For the First Time in a Generation, The Grammy&#zero39;s Album of the Year Category Includes Nominees Not Released on CD


Cardi B and H.E.R. each skipped the steadily declining format.

For the primary time for the reason that period of compact discs, this yr's Grammy album of the yr nominations characteristic tasks not launched on CD.

Both Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic) and H.E.R.'s self-titled debut album (RCA) skipped the format of their official U.S. releases, favoring streaming, digital downloads and vinyl as an alternative. It is the primary time since 1984 that album of the yr nominees weren’t launched on CD.

CDs had been commercially launched in 1982, with Michael Jackson's Thriller and The Police's Synchronicity marking the format's first foray into the album of the yr class on the 1984 Grammys, in accordance with knowledge from Discogs.

Cardi B and H.E.R.'s albums marking the primary album of the yr nominees to have foregone CDs in a era is an altogether unsurprising occasion, given CD gross sales' regular decline over the previous decade. In 2007, CDs accounted for 90 p.c of album gross sales within the United States; by final yr, that figured had dropped to only above 18 p.c, in accordance with Nielsen Music.

There has been a notable lack of help for the medium in R&B and hip-hop particularly — genres these albums fall below — with at the least 25 R&B and hip-hop albums that debuted within the high 10 of the Billboard 200 this yr skipping bodily CD releases in shops on debut week. Among these had been six No. 1 albums: Eminem's Kamikaze, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy, Kanye West's Ye, Migos' Culture II, Travis Scott's Astroworld and The Weeknd's My Dear Melancholy. (All however Cardi B's album right here had been ultimately launched on CD, however not for weeks after the preliminary launch date.)

In regard to gross sales, R&B/hip-hop declined from 6.33 million CDs within the first half of 2017 to three.84 million models within the first six months of this yr, or down a whopping 39.four p.c, in accordance with Nielsen Music. All different main genres suffered comparatively modest declines over the identical time interval: rock (eight.7 p.c), pop (7 p.c) and nation (10.7 p.c).

Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar CD retail can also be in bother. In July, Best Buy started pulling CDs from its shops, leaving in place solely funds CDs and vinyl. With much less alternatives for gross sales, it's very seemingly Cardi B and H.E.R. would be the first of many future Grammy nominees to skip CDs in years to come back.