Grammy weekend was a lot this year. With internal scandals hanging ominously over the event, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Diddy pulled out of their performances or appearances last-minute. Then, an unspeakable tragedy struck with the passing of Kobe Bryant, overshadowing not only the awards show but the entire media landscape. I am still trying to process it all.
Alicia Keys was a saving grace as host, maintaining the perfect tone from beginning to end, but the academy’s damage had been done. It’s time for drastic changes if the Grammy’s want to remain relevant, which I explained to the Cheddar following last week’s newsletter. They need to clear the deck like an artist trying to bounce back. Fire the whole lot and put a new team in place. Then maybe we won’t have to witness another lop-sided clean sweep for a white artist and the continued ratings decline.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Billie Eilish; her songs, her story, her style, her relationship with her brother. She was everywhere last year from the Clios to the international festival circuit and it’s remarkable that she went from a bedroom in Hollywood to the top of the charts that fast. But did she really deserve all “big 4” awards plus her brother taking home producer of the year? This feels like the Macklemore mistake all over again. I’m a Macklemore fan but he even knew it was egregious to win best rap album over Kendrick. On Sunday, it seemed Billie felt the same guilt.
The alternative to an old boys club voting is a data-driven approach. I’m fascinated by Spotify’s idea to do an awards show based solely on streaming data, à la YouTube choosing their award winners based on video views. There’s something to this, my friends, especially now that it’s clear the Grammy’s no longer represent a holistic view of what’s happening in music.
But enough about that. It’s time to switch our focus to the world’s biggest media event, the Super Bowl. I’m compelled by J.Lo’s come back. She’s on fire with a hit movie, a massive sold out arena tour, and kicked it all off with a CRWN taping in NYC in the Spring (wink wink). Sunday she’ll take the world’s biggest stage alongside Shakira and guests. 50 never looked so good and latinx music is center stage. It should be an amazing night in Miami!