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Here's the Difference Between Grammys Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year

And that's that on that.

Grammys Song of the Year vs. Record of the Year vs. Album of the Year

Here's the Difference Between Grammys Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year

And that's that on that.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Press Room
Getty ImagesKevork Djansezian

Sure, the Grammy Awards seem simple. Your favorite artists win some hardware for their best bops, and everyone wears sparkly outfits. But if you actually pay attention to the award categories, you'll prob realize that it's not so straightforward. There are three separate awards for the Record, Song, and Album of the Year, and TBH, it's all kinds of confusing. Here is what those award categories actually mean.

Song of the Year

The 58th GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Kendrick and SZA are up for Song of the Year.
Getty ImagesLester Cohen

This is definitely the most deceptively obvious award. It sounds like it just goes to the best jam of the year, but it's slightly more complicated than that. Song of the Year is actually a songwriter award for the single or track that was released during the eligibility period, which for the 61st Grammy Awards is October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. This year's nominees include:

  • "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
  • "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai
  • "God's Plan" by Drake
  • "In my Blood" by Shawn Mendes
  • "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile
  • "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
  • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • "This is America" by Childish Gambino

    Record of the Year

    'A Star Is Born' UK Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals
    Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are up for Record of the Year.
    Getty ImagesKarwai Tang

    At the Grammys, a record is not a vinyl you bought at Urban Outfitters and have yet to actually play. Here, "record" means a single track. This award honors the artist for their performance and the work of the producers, recording engineers, mastering engineers, and mixers. These are the records nominated this year:

    • "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin
    • "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile
    • "This is America" by Childish Gambino
    • "God's Plan" by Drake
    • "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
    • "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
    • "Rockstar" by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage
    • "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey

      Album of the Year

      Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2017 - Arrivals
      Cardi B is nominated for Album of the Year.
      Getty ImagesDia Dipasupil

      Album of the Year is the award for a whole-ass album. To be eligible, it has to have at least five new full songs and be 15 minutes long or be 30 minutes long, with as many damn tracks as it wants. The award goes to artist, as well as any featured artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, and mixers. Here are the albums in the running:

      • "Invasion of Privacy" by Cardi B
      • "By the Way, I Forgive You" By Brandi Carlile
      • "Scorpion" by Drake
      • "H.E.R" by H.E.R.
      • "Beerbongs and Bentleys" by Post Malone
      • "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monáe
      • "Golden Hour" by Kacey Musgraves
      • "Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By" by Various Artists

        To sum it all up...

        Song of the Year is for the writing of a single track. Record of the Year is for the performance and production of a single track. Album of the Year is for a full album.

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