"It's crazy how out of touch they are" - people are furious about those Grammy rock and metal nominations

Matt Bellamy, Machine Gun Kelly and Papa Emritus
(Image credit: Getty)

Last night, the Grammys unveiled their nominations for 2023's awards, and as always, the categories dedicated to rock and metal stirred more than a little controversy. 

2023's Best Metal Performance category will be contested by by Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Ghost, Muse and Turnstile - despite those last two bands having never been categorised as metal. It caused outrage across social media, with countless metal fans arguing that despite Muse and Turnstile being great bands in their own right, they really had no place being in an awards category focusing on metal acts.

"Muse is Metal? Get a fucking clue!" raged one Twitter user in response to the Grammys' announcement. "What an embarrassment this organization is and always has been!" "Congrats to Muse for becoming a metal band," joked another, with another user questioning: "How the hell were Muse nominated?" "Muse, for metal performance," stressed one Twitterer. "MUSE. Garbage awards."

Many were similarly confused by Turnstile's inclusion in the Best Metal Performance category - not least because the exact same Turnstile song, Blackout, was also nominated for Best Rock Song (although Ozzy also had nominations in 'Rock' categories on top of his Best Metal Performance nod, so fuck knows what's going on).

"No hate to Turnstile, I wish them all the best but them being nominated for best metal performance says a hell of a lot about the voting body at the recording academy," opined one person on Twitter. "I LOVE that Turnstile have been nominate for three Grammys, but Best Metal Performance?" queried another. Others offered similar sentiments - "Ok I love Turnstile as much as the next indie diy kid but Best METAL??????? Performance ?? bruh the recording academy truly is a buncha geezers," suggested one fan.

While those are very understandable quarrels to have with this year's metal category, many also still seem to take umbrage at Ghost being considered a metal band. "Ghost is not metal. Muse is absolutely not metal," claimed one Twitter user (perhaps partly acknowledging that Ghost are, at the very least, considered part of the metal scene). "Ghost aren’t even a metal band," suggested another. "Like they’re not bad or anything but it would have made more sense to nominate Kreator or Arch Enemy or Warbringer for the metal category instead."

Indeed, many fans were happy to offer alternative options for nominees in this year's metal category - with deathcore favourites Lorna Shore a particularly popular favourite. 

"I'm disheartened that Lorna Shore has NOT been nominated in the Best Metal Performance category at the Grammys this year," despaired one fan. "Instead of promoting younger talents, this category of is running on nostalgia mode." Another went even further, stating flatly: "Lorna Shore not receiving a Grammy nod for Best Metal Performance is a criminal act." "Seriously… How ignorant are you, Recording Academy?!" railed another. "Lorna Shore should be nominated and fucking sweep the floor with the rest of the nominees, regardless of who they fucking are."

It wasn't just the metal category that drew wrath from social media, however. Machine Gun Kelly being nominated in Best Rock Album has left many rock fans unimpressed, perhaps due to MGK not exactly being part of the 'rock establishment' for very long.

"Machine Gun Kelly nominated for best rock album at the Grammys…be serious," despaired one user on Twitter. "It's crazy how out of touch the Grammys are," added another. "Like imagine making a rock music category and thinking 'yeah Ozzy Osbourne is still relevant probably and uh fuck it throw in that Machine Gun Kelly kid too i guess'". "Nah machine gun Kelly isn’t rock wtf," agreed one more.

While you could point out the fact that Machine Gun Kelly did, technically speaking, at least release a rock album this year, Turnstile and Muse's presence in the Best Metal Performance category seems somewhat undefendable (despite, as mentioned previously, them both being fantastic bands). 

Below are the full list of nominations involving rock and metal artists. Scroll below that to see some of the many, many comments decrying some of the picks for this year's categories, and if you want even more, have a scroll on Twitter. There's a lot of them.

Grammy 2023 rock nominations

Best New Artist

Domi & JD Beck
Molly Tuttle
Muni Long
Omar Apollo
Samara Joy
Tobe Nwigwe
Wet Leg

Best Rock Performance

Beck - Old Man
The Black Keys - Wild Child
Brandi Carlile - Broken Horses
Bryan Adams - So Happy It Hurts
Idles - Crawl!
Ozzy Osbourne Featuring Jeff Beck - Patient Number 9
Turnstile - Holiday

Best Metal Performance

Ghost - Call Me Little Sunshine
Megadeth - We’ll Be Back
Muse - Kill or Be Killed
Ozzy Osbourne Featuring Tony Iommi - Degradation Rules
Turnstile - Blackout

Best Rock Song

Brandi Carlile - Broken Horses
Ozzy Osbourne Featuring Jeff Beck - Patient Number 9
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Black Summer
Turnstile - Blackout
The War on Drugs - Harmonia’s Dream

Best Rock Album

The Black Keys - Dropout Boogie
Elvis Costello & The Imposters - The Boy Named If
Idles - Crawler
Machine Gun Kelly - Mainstream Sellout
Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9
Spoon - Lucifer on the Sofa

Best Alternative Music Performance

Arctic Monkeys - There’d Better Be a Mirrorball
Big Thief - Certainty
Florence and the Machine - King
Wet Leg - Chaise Lounge
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Featuring Perfume Genius - Spitting Off the Edge of the World

Best Alternative Music Album

Arcade Fire - WE
Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Björk - Fossora
Wet Leg - Wet Leg
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down

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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.