As award season unfolds, it's not just movies we look at. Music lovers will be waiting for Nov. 30 when the Grammy nominations are announced. And when listening, remember, there is no way they can get to all of them considering the vast amount of categories. Over the years I have lamented the idea of over 100 categories. I have also noted eventually we all will either win a Grammy or be nominated. Now, the Grammy folk listened to the cries to streamline the awards and they have done so this year. Not much, but a little. On to the matter at hand, however. It has come to my attention that some controversy is brewing with a leaked report that certain artists are, for the lack of a better word, banned from the dance category. Perhaps they should have just omitted this one. Anyway, rumors are flying that Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Ke$ha have been moved to ONLY pop music fields. The speculation is so rampant that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, may release a statement regarding the not-confirmed news. They are the controlling body of the Grammys. My take, who cares? There are way too many categories and this proves it.
Update: And that is at the heart of the battle now. The categories. I was mocked and even politely ignored when I brought up this very subject over the years. Well, it is here now. - - - Who cares? Apparently, another angle has arisen and a Grammy controversy surely has, too. Let's take a look at where we are now: Well, for starters, their are now 78 categories, down from 109 last year. That means changes and to many, needed ones, but with that comes anger, or at least disappointment.
The press stories
From DNA (Daily News and Analysis): Latin jazz musicians Bobby Sanabria, Mark Levine, Ben Lapidus and Eugene Marlow have sued the organisers of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards for scrapping the Latin jazz category gongs and thus "devaluing" the genre. The musicians have slammed the reduction in the number of gongs in the event as "racist."
From The Independent: entire genres of music will have disappeared when the latest nominations are announced in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Music artists such as Bono and Sting are being increasingly criticized for not speaking out about the issue.
From Music Week: organizers of the Grammy awards have come under fire for dropping categories representing entire genres of music - angering some of the world's most respected musicians. And this is just one category. One has to wonder how other omitted artists feel, like the singers and dancers above?
When the news first hit
Now, let's go back to April when this was all unfolding. A Reuters story started like this:
(Reuters) - In a major Grammys overhaul designed to reduce the bloated structure of the music industry's top awards, organizers said on Wednesday they would slash the number of categories to 78 from 109 for next year's ceremony. Many existing categories will be merged, while some will be dropped outright with contenders from different musical genres required to compete in new, all-purpose categories. The top awards -- album, record and song of the year, and best new artist -- will remain untouched. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said the changes followed discussions that involved "some pretty passionate discomfort" and would be "a little unsettling" to some musicians. But he said a restructuring was necessary to maintain the "prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music".
The nominations will be released Nov. 30 and we can only wonder why this is just coming up now. We all knew and many, deep down, asked for the changes, including many in the press corp. Oh, The Grammys can also be noted for forgetting and overlooking many great artists. Any award panel can be so accused. With over 100 categories recently, one would think that would be harder to accomplish.
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