The Grammys Are The Worst Award Show. But I Still Watch.

About four times a year I like to cave into capitalist, consumerist society and watch all of the award shows. I can’t help it, I’m a huge movie/music/T.V./Theatre junkie. I love pop culture and I love artistry so much, so these nights are always ones that I tune into like it will be my last.

The Grammys were last night, the 4th, and I was more excited than usual because pretty much all of my favorite singers were nominated in some way or another. Taylor Swift was nominated of course, but I was thrilled to see boygenius getting nominated for I think it was seven categories, as well as the chance for Lana Del Rey to finally receive some recognition for how amazing her discography is. The Best New Artist category was stacked with Ice Spice, Noah Kahan and Victoria Monet. And while I don’t gravitate toward SZA, I can recognize that SOS was one of the best albums of the year. This year was actually hard to predict.

Boygenius won three awards before the show began for Alternative Music Album, Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. This was a hard category for me because Lana Del Rey was nominated for the same awards they were so while I was actually screaming with joy at my phone when I saw they won, my heart still sank for Lana. But, boygenius are my three time Grammy winners and it was well deserved! “The record” was a masterpiece. Phoebe also won an individual award for her song with SZA, “Ghost in the Machine,” making her the most awarded artist of the night. 

Lana’s been nominated eleven times and has not won a single award. The biggest snub for her was the 2020 Grammys when she lost AOTY for “NFR” to Billie Eilish for “When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go.” “NFR” is a lyrical masterpiece and is considered not only one of Lana’s best but one of the best albums of the generation. I genuinely thought that this year she was going to win something. Maybe not AOTY, but at least Best Song, which ironically enough, she lost to Billie Eilish. Again. Her music may not be as popular as Billie’s or Taylor’s, but it’s arguably much better, lyrically, sound-wise, just technically so much better. She deserved something and if they couldn’t even give her anything for DYKTTATUOB then what would they give it to her for?

Another big highlight was Taylor Swift announcing her new album, “The Tormented Poets Department,” which is an album that screams English major, and I am very excited. But something about how she announced it at an award show where a majority of the artists are less popular than her so she overshadowed many smaller artists didn’t sit right with me. 

Suddenly, everyone was talking about Taylor Swift instead of artists like Victoria Monet, who had a huge year and won Best New Artist, or Miley Cyrus who finally won her first Grammy after almost twenty years in the industry. It seemed very out of touch to me, but it’s not like Taylor is a recorded mean girl. She’s proven time and time again that she supports other artists and pays her employees considerably well. She’s not an inconsiderate person, I just think it was an inconsiderate moment.

Jay Z won one of the honorary awards and pointed out that his wife, Beyonce, is the most awarded artist in history but has never won album of the year. That led me to do some research into why Beyonce never won, and then I found that no black woman had won AOTY since Lauryn Hill in 1999 for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” “Since the Grammys launched in 1959, only 37 albums by 25 Black women have earned nominations for album of the year.” There seems to be no Latinx artist who have won as well as no Asian artists. And with so many talented, big artists, there is no way this is okay.

I saw people online saying that last night was a huge night for feminism since only women won the major categories. But isn’t that a little bit ignorant to say? Only white women won all the major categories. Last night was a loss for a well-deserving black woman who arguably should have won AOTY- and I can acknowledge that as a Taylor Swift fan. So on one level, yes, it was a big night for feminism, but we still need to be able to criticize the academy’s favoritism towards other white artists.

The Grammys has arguably become one of my least favorite of the award shows. It’s become the most popular out of all of them, which is fine to get viewership, but it’s completely unfair to artists who dedicate themselves to their work just to be overshadowed by an artist ten times more popular than them.

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