Randy Rainbow has received a Grammy nomination for his first full-length studio album, A Little Brains, a Little Talent.
Rainbow is known for his parodies of show tunes and pop classics, and his work often carries a political message — although he has told The Advocate his primary goal is to make people laugh. A Little Brains, a Little Talent includes such political satires as “Clang, Clang, Clang Went Josh Hawley,” “If Donald Got Fired” (featuring Broadway icon Patti LuPone), and “Mr. Biden, Bring My Vaccine.”
The nomination is in the category of Best Comedy Album, where Rainbow is alongside some controversial competition. Dave Chappelle, criticized for transphobic material in his Netflix special The Closer, is nominated for the album version of that special. Chappelle is also being called anti-Semitic for jokes he made when hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend. Louis CK, the previous year’s surprise winner, is nominated for Sorry. The entertainer has been accused of sexual misconduct and has mocked nonbinary people.
Other nominees in the category are Patton Oswalt for We All Scream and Jim Gaffigan for Comedy Monster.
LGBTQ+ artists are well represented in other Grammy categories. Lesbian singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has seven nominations across various categories, including Record of the Year for “You and Me on the Rock,” featuring Lucius, and Album of the Year for In These Silent Days. Sam Smith and Kim Petras are nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category for “Unholy”; they are nonbinary and transgender, respectively.
The queer-themed musical A Strange Loop is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album. Also nominated in that category are Caroline, or Change, which has lyrics by gay playwright Tony Kushner, and the revival of Into the Woods, with music and lyrics by the late Stephen Sondheim.
LGBTQ+ faves such as Beyoncé, ABBA, Lizzo, Adele, and Harry Styles have nominations as well. Beyoncé has the most nominations this year, with nine, all but one for her album Renaissance. The other is for the song “Be Alive” from the film King Richard. She now has 88 nominations over the course of her career, tying her with her husband, Jay-Z, The New York Times notes.
The Grammys will be presented February 5 in Los Angeles. Find the full list of nominees here.