‘The Grammys Are Not About The Music, It’s A Popularity Contest:’ India Arie Speaks Out Against The Grammys

January 28, 2014  |  

Every once in a while, a celebrity will go against the Hollywood grain and act as a mouth piece, saying aloud what many of us regular folk are already thinking. In response to the 2014 Grammy Awards, India Arie had quite a bit to say about her disappointments regarding the show.  She shared those thoughts via an open letter, which she posted to Twitter and Tumblr.

India began by addressing Kendrick Lamar’s loss.

“@Kendricklamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed,” the “Chocolate High” singer wrote. “Personally, I was pleased he was able to perform and they KILLED! IT! One of the FEW moving moments of the night for ME.”

She then went on to express that Grammys are not about what organizers claim that they are about.

“Though it’s called ‘Music industries biggest night’ the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone – the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation. Too much to go into here. The American Music Awards is a show that awards sales and popularity and popularity – the #Grammys are SAID to be about the music. If the hip hop community voted on hip hop –  R&B COMMUNITY the same –  same for each category – we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes.”

Her letter continues:

“NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music. Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not). Where were the black artists? And this isn’t the first time the #Grammy’s has had a show all but excluding young black America and black artists in general, although we set the worlds musical trends. Why NOT televise the lifetime achievement awards of the Isley Brothers? SURELY they deserved to be on televised stage LAST NIGHT! While other artists were on stage TWICE.

The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme.  So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support. It’s unfortunate

I don’t even get surprised any more, but, it still hits my sense of fairness, because I KNOW many of the artists who are overlooked. I LIVE in that world. We keep showing up and subjecting ourselves to the game, hoping MAYBE we’ll win. I was so HAPPY to see @Kendricklamar take that stage – because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.

Speaking of diversity, congratulations to my PERSONAL favorite albums of the year –  @I_GregoryPorter #LiquidSpirit @Realsnarkypuppy and @lalahhathaway on your win and THANK YOU! @pharrell for acting RIGHT in the presence of the greatness that is @Nilerodgers and #StevieWonder

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide”

India followed up by addressing some uninformed folks who may have implied that she’s simply hating.

What do you think of India’s letter?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

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