A night of extravagant outfits on the most well-known celebrities who come together to recognize the achievements of those in the music industry. This is known as The Grammys, which is a national telecast and one of the most popular awards platforms. In 1959, the first ever Grammys show was held. This year’s show was held on February 10th of 2019 and was the 61st annual show. Each year, the broadcast is typically 3 ½ hours long and is held in Los Angeles, California. In the past, shows have also been held in New York. This year’s awards ceremony was at the Staples Center in LA. Although it is the music industry’s biggest party, it has also been known to spark some controversy.
In the year of 2018, there were multiple artists including Gucci Mane and Lil Uzi Vert who held spots in the top 100 hits for multiple weeks. Despite their immense success, they did not receive the well-deserved attention at the Grammys. Critics quickly picked up on these mishaps and claimed it was “unsubtle racism.”
The Grammys received backlash for their lack of diversity in the winnings of the 2018 shows. In my opinion, the issue was not about a lack of diversity, but a lack of opportunities in the winnings count. For the top four categories: best song, best record, best album, and best new artist, there were five spots in each for possible candidates. If there were more spots in each category, more artists would have had opportunities to win, and therefore a better chance to eliminate the issue of a lack of diversity.
The 2019 show seemed to be much more diverse. Artists such as Drake, Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, and Cardi B were nominated, performed, and even left the show with awards. The change from the 2018 to 2019 Grammy Awards show is due to the increase in the number of nominees in each category. The number of spots increased from five to eight, which made more opportunities for equally talented candidates to be recognized.
There will always be a difference in opinion around whether the show was more diverse because they did not want to receive backlash or if the number of nominees was really the issue. From my perspective, the number of nominees was the issue because the top charts and top artists vary too drastically from year to year to say the issue is a lack of diversity. One year the top five artists may all be the same race, and the next year it could be completely diverse. But by opening spaces for more nominees, it will automatically increase the amount of diversity in each category.
The issues faced during the Grammys were acknowledged and dealt with. Ben Sisario wrote an article in the New York Times and stated, “And as the show tries to stay culturally relevant, while also balancing the demands of race and gender representation, it may be impossible to please everyone at once.” This holds true because there is always someone who may be unsatisfied with the outcome. But by taking small steps to improve the functionality of the Grammys, it will ultimately eliminate arising issues regarding a lack of diversity and hopefully help all people have a fair chance to win a Grammy.
Caramanica, Jon. “Pop Keeps Changing. And the Grammys Turn a Deaf Ear, Again.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/music/grammy-awards-hip-hop-jay-z-cardi-b-lorde.html?module=inline.
Sisario, Ben. “Can the Grammys Please Anyone?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 7 Feb. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/arts/music/grammy-awards-diversity.html?module=inline.