may not seem it on the surface. For years fans have wondered what the key differences are between Song of the Year and Record of the Year, and now we've finally got an answer.
According to the Recording Academy, Song of the Year is focused on the composition of a song. The category recognizes the songwriters behind the song, rather than just the person who sings it and the producers who worked on it. If the singer is the sole song writer on a nominated track, the singer will win the award. If not, the award goes to the person who did write it. Song of the Year is one of a handful of categories at the Grammy Awards that is considered a songwriter's award.
This year's Song of the Year nominees are:
- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Duckworth, Solana Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears and Anthony Tiffith, along with songwriters Kendrick Lamar and SZA.
- "Boo'd Up" - Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai and Dijon McFarlane, along with Mai, the songwriter.
- "God's Plan" - Aubrey Graham (Drake), Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels, Noah Shebib and Drake, the songwriter.
- "In My Blood" - Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes and Geoffrey Warburton and Mendes, the songwriter.
- "The Joke" - Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Carlile, the songwriter.
- "The Middle" - Sara Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha, Anton Zaslavski and songwriters Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.
- "Shallow" - Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and songwriters, Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
- "This is America" - Donald Glover, Ludwig Goransson and Jeffrey Lamar Williams and songwriter Childish Gambino (Glover).
Record of the Year, on the other hand, recognizes the artist, producer and engineer involved in the making of a recording. Anyone who worked on the recording and was properly credited for it will be acknowledged in the winning of the award.
For example, at the 59th Grammy Awards, Record of the Year was won by Adele. She, along with producer Greg Kurstin and eight engineers worked on the record, were acknowledged with the award. When Adele's song "Hello" won Song of the Year at the Grammys, only she and Kurstin were awarded.
This year, the Record of the Year nominees are expansive. The nominees are:
- "The Joke" - Brandi Carlile, producers Dave Cobb, Shooter Jennings, engineers/mixers Tom Elmhirst and Eddie Spear and mastering engineer Pete Lyman.
- "This is America" - Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), producers Glover and Ludwig Goransson, engineers/mixers Derek "MixedByAli" Ali and Shaan Singh, and mastering engineer Mike Bozzi.
- "God's Plan" - Drake, producers Boi-1Da, Cardo and Young Exclusive, engineers/mixers Noel Cadastre, Noel "Gadget" Campbell and Noah Shebib and mastering engineer Chris Athens.
- "Shallow" - Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, producers Lady Gaga and Benjamin Rice, engineers/mixers Brandon Bost and Tom Elmhirst and mastering engineer Randy Merrill.
- "All the Stars" - Kendrick Lamar and SZA, producers Al Shux and Sounwave, engineers/mixers Sam Ricci and Matt Schaeffer and mastering engineer Mike Bozzi.
- "Rockstar" - Post Malone featuring 21 Savage, producers Louis Bell and Tank God, engineers/mixers Bell, Lorenzo Cardona, Manny Marroquin and Ethan Stevens and mastering producer Mike Bozzi.
- "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, producers Grey, Monsters & Strangerz and Zedd, engineers/mixers Grey, Tom Norris, Ryan Shanahan and Zedd and mastering engineer Mike Marsh.
Now that you're armed with that knowledge, you're ready to tune in to the 2020 Grammy Awards. The show kicks off on CBS Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET.