Brandi Carlile is ready to be blunt about the Recording Academy reassigning her song “Right On Time” from Americana to pop at the Grammy Awards that occurred earlier this year. And, she isn’t happy.
She told Billboard: It “pissed me off.”
“I can’t even begin to express how important it is to me to stay with [the Americana community] even if it means levels of success that I’ll never reach,” she told the trade publication. “When the Grammys made that decision for me, it felt like I had been taken out of my space that I wanted to be in.”
“Right on Time” was originally submitted in the American Roots category.
Historically, the singer was included in the Grammys’ Americana, American roots, and country categories. When the nominations for the 2022 ceremony were announced, Carlile said she was “surprised and disappointed” at her inclusion in the best pop performance.
Her statement read: “While I’m incredibly flattered to be considered ’pop’ as a 40-year-old crooning lesbian mother,” she said in October 2021, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit surprised and disappointed to learn the Recording Academy decided to move ’Right on Time’ out of the American Roots genre and into the pop category.”
In hindsight, her opinion hasn’t changed.
“When the Grammys made that decision for me, it felt like I had been taken out of my space that I wanted to be in,” she told Billboard.
Olivia Rodrigo bested the six-time Grammy winner in the pop category “a great compliment” and said there was something cool about being “in pop with all them kids.”
That said, she explained, “Communities are so important. You should be able to choose which one you’re a part of.”
Carlile still enjoyed a super successful Grammy Awards. She earned four other nominations, including two more for “Right On Time,” a nod for best American roots performance for her feature on Brandy Clark’s “Same Devil,” and a song of the year recognition for her Alicia Keys collaboration, “A Beautiful Noise.” The song was penned by an all-female songwriting team and recorded to encourage voting in the 2020 election.