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Photo Credit: The Recording Academy

The Grammys are not a symbol of talent and success (Op-Ed)

For many years, the Grammy Awards have served as the music industry’s pinnacle of achievement recognition. But the Grammys’ once-gilded reputation has faded with the years, and many wonder whether they are as meaningful as they were. Closer inspection exposes a defective system that puts popularity ahead of quality, causing worthy artists to be overshadowed by transient celebrity.

Consider the situations between Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Blake Shelton. Even though they have received several nominations, these performers have never won a Grammy. There are also The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, and Diana Ross. No one could deny their impact on music history, yet they were never awarded a Grammy for their legendary careers. The Grammy committee failed to recognize the generations-spanning contributions of even Bob Marley and Bjork.

A major contributor to this discrepancy is the Grammys’ voting procedure. Grammy winners are chosen by industry insiders, who may not be acquainted with lesser-known or rising musicians, unlike other major awards that depend on critics or public ballots. That opens the door for trends and prejudices to influence the result in favor of well-known faces over up-and-coming performers.

Additionally, emerging artists seeking to break through find it difficult due to the focus on notoriety and connections inside the business. Power couples like Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who have won several Grammys between them, further distort the competition. The real indicator of creative brilliance is muddled by the pursuit of fame and money under this system.

Worryingly, there is a very low standard for what is considered award-worthy music. Some trailblazing musicians, like Cardi B, may have won, while others whose work has changed music forever have taken home nothing. The credibility of the Grammy committee’s present standards and criteria is called into doubt by this disparity.

A deeper reality lurks beyond the surface of awards season: the lasting influence an artist has on society and culture, rather than their number of honors, is the true indicator of their legacy. Artists of today deserve the same acclaim as those who have left an indelible mark on music history, even if they did not win Grammys for their work.

True excellence is more than just a collection of Grammys; it is timeless and transcends any prize. It’s about time we reevaluate what’s important and start celebrating those whose contributions last well after the cameras roll. That is the only way to honor the artists whose work will endure forever because of their impact on our world. 

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