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The Golden Wave

Are The Grammy’s Rigged?

Taylor Swift at the 2020 Grammy Awards
Taylor Swift at the 2020 Grammy Awards

Every year the Grammys are held at the Staples Center to recognize the achievements of talented, hard working artists. But are the Grammys true to its original intent or has it turned into a popularity contest?

The first annual Grammy Awards was first held on May 4th, 1959 in Beverly Hills, California, with the first winner being Domenico Modugno, who won Record of the Year for his song “Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)¨. The song was widely recognized as a classic lounge tune and quickly gained popularity due to Mondugno´s talent. The winner of best new artist of the 2022 Grammys was 19 year old Olivia Rodrigo. This didn’t come to a surprise to many, as the breakout artist´s first album ¨Sour¨debuted at number one on the billboard charts for 5 weeks, making it the longest reigning debut album by a female artist. But a question that arose to many was whether the young star was truly deserving of this award or if it was only presented to her because of her popularity.

In a world where the charts are dominated by songs that are more reliant on its sound rather than its lyrical content, it’s apparent that many of the Grammys go to these artists, rather than other musicians who are deserving of these awards. In 2013, Hip-hop artist Macklemore won best album in the Hip-hop category. Many watchers were outraged by this, and claimed that breakout star Kendrick Lamar´s debut album ¨good kid, M.A.A.d city¨ should’ve won this award. In the Grammys’ eyes, Macklemore´s upbeat, hook-reliant album stood more of a chance than Lamar´s deep-rooted, conscious lyricism. Macklemore himself even agreed with this, as after the awards ceremony he took to Instagram, posting a message he sent to Lamar stating ¨ You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and it sucks I robbed you…¨.

Another problem that’s seen at the Grammys is the problem of race priority. Many artists of color have seen awards get robbed from them with no other explanation than that their competitors were white. At the 2023 Grammys, 28 year old Harry Styles won album of the year for his third solo album ¨Harry´s House¨. Many saw this as a problem, as many of the artists who were also nominated in the category were people of color like Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, Mary J Blidge and Kendrick Lamar. Fans of Styles argued that race was not a factor in this decision, and that out of all the artists who were nominated, he was the most deserving, as to that date he hadn’t received a single Grammy.

To this day and for many years to come, the Grammys remains to hold its place as one of the
most prestigious awards that you can win as a musician. But with this title that this award ceremony holds, it’s important that these awards are distributed fairly and justifiably. If the grammys can’t acknowledge the true achievements of artists, then is it something people should tune into?

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About the Contributor
Nia Rose Green
Nia Rose Green, Staff Writer
Hi I’m Nia Green. I’m in 11th grade and I’m a writer for the Golden Wave. I’m a huge movie buff, and I love watching all genres of movies and writing reviews for them on Letterboxd. I also enjoy writing screenplays, as I aspire to be a screenwriter or a journalist. Writing for the Golden Wave is a great opportunity for me to explore both of the potential fields I want to work in.