Back in the day, say a decade ago, I referred to the Grammys for music releases by winners and nominees that flew under my radar. Those who bagged one or more gramophones home must’ve been in tuned with aural preferences of insiders and critics. Mostly deserved, the Recording Academy and awarding committee gave the event an authority in governing the music industry. That didn’t sustain long—I’ve found online alternatives that outdid the annual ceremony with analytics-supported endorsements. #trusttransparency
Prior to this year’s 61st edition of the Grammy Awards, sultry songbird Ariana Grande was in talks with Grammy producers to perform but it fell through after countless negotiations. It’s making rounds on the Internet, so I won’t elaborate. What I can say is: “Give in to her, dammit!” She’ll draw massive millennials numbers to the waning viewership (Hollywood Reporter disclosed “fewer than 20 million viewers tuned in to the 2018 Grammys—the award show’s smallest audience since 2009”).
Beside Grande, producers also made love calls to multi-nominees Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino, only to be declined too. Not a surprise considering the former, Frank Ocean and Kanye West boycotted the 2017 Grammys in protest of the ceremony’s lack of diversity. Critic’s darling Ocean omitted his albums (Endless and Blonde) for the Recording Academy’s consideration. Last year, the issue lies with the lack of female winners that birth #GrammySoMale. Some justice for SZA and Lorde, please!
A quick look at the nomination list and its suspects are predictably recognizable that one might wonder drafting crowd pleasers is a sure-fire way to bring in the eyeballs of their respective fans. Yielding to produce commercially ideal viewership results that’ll please stakeholders will always on the mind of producers. So are the winners of each edition deserve their award(s)? It’s still up for debate. There were moments that the voting committee got it right. Adele, Amy Winehouse, Arcade Fire, to this year’s Kacey Musgraves and Childish Gambino. Even dark horse Esperanza Spalding best front-runner Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist award, causing an uproar. Impartiality still exists, albeit inconsistent.
Although Grande didn’t perform nor appear at this year’s Grammys, she was awarded Best Pop Vocal Album. This acknowledges the importance of artists’ influence on the music industry. Correction, Grande did appear alongside the Grammys, not ‘at’. CBS, the awards’ broadcaster, aired a commercial for Apple Music that featured her latest single “7 rings,” sung by her memoji avatar. Smart move, because Grande can be anywhere as she pleases.