When news broke that Frank Ocean's earth-shaking Blonde wasn't going to be nominated at the 2017 Grammy Awards — and that Ocean himself was completely OK with that, as he hadn't submitted it for consideration — several people were shocked, including Kanye West.
It turns out one of this year's nominees was just as surprised, too, and he'd rather Ocean have his spot on the list of contenders for Album of the Year.
Sturgill Simpson, who put out A Sailor's Guide to Earth, one of the most critically adored albums and the most lauded country album (which happened to include one of the most unexpected Nirvana covers) of 2016, was floored by this top honor — but he thinks Ocean deserved the nod instead.
"I would’ve liked to see Frank Ocean’s name where mine is," Simpson told The New York Times when he was asked about his fellow AOTY nominees. "But that’s not my place to say. I totally understand [his protest]. I just thought that record was really groundbreaking. I listen to just about everything except country music, so it’s strange." He also mentioned that he loved Beyoncé's Lemonade and Adele's 25.
As for his own reaction to his AOTY honor? He kind of can't believe it — but that doesn't make it any less deserved.
"I just went in and poured my heart out and tried to make the best record that I possibly could," he said. "I didn’t expect anything like this, ever. I don’t really feel like I did this, in a way. Maybe it’s a lot of people reacting and showing that art is important. I’m just grateful. I really can’t believe it. To be even mentioned in the same breath as all those other artists is a little surreal for someone like me."