Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ Deemed Ineligible for Comedy Album Grammy

Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs), the biggest hit of the year on Billboard’s Comedy Albums chart, will not be competing for best comedy album at next year’s Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy has ruled that Inside (The Songs), the music from Burnham’s hit Netflix special Inside, does not meet the criteria to compete for the Grammy for best comedy album. Instead, Inside (The Songs) will be in the running for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, a category typically reserved for original music composed for films, TV shows and video games.

The eligibility decision was made last week during the Recording Academy’s visual media screening committee, where Grammy submissions are reviewed to confirm they will compete in the appropriate category. A similar meeting resulted in the Recording Academy’s decision to deem Kacey Musgraves’ album star-crossed ineligible in the best country album race.

A rep for Republic Records, which released Inside (The Songs) along with their Imperial imprint, confirmed the category ruling. Reps for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As an album of songs from Burnham’s Inside, a special which the actor-comedian created in a single room without a crew at the height of the pandemic, Inside (The Songs) features musical riffs on subjects including Instagram, FaceTiming with your mom and the modern internet. Since its June release, Inside (The Songs) has been a smash hit, earning 353,000 equivalent album units according to MRC Data and spending its entire 18-week chart run to date atop the Comedy Albums chart.

Republic executive vp A&R Tyler Arnold helped shepherd the label’s deal with Burnham for the album shortly after the Netflix special’s release. “The reviews were incredible, and everyone was posting about the special, but no one realized the music wasn’t available,” Arnold told Billboard in July. “Within hours we assembled an incredible team internally around Bo and we created a plan to get the music out ASAP.”

“After a few meetings,” Arnold continued, “we realized that our goals and vision aligned for the project,” and the day after the deal was signed the album was released “to take advantage of all the momentum.”

In addition to the best comedy album category, Republic originally submitted Inside (The Songs) for album of the year. The song “All Eyes On Me” was submitted in the record of the year, song of the year, best pop solo performance and best song written for visual media, while Inside was submitted for best music film.

Recent winners in the best compilation soundtrack for visual media category include music from A Star Is Born, Jojo Rabbit, La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Nominations for the 2022 Grammy Awards will be announced on Nov. 23.

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