Sunday, April 10, 2011

Excuse Me, Vice-president Coco, No One Cares About Your Grammy

The Grammy Awards recently announced that they would reduce the number of award categories from 109 to 78.

Their reasoning for doing this is basically summed up by some of the critics of the decision:

The leader of Alberta powwow dance band Northern Cree says Wednesday's move by the Grammy Awards to drop the best Native American album category sends a message that the show doesn't care about aboriginal music.

I'd bet that if you surveyed a million people and asked them each to list a hundred things that they care about, giving proper recognition to excellence in aboriginal music wouldn't ever show up. What further amazes is that Northern Cree has six Grammy nominations (and zero wins, there must be a lot of nasty politics in the aboriginal music community).

There are other changes that are certainly more significant than eliminating the aboriginal music category:

. . . male and female vocal categories in fields including pop, R&B and country will be cut, with men and women now competing in one field. Plenty of other categories were cut or streamlined, too. The R&B, classical and American roots music fields have been slashed by four categories each, there will be three fewer pop, rock, country and Latin awards, and the gospel, jazz and rap sections were also amended.

One area that we've chronicled is the fact that a lot of Grammy winners won their awards for one reason that has nothing to do with the quality of their product. Consider this list of recent Grammy winners: Barack Obama, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Al Franken, and Diana Ross. You might ask yourself, why is Diana Ross on a list with a bunch of powerful Democratic politicians. And you would be correct. Diana Ross is the only person on this list who has never won a Grammy.

It's a mixed up music award that shuts out Diana Ross, but honors Barack Obama (twice), Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, and Jimmy Carter. Yet they all have won awards for Best Spoken Word Album since 1997. That means that (for the last decade plus) the Grammys have decided to toss a bouquet to a liberal politician every other year. I'd recommend this as a category to cut.