Jon Batiste Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — Bandleader, keyboardist and composer Jon Batiste successfully makes both experimental and strictly pop records, and has succeeded as the musical face of CBS’ late-night show with Steven Colbert and a Oscar-winning film composer. Now Batiste can add getting the most Grammy nominations for this year to his resume. Batiste earned 11 nominations when the announcements were made last Tuesday, as Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason also announced some major changes for the 64th annual Grammys.

This year’s nominees were determined solely by the Academy’s voting membership for the first time in 30 years. The nominations review committee was eliminated. Plus, Mason revealed that the number of nominees in the “Big Four” categories — Album, Record, and Song of the Year, and Best New Artist — which had been expanded from five nominees to eight back in 2019, was increased to 10. There are now 83 total Grammy categories.

Batiste finds himself alongside major pop stars as two of his nominations are for Album of the Year (“We Are”) and Record of the Year (“Freedom”). He’s been nominated in the Jazz, American Roots, R&B and even Classical categories and is there next to such names as 

Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic, and Lil Nas X in the general category. Dave Chappelle, under fire in some sectors, garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. Jimmie Allen earned a nomination in the Best New Artist category.

 A big winner from two years ago, Lizzo, wasn’t nominated this time around. But the person whose absence from the nominations last year did receive three this time. Abel Tesfaye AKA The Weekend announced after the disappointing news that he would be boycotting the Grammys in the future. But his collaborations with Doja Cat and Kanye West earned three nominations. 

The 64th annual Grammy Awards will be aired on CBS (locally WTVF-5) from Staples Center in Los Angeles Jan. 31.