A convulsive Grammys in a disastrous year for live music

The Weeknd’s protests join the usual ones about the scarce presence of some music

The entertainment industry celebrates this evening (early Monday in these latitudes, on Movistar + from 01.25 on Monday) one of its most outstanding celebrations of the year, along with those of the Oscars. With the Grammys and their many categories, the music industry seeks to recognize the artists and groups that keep the business going and also know how to adapt to it.

The awards ceremony has left in memory unforgettable if not historical evenings, such as Kendrick Lamarr’s devastating 2016, such as Miley Cyrus’ duet with Dolly Parton or, in another sense, the massive reward Adele received in 2012 in six Grammy shape.

Heated preambles

The Weeknd’s protests join the usual ones about the scarce presence of some music

In this pandemic edition – its celebration was initially scheduled for January 31 but was postponed due to the covid – and in the strictly musical field, the nine nominations obtained by Beyoncé thanks to her album shine above all. Black parade and the six of Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch and Taylor Swift.

In the case of this one thanks to his penultimate album Folklore, recorded during quarantine. She and Dua Lipa start as favorites for the big categories. Ah! And the presence of BTS, a milestone for being the first K-Pop band to aspire to the coveted gramophones.

The BTS, in the video for their acclaimed single ‘Dynamite’


But in this edition the focus of attention is once again distributed for extra-musical reasons. Some of this has already happened in past editions such as when host Alicia Keys criticized the awards at the 62nd edition ceremony for their lack of diversity.

Or when at last year’s Tyler ceremony, The Creator questioned the racist connotations of the term “urban” used to designate one of the categories. In this case, his complaint did not fall on deaf ears since for this edition the Academy organizing the awards has changed the category of Best Contemporary Urban Album to Best Progressive R&B Album.

Dua Lipa, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift are some of the singers invited to the 2021 Grammy Awards

Dua Lipa, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift to participate in the live Grammy ceremony

Editorial staff / Third parties

There has also been some further clarification in this regard, all with the intention – according to an official note from the American Academy of Music – “to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the nomination process and rules are more transparent and fair. ”. And they have also decided – something also questionable – that in the Best New Artist category there is no quantitative limit.

Although nothing comparable with what happened when the nominations for the awards that are revealed today / tomorrow were known on November 24 of last year. The Weeknd jumped there protesting the radical omission in the candidates of his acclaimed album After hours, calling the Grammys corrupt.

Halsey also raised her voice, while Ellie Goulding publicly reflected on how creativity is rewarded. The Weeknd returned to the charge this Thursday to announce that he was boycotting the Academy, explicitly prohibiting his record company from submitting his songs to the awards in the future until there are substantial changes.

On the Grammy website

Before the awards ceremony you will be able to see the Premiere Ceremony, with Burna Boy, Lido Pimienta, Poppy and Rufus Wainwright

Against this background, a ceremony will take place today that will be halfway through the live broadcast and prerecorded parts, and that for three and a half hours will offer the prizes of the main categories as well as a juicy rosary of performances. But before the official ceremony, that is, the 2021 Grammy Awards Show, the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony will take place, which can be followed in streaming through grammy.com.

In that official pre-evening presented by Jhené Aiko, some artists nominated in this edition will perform, such as Burna Boy, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, Jimmy Duck Holmes, Igor Levit, Lido Pepper, Poppy and Rufus Wainwright. As the end of the party, a cast of stars will celebrate the half century of the song Mercy, mercy by Marvin Gaye as Camilo, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, Kamasi Washington or Gregory Porter.

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A convulsive Grammys in a disastrous year for live music

Hank Gilbert