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Jewish Nominees for ‘Song of the Year’ Grammy

You can finally blame today’s awful music on your children

Adam Chandler
December 09, 2013
Dr. Luke in 2011(StepOneTwo)
Dr. Luke in 2011(StepOneTwo)

Over the weekend, nominees for the 2014 Grammy awards were announced. Leading the way was occasional menorah-lighter Jay Z with nine nominations or eight plus the shamesh. One of the categories that Hova was locked out was the Song of the Year award, which has an impressive number of Jewish participants. If you’re curious to know the difference between Song of the Year versus Record of the Year, here’s a quick refresher.

Song of the Year is a songwriter’s award. It rewards the songwriter for a song released (or that “first achieved prominence”) during the past eligibility year…Record of the Year rewards a song’s performance and production…Both Song of the Year and Record of the Year reward individual songs, but they recognize different aspects of the songmaking process.

And the nominees are:

Just Give Me A Reason — Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
Locked Out Of Heaven — Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Roar — Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
Royals — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
Same Love —- Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)

As it’s been well-documented, Pink is Jewish, but I’m just now finding out that so is Nate Reuss, who is Jack Antonoff’s bandmate in the pop group fun. Below is the video for the song. I’ve never heard it because I’m pretty sure Pink is the Dan Brown of pop music, but according to YouTube, this has been viewed 237 million times so…you know…go figure.

Bruno Mars is another one of those acts that I try really hard to avoid, but if you’re a sentient bipedal, it’s damn near impossible. Case in point, I heard Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” yesterday at a store and I immediately thought, “Who is ripping off The Police this time?”. And then, you know what, I kind of got into it. I mean, it’s better that borrowing from Steely Dan, right? For perspective, this video below has been viewed 217 million times. Ari Levine is part of Mars’ songwriting team. He’s also 28-years-old.

Ah yes. “Roar.” Tablet covered one of the many touching human interest stories about Katy Perry’s pop smash. You’ve no doubt heard it, but you might not know that Luke Gottwald, who is one of the songwriters/producers/melodymakers, is a member of the Tribe. A former house guitarist on Saturday Night Live, if you’ve heard Miley’s “Party in USA” or Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone,” you’ve endured his work. And, as if he needed more cred, he’s known best as Dr. Luke. 251 million views later…

To my knowledge, the last two on the list don’t have any tribal connections, but “Royals” did spawn off a terrifying parody called “Mohels.”


Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.