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Dave Chappelle and poet Amir Sulaiman received a nomination for the Netflix special 8:46, in the best spoken word album category. Chappelle has previously won in the same category in 2019 for Sticks & Stones.
The nomination for Chappelle comes amid the comedian facing outcry for his Netflix special, The Closer, which was criticized as transphobic over the comedian mocking gender identities and defending J.K. Rowling’s remarks, among other comments. After its debut, the special drew criticism from GLAAD and showrunners like Dear White People‘s Jaclyn Moore; the streamer’s trans employees also held a virtual walkout to push back against Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ handling of the special.
Another divisive comedian also secured a nod: Louis C.K., nominated in the best comedy album category for Sincerely Louis C.K. The surprise nomination arrives following accusations in 2017 of sexual misconduct that he acknowledged were true. In wake of the allegations, Netflix and HBO cut ties with C.K., and his film I Love You Daddy — which he wrote, starred in and directed — was dropped by distribution company The Orchard one week ahead of its release. He has since returned to stand-up and is currently promoting a tour.
In the spoken word category, Chappelle is facing off against other nominees that include former President Barack Obama. Obama is nominated for the audiobook version of his memoir A Promised Land. Should Obama win, it would mark his third Grammy after having previously won in the same category in 2006 and 2007 for Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Oo Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.
LeVar Burton and Don Cheadle also received noms in the category. Burton is nominated for the audiobook edition of his 1997 novel Aftermath, while Cheadle is nominated for narrating the audiobook Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation From John Lewis.
Other Hollywood nominees in the best comedy album category include Chelsea Handler (Evolution), Nate Bargatze (The Greatest Average American) and Kevin Hart (Zero F—s Given), the latter for his first Netflix stand-up special since his Oscars scandal in late 2018.
Bo Burnham’s Netflix special Inside and David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee, are nominated for best music film. Burnham’s Inside also received a nom in the best song written for visual media category for “All Eyes on Me.”
Oscar and Emmy contenders that secured noms in the best song written for visual media category include Kathryn Hahn’s “Agatha All Along” from Wandavision, “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home) from the Jennifer Hudson Aretha biopic Respect, “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah and “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami.
In the categories for best compilation and score soundtrack for visual media, both films and TV shows received noms, including Cruella, Dear Evan Hansen, In the Heights, One Night in Miami, Respect, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, Dune, Soul and The Mandalorian.
The 64th Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS and Paramount+ on Monday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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