Advised: Turn Off the 64th Grammys!

Are the Grammys even worth the watch when you’re bound to be upset? Oh, and when they’re rigged…?

Advised: Turn Off the 64th Grammys!

By Corinne Mead, Reporter

Heading into its 64th anniversary in April 2022, the annual Grammy Awards ceremony will surely spark up another controversy worthy of debate: is it rigged? 

Before making your assumptions, I will first explain how the voting process works. By now, most people know that the Grammys does not directly involve just any music-lover; a Final Voting committee decides the winning artist. The committee is comprised of musical experts, and they are directed to vote exclusively in their area of expertise. 

With that, one might think it is nearly impossible for a well-deserving artist to lose to an underdog, but we cannot be so naive. The reality is that society has become so empowered, that when an artist that is highly-expected to win, loses, fans go ballistic. 

The history of the Grammy Awards has evidently shown the frustration and upset music-lovers experience when their favorite artist did not win. 

For example, in 2015, multi-genre musician, Beck, took home a gramophone for Best Album of the Year (Morning Phase) over his fellow nominee, Beyonce. Even after Beck praised Beyonce for her nominated album (Beyonce), fans remained outraged.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Wins Best New Artist | GRAMMYs - YouTube
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on stage, receiving their gramophone for “Best Rap Album” (The Heist). Outrage followed, and they received close to none celebration.

In 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won Best Rap Album (The Heist) over highly-respected rapper Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City). Lamar’s album was regarded as an artistic masterpiece, and a majority of fans were very public about their anger.

In the category of Best New Artist, in 2012, Bon Iver ended up taking home the gramophone over Nicki Minaj, Skrillex, and The Band Perry. 

One thing, however, remains difficult to differentiate: the experts’ opinions and the peoples’ opinions. In 2021, about 8.8 million tuned in to watch the Grammy Awards, a huge decrease from the yearly average of 18.8 million. Easily the most impactful factor explaining this significant decrease is the upset afflicted upon the fans. 

You would think: an artist who sold millions of copies of their albums and songs, racked up millions of dollars in sales, and topped tons of charts, would be giving their acceptance speech on stage holding their gramophone, but I guess not. You would think: an artist that has obviously proven to influence millions with their music would be named a Grammy Award winner, but I guess not. 

No one can ignore success, especially when it comes to 21st century technology; where corporations like Billboard, Rolling Stone, and TIME record and publicize the most trending songs and most influential artists. 

This is where suspicion regarding corruption at the Grammys arises. It makes no sense that an “underdog” would ever be given a gramophone over an artist that is highly-valued among society? People suspect that political and racial biases, along with favoritism, hinder fair voting among the committee. 

Even Grammy-nominated artists have shared similar opinions on social media. 

the weeknd grammys | Tweet quotes, Grammy, The weeknd
The Weeknd’s tweet in November of 2020 perfectly displaying his anger with the Grammy’s. Since then he has refused to be nominated for a Grammy nor participate in the ceremony at all.

The Weeknd explained as of the 2021 ceremony, that he “would no longer allow his label to submit his music to the grammys.” He claimed that: “The Grammys remain corrupt. You [the Recording Academy] owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”

Additionally, Justin Bieber came out with a statement on Instagram explaining that his album Changes was wrongly nominated as a Best Pop Vocal album, all the while, it was obviously written as an R&B album. “For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B Album!” Bieber said. 

How could a so-called “musical expert” wrongly nominate an album for its genre?

With musical artists and musical fans being like-minded regarding the Grammys, it has lost its reputation as one of the highest-respected music award ceremonies. A majority of Grammy-watchers prefer to participate directly in the voting process, as provided by the American Music Awards, MTV Music Awards, and more. They do not ignore numbers and take into account every voter’s opinion. 

Numbers matter, influence matters.