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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Riffs: Grammys 2011 -- 5 artists who were robbed

By Allison Stewart

sadeSade, snubbed.

The Grammys aren't as embarrassing as they used to be. Remember when Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow and Steely Dan would be nominated for just about anything? Or the year Jethro Tull beat out Metallica for Best Metal Performance? Good times!

None of the artists left out of this year's nominations have suffered a historic indignity comparable to, say, Elvis Costello's Best New Artist loss (we hardly knew ye, long-forgotten disco band A Taste of Honey). But still. Here are five artists who got snubbed..

1. Sade

Should have been nominated for: Album of the Year, Best R&B Album

Why she deserved a nod: Her comeback disc, "Soldier of Love" was one of the year's best.

Why she got might have been snubbed: It may be a simple case of out of sight, out of mind. "Soldier" came out last winter, and she didn't do much to promote it.

2. Big Boi

Should have been nominated for: Best Rap Album

Why he deserved a nod: His "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty" was a work of unfettered awesomeness.

Why he might have been snubbed: "Sir Lucious" underperformed commercially, something that really matters to Grammy voters. Also, voters may have him mixed up with Cee Lo, the other African-American hipster who's also a member of a beloved duo.

3. Florence and the Machine

Should have been nominated for:
Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, Best Pop Vocal Album

Why they deserved a nod: Their nomination in the barely-credible Best New Artist category was nice, but where is the love for "Dog Days Are Over"?

Why they might have been snubbed: "Dog Days" was originally released in 2008 and re-released this spring; those pesky Grammy eligibility rules might be to blame. Honestly, we can't think of another reason.

(It's a bad year for the ladies. At least, some of them. Rihanna and more, after the jump.)

rihannaRihanna would usually be exactly what Grammy voters look for. (Tracy Woodward/TWP)

4. Rihanna

Should have been nominated for: Best R&B or Pop Album, Best R&B Song ("Rude Boy")

Why she deserved a nod:
She didn't, necessarily -- "Rated R" was not a great album. But glamorous, multi-genre artists like Rihanna are usually Grammy catnip. She wasn't shut out, but we expected more.

Why she might have been snubbed:
It could be timing-"Rated R" came out too long ago to be remembered, and her new disc, "Loud," came out too late to qualify. It's probably not a quality issue -- Grammy voters' standards are traditionally not very high (witness Katy Perry's four nominations). This one's a mystery.

5. Nicki Minaj

Should have been nominated for: Best Rap Solo Performance ("Your Love")

Why she deserved a nod: She's one of the best, most provocative MCs around, with a game changer of a debut, "Pink Friday."

Why she might have been snubbed: Voters may not have cottoned to Minaj's expletive-laced hip-hop (possible, though they did nominate Cee Lo's "[Expletive] You"), though Grammy eligibility requirements might again be at fault. Maybe 2012 will be her year.

By Allison Stewart  | December 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Grammys, Riffs  | Tags:  Big Boi, Cee Lo Green, Florence and the Machine, Grammys, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Sade  
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