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Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Grammys or Scammys?

Grammys or Scammys?

It’s that time of year again, artists in the music industry getting awarded for their huge accomplishments throughout the year of 2023. Trevor Noah returned to Los Angeles on February 4th, 2024 to host the 66th annual Grammy Awards. 

There are 91 different nomination categories, from Best Pop Album to Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. In this year’s ceremony there were three new categories, Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording. 

Over the years the award show has stirred up some controversy on if it is entirely fair and accurate. People were upset after the 2023 award show when Harry Styles won Album of the Year for his 3rd album “Harry’s House” instead of Beyonce. Styles winning wasn’t entirely the issue, in his speech he said “this doesn’t happen to people like me often”. This statement stirred the pot because Styles was up against 5 women and 3 men, 2 of whom were men of color. People were confused by his statement because Styles is a white man in the music industry. Fans then defended Styles’ statement by saying it was because he grew up in a small town in England, so he still sees himself that way. 

This year was a big year for new artists. The nominees for Best New Artist are Gracie Abrams, Ice Spice, Noah Kahan, Jelly Roll, Fred Again…,Coco Jones, and Victoria Monet. Though this wasn’t the first year they released music it’s the first time they’ve been nominated. 

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One thing that isn’t new is the host. Trevor Noah has hosted the award show for the last four years. “They should change hosts so we can get a different feel of the show,” Baylee Fosselman expressed. “Maybe have a woman host for more diversity and just a change.” Fosselman suggested. 

The first Grammy ceremony happened on May 4th, 1959 in Los Angeles. The ceremony was started to celebrate and honor all musical accomplishments of 1958. The event started as a black tie dinner event, but over the years has transformed into a televised red carpet ceremony

that excites artists and their fans. In the first ceremony, there were only 28 categories, which is about a third of the amount today. 

Over the years people have felt that the award show has lost some appeal to the public eye. “They definitely don’t get as much attention because certain artists don’t get nominated or win,” Fosselman stated. When the list of nominees came out on November 10th, 2023, fans were a little upset by the lack of Asian representation. The popular Korean boy band BTS was not nominated for the 2024 Grammy and they lost all 5 of their 2023 nominations. People brought to attention the fact that BTS is the only K-Pop group to be nominated but they haven’t won. 

Another thing that has upset viewers and even made some stop watching was the fact that the fans don’t get a say in who wins. The winners are determined by the Recording Academy Voting Members. “There could be a bias within the academy and voters.” Ellie Anderson proposed. People can be nominated more than 20 times and never win. Producer Morten Lindberg was nominated 28 times, yet she’s never won. Even some of the biggest artists of all time have yet to win, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Tupac, and Jennifer Lopez have all yet to win even with multiple nominations. “There’s a lack of people of color representation in winners, like Nikki Minaj has never won,” Allie Tucker shared. 

The ceremony as a whole is an enjoyable experience to watch and it’s exciting to see who wins especially for first time nominees and their fans. First time nominee Gracie Abrams has been making music since 2019 but this past year has gotten a lot of attention because she opened up for some of Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ shows.

After that her popularity skyrocketed. She released her 3rd album February 24th, 2023 with popular songs “Know It Won’t Work” and “Where Do We Go Now?”. Abrams’s popularity spiked after her song “I miss you, I’m sorry” was featured in the Netflix Original show “Ginny and Georgia”. 

Even with all the first time nominees, there are many artists who people wish would be nominated, more women and more people of color. “There is a lack of people of color and women of color involved in the show,” Tucker expressed.

Out of the 65 ceremonies that have happened there have been 5 women hosts, 3 of whom were women of color. Alica Keys in 2019 and 2020, Queen Latifah in 2005, Whoopi Goldberg in 1992, Rosie O’Donnell in 1999 and 2000, and Ellen DeGeneres in 1996 and 1997. Since 2021, comedian Trevor Noah has hosted the ceremony. Noah is a man of color from South Africa, he was the host of The Daily Show for seven years but in September 2022 he announced he was leaving. 

For many artists this was not their first go around, singer and songwriter Taylor Swift was nominated for 6 different awards for the 2024 awards and now has a total of 14 Grammys. She was the second youngest person to win Album of the Year and the 12th female artist with the most awards. Swift was nominated for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo, and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

One person who is not a stranger to the Grammys is the one and only Beyonce, who won 32 awards, her first being in 2001 for her hit song “Say My Name”. Beyonce released one song in 2023 but it came out after they announced the nominees, so Queen B was not nominated for any Grammys this year. 

Victoria Monet was the lucky winner of Best New Artist, Monet released her first song “Malice in Wonderland” on June 3rd, 2013. Her song “On My Mama” released June 16th, 2023 was #1 for R&B/Hip-Hop on the Billboard Hits. Monet also helped artists like Ariana Grande write their hit songs like “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings”

Taylor Swift made history once again by breaking the record for most wins of Album of the Year and announced her 11th studio album “Tortured Poets Department” being released on April 19th. 

Jay-Z stirred the pot at the show during his speech, “She [Beyonce] has won more Grammys than anyone and never won Album of the Year”. He also stated that some people don’t deserve to be in that category. 

Overall, the ceremony was huge for women in the industry, Billie Eilish won Song of the Year for “What Was I Made For?”, boygenius won “Best Rock Performance” and “Best Rock Song” for their song “Not Strong Enough” and “Best Alternative Music Album” and Miley Cyrus won her first Grammy for “Record of the Year” for her hit song Flowers and “Pop Solo Performance”. “This year was very successful for women in the industry,” Anderson said.  

Unfortunately, not for all women. It’s normal for the Grammy to announce winners before the show is on air, this year the Grammy’s official Twitter (X) account tweeted the winner for “Best Rap Song” and stated that Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s song “Barbie World” was the winner. They quickly deleted this mistake but not before Minaj could get #Scammys trending. The topic of the Grammy does not come lightly for Minaj since she has been nominated a dozen times and has yet to win. After last year’s show, Minaj went on a rant online stating that there is an unfairness in the academy. 

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