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Bon Iver Nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards (Including Album of the Year)

Eric Christenson

Just this morning – the day before a series of "Eaux Claires Hiver" shows planned by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon are set to start in downtown Eau Claire – the Grammy Awards released their list of nominees for 2020, and Bon Iver is nominated for four of ‘em, including (for the first time) Album Of The Year for this year’s i,i. Pretty big deal. The band is in pretty steep competition this year among a crew of wildly talented and young stars like Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and Lil Nas X. 

Justin Vernon has been vocally critical of the music industry awards show in past years, calling it a “shit show” and tweeting stuff like: “The Grammies are for the music Industry. Music, itself, is for everywhere else and everyone else. Good to remember.” Still, even though it’s happened a couple times now, an Eau Claire band getting recognized on that level is pretty crazy to think about. 

Remember, Bon Iver won two Grammys in 2012 for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album for Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The band was nominated in 2017 for 22, A Million in the Best Alternative Music Album category, but didn’t win.

Here’s the list of the categories where Bon Iver is nominated in 2020:

RECORD OF THE YEAR

"Hey, Ma," Bon Iver
"Bad Guy," Billie Eilish
"7 Rings," Ariana Grande
"Hard Place," H.E.R.
"Talk," Khalid
"Old Town Road," Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
"Truth Hurts," Lizzo
"Sunflower," Post Malone & Swae Lee

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

i,i, Bon Iver
Norman F---ing Rockwell!, Lana Del Rey
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish
Thank U, Next, Ariana Grande
I Used to Know Her, H.E.R.
7, Lil Nas X
Cuz I Love You (Deluxe), Lizzo
Father of the Bride, Vampire Weekend

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

U.F.O.F., Big Thief
Assume Form, James Blake
i,i, Bon Iver
Father of the Bride, Vampire Weekend
Anima, Thom Yorke

BEST RECORDING PACKAGE

Anónimas & Resilientes, Voces Del Bullerengue
Chris Cornell, Chris Cornell
Hold That Tiger, The Muddy Basin Ramblers
i,i, Bon Iver
Intellexual, Intellexual

Reporting on the nominations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel listed Bon Iver's local connections besides Vernon himself ...

In addition to Vernon, other Wisconsin natives named in the Bon Iver nominations for the two major categories were co-producer and co-writer Brad Cook from Eau Claire and co-engineer/mixer Zach Hanson from Chippewa Falls. The band also includes Lake Geneva native Sean Carey and La Crosse native Andrew Fitzpatrick.

Also worth noting, the Sentinel points out the major mainstream artists who didn't make the Grammy cut for Album of the Year ...

Nevertheless, "i,i" was one of eight album of the year nominees announced Wednesday morning. Grammy darlings like Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga (for "A Star Is Born") were shut out in the category.