Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grammy honors sales, airplay, success

This guest post comes from Julia Knox, who is proud to share her views on pop music.


The 2012 Grammy nominations were announced last week, honoring the so-called best music of the past year. As with every year, there were snubs (no Kanye West for Album of the Year? ) and surprises (who the heck is Skrillex?).


The Grammys have turned increasingly mainstream in recent years, as seen by nominating perennial singles artists Katy Perry and Rihanna for Albums of the Year. This has caused a debate: Are they really about honoring the best music of the past year, or are they more a celebration of sales and airplay? Do the Grammys still matter?


I say yes. The Grammys still have a bit of prestige that shows such as the American Music Awards lack. The term “Grammy-winning Artist” is still a measure of tremendous success, one that many musicians aspire to. Yes, they’ve gone more mainstream in recent years, but there will be missteps every year (seriously, no Album of the Year for Kanye West, who had the best-reviewed release of the year? I blame Taylor Swift.) At least for now, winning a Grammy is still an honor.


Julia left a lifetime of Southern living to study Public Relations & Corporate Communication in NYC. She loves cooking, running, and Kanye West.

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I agree with your contention that the Grammys still hold significant power. But, how much of that is just lingering brand equity from 20 years ago? Doesn't today's instantaneous access to digital music – and peer reviews from friends on Facebook or strangers on Amazon - now trump whatever the Grammy panel might herald as the pinnacles of musical excellence?

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