Questioning the Legitimacy of the Grammys


MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock

Photo by MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock

The Grammy Awards and the Recording Academy have been denounced by respected artists, exposing fraud and secrecy within the system, which completely defeats the purpose of crediting artists for their work as musicians. Every single year it seems as if more viewers and esteemed artists have been coming forward and questioning the authenticity of the show and the genuine intentions of the Academy giving out special awards.

In the last few years, many claim that the Grammy voting process is full of corruption and conflict of interest, although the Academy announce they decide fair and ethically. Artists such as Eminem, Zayn Malik, The Weeknd, Halsey, and Drake have all moved to social media to share their opinions on the award show. 

This year, Zayn shared with his followers that he believes The Grammys are rigged and spoke harshly against the Recording Academy. The Weeknd has also accused them of corruption and snubbing every artist of deserved awards. Other artists have refused to keep attending the show.  

Despite all of the billboard and Itunes’ success, the Weeknd has not received a single Grammys nomination despite the record-breaking year full of hit songs. In November, he tweeted, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency.” Later, he told the New York Times that he would never submit his music to the Academy again. 

Many have been distrusting the Academy and wondering how they decide who should win the award. What makes a song considered for the title, how do they compare records, and how is the voting process with the members? If someone like The Weeknd didn’t receive a nomination, what makes other artists worthy? The unfairness continues to show. 

Back in 2012, Nicki Minaj went to Twitter to express her opinion about the award show. “Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award, when I had seven songs simultaneously charting on billboards and a bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade. I went on to inspire a generation, but they gave it to the white man Bon Iver.” This tweet made many people think the Academy shows an incredible amount of bias against certain artists, especially those who might have more “explicit” songs and reputation in the industry. 

At times it seems almost as if the show considers which artist can reel in the most viewers and attention rather than delivering the award to the artist whose song made an impact that year and an artist that deserves it. Time after time, it’s proven that even artists who have earned respect that year, good charts, fantastic work, and earn incredible support from listeners, it’s still not enough to win. Why is that? This show is losing all credibility when they choose shock value and popularity over pure talent. 

The Grammys have not fairly awarded so many women, people of color, black artists and continue to make viewers question the legitimacy of the entire show and voting process. 

Legendary albums by black artists have been snubbed during the nomination process. Such albums include Off the Wall by Michael Jackson, Prince’s 1999 album, Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson, and many other albums by some of the most important, influential, and talented black artists of the time. Grammy’s continuously diminished black artists even when they were at the top of their fame and forget to acknowledge albums that held so much impact culturally and continue to stay relevant today and when they were released. 

Within the award show’s entire history show, only ten black artists have won “Album of the Year.” Looking back on some of the most impactful artists, it’s a shame they never received the recognition they deserved for their contributions to music. History continues to repeat itself each year with this show as people who have contributed most to music culture are not honored. What does that say about the Grammys?