The 2018 Grammy Awards Ceremony is already making waves. On Tuesday, the nominees for the Grammy’s 60th annual show were released and many celebrities and members of society are shocked and excited.
For the first time in 19 years, no white men or group are nominated for the “Best Album of the Year” award. All male nominees are people of color, the nominees include: Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars, according to the Independent.
Many prognosticators and fans, according to The Washington Post, believed that the two nominees were going to be pop singer Ed Sheeran for his album “ Divide” or Kendrick Lamar’s album “DAMN”, but they were only half right. Of course, Sheeran not getting nominated caused a Twitter frenzy but soon turned into the realization that all male nominees were Black for the first time in almost 20 years. In response to his fans disappointment and claims of being snubbed, Sheeran stated on the Ellen show “Maybe this isn’t my year…validation comes from actually seeing people enjoy the songs. I'd rather have a lifetime of people coming up to me and saying: ‘this is my wedding song’” according to Billboard.
In the past few years, many award shows including the Grammys has been criticized for the strong and apparent absence of diversity in the winners. Last year’s Best Album winner was Pop singer Adele over the legendary Beyoncé album “Lemonade.” This was an outrage to the public and even Adele herself realized she was not deserving. On twitter she tweeted: “what the **** does she have to do to win Album of the Year? That's how I feel,” according to the Huffington Post. Also, the year prior to that White pop singer, Taylor Swift, was victorious over Kendrick Lamar’s sensational album “To Pimp a Butterfly.” With this years nominees it does not seem like race will beat talent.
For many years now, Black music artists have been dismissed despite their astonishing talent. This award show is the biggest night in music and for too long artists who are doing something less challenging, less personal, less time consuming and less imaginative take the night. It is unclear if the deciding process of nominees had anything to do with the Academy taking the negative feedback from viewers into consideration or not, The Washington Post reported that the Grammys opened up online voting for a wider range of ballots for the first time ever this year.
This year’s Grammy has a lot of hype behind it due its big change and many are eager for the night of the ceremony. Will Jay-Z give credit to his wife’s hard work over the years? Will any of the winners mention the 19-year gap? Whatever does happen, it’s nice to see that society recognizes the societal importance and influence rap music has on this era. The Washington Post had a interview with Recording Academy president, Neil Portnow on the matter and he spoke highly of the results and what it means in terms of moving forward. “The results are reflecting the music of the times – hip-hop and urban music is pervasive in our society worldwide – not just America,” said Portnow. “So when that continues to be evident and evolve, this is a reflection of that.” As much as everyone enjoys belting out one of Taylor Swift’s or any other catchy pop songs in the car, it will be nice to witness a person of real talent to win a Grammy for Album of the Year this coming ceremony.