All Articles Tagged "grammy winners"
The 53rd annual event that occurred last Sunday was not only the most watched Grammy’s in history, but it was also the most audacious display of wackness I’ve seen in a while. Sure, there were some notable moments like the Cee-Lo Green/Muppets/Gwyneth Paltrow performance, but everything else pretty much left me either confused or bored out of my mind—and slightly offended in some instances. Such as when a group called Lady Antebellum performed a tribute (which lasted about 30 seconds) to Teddy Pendergrass. Surely, I wasn’t the only one who caught the irony of a group, who has a name honoring the pre-Civil War Confederate South, performing a tribute to a dead black man?
For quite a while the Grammy’s have failed to represent the artistry and creativity of the music industry. But I’m not so sure if the Grammy’s or the music industry as a whole should be held responsible for not producing a quality product.
But Steve Stoute, a veteran music and advertising executive, is pissed at the Grammy’s for other reasons. Three days ago, he published a full-page $40,000 ad /open letter to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and its president, suggesting that the Grammy’s has “clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture.”
In the open letter, Stoute blasted the Grammy’s voting process as being “opaque” for denying teeny-bopper sensation Justin Bieber, who he described as an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, the award for Best New Artist and shortchanging Eminem on his 14 Grammy nods. Stoute also thinks that the production had a few too many fishy coincidences, including Arcade Fire, who performed “Month of May” right before winning the Album of the Year category.
In short, Stoute thinks the Grammy’s are a joke. Though he didn’t need to take out a $40,000 ad five days after the event to inform us of this, there is some kernel of truth to what he is saying.
The Grammy’s have always been known for their WTF awards moments, such as how Jay-Z has won 10 Grammy’s yet Nas, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented hip-hop artists ever, has never won a single award. There was also Diddy, though a stellar producer, who was able to pull an upset in the Best Rap Album of the Year over groups such as the Wu-Tang Clan. Even legendary artists such as Diana Ross, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and even The Grateful Dead have never taken home a Grammy award.
Unlike many award shows, the Grammy’s have always strayed in this grey area between the hamburger helper taste of casual pop-music and the finicky palette of the more highbrow, elitist music. But in actuality, it is up to the record companies and individual artist themselves to submit recordings to be nominated.This process was confirmed by Tim Silverman, executive with Tommy Boy Records, who said recently that while he understand Stoute’s frustration, The Grammy’s have never been about who is the most popular. Rather, the awards are a product of the voting system, based on judges within the industry, who are usually older and vote for what they can relate to.
The problem with Stoute’s analysis is that it completely disregards the notion that just because an artist is popular on the charts doesn’t mean that the artist puts out quality work. It just means that the chart-topping artist has better marketing. In some cases, this may work for an artist during award season but in other instances, the Grammy’s do manage to get it right. Such as when Esperanza Spalding, a 26-year old jazz bassist, won Best New Artist, beating out heavyweights such as Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & the Machine and Mumford & Sons. It’s easy to label her win a sham but when you factor in the sheer creativity and originality of her songs, along with her budding brilliance, it totally makes up for the dozens of other well-deserving artists like Ross, Marley and The Grateful Dead who have never won a Grammy.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(TheLoop21) — Every year when Grammy nominations are announced and later when the winners are eventually presented with their awards, a swarm of conspiracy theories and backlash is sure to follow. You’ve sat in your living room during the ceremony and heard the cries of “they’re just trying to help that album sell,” or “they paid for that award.” I’ve even had my own theories about the awards show process. My “brown baiting” idea has seemed validated by the fact that Eminem – I know he’s not “brown” but hey, he’s a rapper – has been the cornerstone of the Grammy advertising campaign this year. I still doubt he wins the award for Album of the Year; it’s more likely we’ll be duped again. After my last article about the Grammys, I decided to take a closer look at the nomination and voting process to see exactly how the whole thing worked. First, members of the Recording Academy and record labels send music to the committee to be considered for nomination; there can be more than 15,000 entries in a given year. Who is this mysterious Recording Academy you ask? The Recording Academy is a community of musicians that vote on the nominations and winners of Grammys. The Grammys prides itself on the fact that winners are voted on by their peers. Joining the Recording Academy isn’t too difficult. An artist can apply in their category of expertise: vocalist, producer, engineer, etc, by filling out an application form and paying $100 annual dues. So, if the artists don’t pay the money, their voices won’t be heard. While $100 isn’t a lot of money for Diddy, it may be too hefty a price tag for the struggling artists out there. He or she also has to have contributed to six retail tracks released via traditional distribution or 12 digitally released tracks. Once the entries are received, over 150 experts in each field – Jazz, R&B, Country, Hip-Hop, etc. – determine if these submissions are eligible based on the way they are sold and marketed and if they are released within the appropriate timeline. These experts – whose names aren’t revealed due to fear of bribery – then group the releases in their appropriate categories. So, if you wonder who determines the difference between “album of the year” and “song of the year,” it’s these guys. All of this accepted music is sent out to the academy so nominations can take place.
by R. Asmerom
No other award show in the music industry holds quite the prestige of the Grammys. Though there is everything from the MTV Awards to the American Music Awards, the Grammys stand out as the Academy Awards of music. The show is not just a showcase of talent but a determining factor in the evolution of an artist’s career. After all, once a musician wins just one, the term “grammy-award winning artist” comes to forever precede his or her name.
Like most award shows, the Grammy Awards is big business, for the producers as well as the nominated guests of honor. But just how much can the award boost the earnings of an artist? With the music industry struggling to reinvent its business model and fewer musicians being able to earn enough revenue from album sales, winning an award is more important than ever.
“These days, artists are not selling very many records anymore, unless they are huge names like Jay-Z and even then, most of the sales are digital online album sales,” said Josh Gair of Impact Entertainment, a talent agency which books celebrities for events worldwide. “When an artist wins a Grammy, there is usually a slight spike in albums sales but it is usually not a long term effect.” An artist can expect a 10 percent boost in album sales according to Gair, which is good news for the record label on the receiving end. Considering that most, if not all, artists generate the bulk of their earnings via tours and appearances, the exposure from winning or even being nominated for a Grammy allows them to command a bigger performance fee.
“The more popular they become, the more money they earn,” said Gair. “When Rihanna won her first Grammy, her fee went up a lot, from about $150,000 to $300,000.”