The Always Unpredictable Grammy Awards Face New Surprises

The Academy has taken steps to address these issues, but it is not yet clear whether this will be enough to quell opposition. Last year, it eliminated its long-term use. anonymous screening committees Identifying many candidates that The Weeknd and others describe as unfair. Still, just a day before this year’s roster is announced in November, the academy’s the rules have been changed Adding two places to the ballot in the top four categories, allowing stars like West, Taylor Swift, and Lil Nas X to be nominated. days later, Drake withdrew from the competition Despite making no statements in the two rap categories for which he was nominated.

The academy’s CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., said in an interview that the academy is working to regain trust among its members. “My hope,” he said, “is that we will gain the trust of all who are untrustworthy.”

So far, the music world seems willing to give academia the benefit of the doubt.

“The problem with institutions like the Grammys is that there’s always a sense of nostalgia and tradition, so change is usually a little slower,” said Ghazi, founder of independent music label Empire. “But some of the conversations we had were encouraging.”

Willie Stiggers, known as Prophet, an artist executive and co-chairman of the Black Music Action Coalition, said he took the Grammy leaders to his word on their commitment to promoting diversity within the organization. “The Recording Academy is a reflection of American society,” he said. “It will take more than a year or two to uncover all this.”

One area where the Grammy Awards, and the music industry as a whole, has shown a stubborn lack of progress is the advancement of female creators. This week, the latest edition of an annual study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California found that credits to women in pop music have remained essentially flat over the past decade. According to the study, only 23.3 percent of artists named in the top 100 songs last year were women, while a commitment to hire more female producers and engineers in 2019, sponsored by Grammys, had hardly any impact.

“Despite industry activism and advocacy, little has changed for women on the popular charts since 2012,” Stacy L. Smith, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

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