Frank Ocean’s name will NOT be called when the Grammy nominees are announced on Dec 8. — because both of his album ‘Blonde’ and ‘Endless’ missed the submission deadline.
A source confirms to Billboard that neither album was submitted for consideration by Ocean’s labels or management, even though both were released well before the 2017 Grammy eligibility cutoff date of Sept. 30, 2016.
Blonde (also known as Blond) — which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the week ending August 25 with 276,000 equivalent-album units, the third-largest total of the year — was released on Ocean’s own Boys Don’t Cry imprint, although many traditional label functions for the still digital-only release were handled by Apple Music. Whether the album was intentionally not submitted for the Grammys or an oversight took place — which may have been the case last year with Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” which also was not submitted — was unclear at press time.
A rep for the Grammys confirmed that Ocean’s albums had not been submitted for consideration. Reps for Ocean were not immediately available for comment or had not responded to Billboard’s requests for comment at press time.
Ocean’s “visual album” Endless, his last release through Def Jam, was not submitted either, but its eligibility is uncertain: It is only available as a long-form streaming video through Apple Music (which renders it ineligible for Billboard’s charts). After an update of Grammy rules in June, streaming-only releases are now eligible for awards, although Endless’ unusual status as a “visual album” may complicate that; the Recording Academy had not clarified that question at press time.
The albums were Ocean’s first full-length releases in more than four years. His previous release, Channel Orange, was nominated for five 2013 Grammy Awards and won two: one for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and another for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, for the album track “No Church in the Wild.” He was also nominated for Album of the Year and Best New Artist, and Record of the Year for “Thinkin Bout You.”
The Grammy Awards are set to air on Feb. 12, 2017 on CBS. We can’t wait to see the official list of nominees!