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Grammy Awards

Viewpoint: What’s Wrong With The Grammys Anyway?

Something needs to change when it comes to the Grammys.

Curt Tagtmeier



William Shakespeare famously wrote: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” This particular bit of wisdom wouldn’t apply to the 2019 Grammys.

Perhaps “how do I hate thee?” would be more appropriate.

After the ceremony on February 10, storylines hit on quite a bit of negativity. Every other article seemed to say there is something seriously wrong with this music awards show. The ceremony itself had many criticisms aimed at it.

This year saw artists such as Drake, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and countless others refusing perform during the show. Both Drake and Childish Gambino won Grammys, which makes this a fairly serious issue. If the Grammy’s are to be the world’s benchmark award for music, then you would hope the biggest stars in your most popular genre would want to participate.

Another issue emerged when Drake’s acceptance speech for his track “God’s Plan” was cut off.  Entertainment Tonight reported that producers thought he was done speaking because Drake took a natural pause in his speech. Producers told Drake he could go back on stage, but he was happy with his comments. You would hope that those putting on this show would avoid such a mistake because it looks amateur not to recognize a natural pause in a speech.

Across the Internet, the reaction to host Alicia Keys was that she did an adequate job, but not spectacular. 

The In Memoriam segment was another issue for the telecast. Yes, XXXtenTacion was omitted, but he was not the only one that failed to appear in the tribute video. Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison and Pantera’s Vinnie Paul Abbott were excluded from the video tribute as well. There is no reason some of these other artists should have been omitted from the show unless there was a time issue, but something else should have been cut, if that was the case.

Finally, there was the collaboration between the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone, which seemed a bit odd.  The ceremony did have some uplifting moments including Chris Cornell’s children accepting an award and the tribute to Aretha Franklin.

Similar to other years, there were sore losers and even a sore winner. Ariana Grande made news the next day by saying Mac Miller not winning Best Rap Album was an unbelievable snub in a series of deleted tweets. She called it, “Bull****.”

Cardi B won the award for her album, Invasion of Privacy. It is understandable that the sentimental choice would have been the late Miller in Grande’s eyes, but Cardi B should have been the clear winner. This has truly been her year.

Yet, after her victory, Cardi B deactivated her Instagram following a profanity filled rant, which has now been deleted. She was upset with all the negative posts on social media related to her win. Chance the Rapper responded by posting this comment. “This is overly deserved, the album was front-to-back hits. It would be inconceivable not to honor u last night.”  Lady Gaga also posted on Twitter in support of the rapper, “It is so hard to be a woman in this industry. What it takes, how hard we work through the disrespectful challenges just to make art.”

Not to be outdone in terms of lashing out, Nikki Minaj responded to a negative tweet that has since been deleted posted by BET.  She commented on her refusal to perform at BET’s Los Angeles summer showcase and awards ceremony. The negative BET tweet included a link to a news article about Cardi B’s victory.

For all these artists claiming disdain for the Grammy’s, they seem to care quite a bit about winning and losing. That might never stop, but these artists need to stop being so petty. One does not hear Meryl Streep tweeting that someone not winning an Oscar is total bull****.

Another good idea for these artists would be to ask, should I really post this or will I possibly be deleting it later? It is fairly obvious that deleting a tweet never keeps it from being seen. Maybe these artists need to hire a social media advisor to avoid any such issues.

Something needs to change when it comes to the Grammys. As one headline suggested that there was quite the hangover this year. Awards shows are supposed to be fun, not filled with anger, deleted tweets, refusals, and criticism.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Curt Tagtmeier is a writer and librarian hailing from Chicago, Illinois. He has a Master’s degree in history and library science. He is currently writing a music series entitled Chances Are Music Is All I Got, which began in May 2017 available on Amazon. The series aims to review 100 live premium concerts by May 2019. Mr. Tagtmeier is currently on 80 shows so far. You can follow this journey on Instagram @chancethebook11 and his Tumblr blog, How Am I Not In The Strokes Yet. When he isn’t writing or listening to great music, Curt is most likely sleeping.

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