We shouldn’t be surprised that women dominated the 2018 Grammys. From Billie Eilish (only being 19) awarded 7 Grammys, including the two she received at this year’s show, is remarkable. H.E.R featuring Tiara Thomas winning song of the year for their song “I Can’t Breathe” became an anthem to the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in the wake of GeorgeFloyd’s death.
What is the Grammy?
There is nothing more glamourous than the Grammy’s, filled with gold and celebrities and artists dressed to the nines. The ceremony itself is extremely prestigious and can even be considered the biggest award show of the year. The ceremony consists of popular artists who receive recognition and achievement within the music industry. Although the Grammy’s is the biggest award show of the year, it is associated with major controversy and criticism. But why are the Grammys so controversial? Race, gender, and popularity. Every year, our favorite artists seem to get snubbed, but hey, it’s the Grammys.
Women Taking Over
The Grammy’s were a night for women this year. Artists such as Megan The Stallion became the first female rapper to win the best new artist award since Lauryn Hill in 1999. She also received an award for best rap performance and best rap song, “Savage”, featuring Beyoncé. And let’s not forget the first-ever debut of WAP by Cardi B featuring Megan the Stallion, with a jaw-dropping yet somewhat controversial performance. Another star of the night was none other than Beyoncé Knowles herself. She received four awards, ringing in her total grammy count to 28. That’s insane!
She currently holds the record for the most Grammys won by a female artist. With even more history in the making, Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter received her first award, making her the second-youngest Grammy winner in history. What an incredible achievement for a nine-year-old! Taylor Swift was also awarded an album of the year for Folklore, followed by Billie Eilish’s winning record of the year.
Change in Narrative
Although women took center stage for this year’s grammy’s, the change in the narrative seems to take a shift, every year. This year’s biggest advocate being The Weekend who seems to be boycotting the Grammys as a whole. As stated previously, the change in narrative is derived from race, gender, and popularity. The Grammys faces accusations regarding bias against women of color, and an outdated voting system. An obvious example being The Weekend who performed at the 2021 Superbowl half-time show along with breaking world records with his hit record “Blinding Lights” received zero Grammy nominations, yes…zero.
Besides The Weekend, women seem to receive mass amounts of criticism regardless if they were nominated or not including minor aspects such as what they were wearing or who they came with. Ariana Grande and Lorde among others have fallen victim to the Grammys and its inequality. In an interview with NPR, Anatasia Tsioulcas discusses how the two stars were told they were not allowed to perform solo and barely had a say in their performance and setlist. The story also consists of statements from critics stating women are expected to step up their game if they want to receive awards. Sad, but not surprising.
Lack of color plays a large role when it comes to recognizing artist and their talents. The last black artists to win an album of the year award dates back to Herbie Hancock in 2008 followed by it being a woman in 1999. The Grammy’s has by far, made people of color feel alienated as well as lost faith in the system. Popularity is by far one of the biggest aspects taken into account when deciding on a Grammy winner. This year’s Grammys consisted of artists such as Doja Cat, Jhene Aiko, Haim, Noah Cyrus, and Phoebe bridges to name a few. Dojo Cat was nominated in several categories because of large hit songs “Say So” and “Streets” but fell short when it came to receiving an award, despite the large popularity.
What to expect from the Grammy’s in the future
Besides the inclusivity and fairness of women, what we can expect from the Grammys is uncertain. Society fights for equality every day regarding all races, genders, or affiliations. It’s only right that something as prestigious as the Grammy’s can and should take this into account.
To see a complete breakdown of winners from the 63rd annual Grammys, click here.
Source (s): Libbey, P. (2021, March 16). 2021 Grammys Winners List: Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and Others. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/14/arts/music/grammys-winners-list.html
Hawker, A. (2020, July 16). History of the GRAMMY Awards. Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. https://www.musicianshalloffame.com/history-of-the-grammy-awards/