Is Florida Georgia Line + Bebe Rexha’s ‘Meant to Be’ a Country Song?
Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha's smash hit collaboration, "Meant to Be," landed a 2019 Grammy Awards nomination on Friday morning (Dec. 7) for Best Country Duo / Group Performance, but it was not nominated in any pop categories — and now we know why.
"Meant to Be" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 and Country Airplay charts, and it scored big in several additional charts, including the mainstream Top 40 and Hot 100, as well as Adult Contemporary. It's also No. 1 on the year-end Hot Country Songs chart after staying at the top of that char for 50 weeks, shattering all previous records. In a call with reporters Friday morning, Recording Academy Head of Awards Bill Freimuth explained Grammy voters' choice to categorize the song as country despite the fact that Rexha, a pop star, is technically the lead artist.
"A recording can't be in more than one genre or field. It has to end up in just one," he says. "We don't want to see someone winning Best Pop Duo/Group and Best Country Duo/Group, because it's either one or the other. So we actually have a whole system in place that we call our screening committees or sorting committees."
Those genre experts convene in September and listen to the submissions from each genre to make sure they fit.
"So this year, regarding that particular track, the screening committees met, they listened to it, and they decided that the overall feel of that track was more country than it was pop," Freimuth explains.
The committees are specifically asked to disregard artist's histories and focus only on the individual track in front of them, he continues.
"So even though Bebe is, of course, much more well-known as a pop artist, we asked them to disregard that and just listen to this track and tell us what they heard, and they told us they heard country."
"Meant to Be" will square off against "Shoot Me Straight" from Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay's "Tequila," "When Someone Stops Loving You" from Little Big Town and Maren Morris' collaboration with Vince Gill on "Dear Hate" at the 2019 Grammy Awards, which are slated to air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles via CBC on Feb. 10.
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