The 2021 Grammy Awards had been at all times going to be slightly awkward, given pandemic constraints. However the present managed to soldier on anyway – and indicated it has been being attentive to criticism about range and inclusion by recognizing Black and feminine artists with wins in main classes.
The Recording Academy – the voting physique behind the Grammy Awards – has been working to diversify its membership and group, accelerating efforts during the last 12 months. Viewers will likely be happy that the academy appears to be making good on these efforts for now – besides when it got here to report of the 12 months.
At Sunday evening’s ceremony, the slate of winners mirrored present music tastes and gross sales charts by honoring artists like Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift. This is a better take a look at what they bought proper – and unsuitable:
The complete winners checklist: Beyoncé makes history with most wins, Billie Eilish wins second record of the year
What did the Grammys get proper? Beyoncé, Megan Thee Stallion, H.E.R. win
Judging solely by the various array of performers – from DaBaby to Dangerous Bunny to Mickey Guyton to Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B – you would not essentially assume the Grammys had a range drawback. However while you be taught that Guyton was the primary Black feminine solo nation singer to carry out on the present, that ought to put issues into perspective.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z unexpectedly turning up immediately made the present that rather more attention-grabbing and related – and further particular, contemplating the information Beyoncé broke Sunday evening. It appeared like Megan Thee Stallion was just as surprised to see her as we had been and made their time sharing the stage collectively that rather more riveting.
H.E.R.’s tune of the 12 months win for “I Cannot Breathe” mirrored the nation’s renewed racial reckoning of this previous summer time. The academy’s recognition for the tune suggests the needle moved, ever so barely, for appropriately honoring Black artists (and Black lives). Together with Lil Child’s efficiency of “The Greater Image” which straight confronted police brutality, the Recording Academy despatched a loud and clear message in regards to the artists it selected to raise.
Earlier, greatest new artist winner Megan Thee Stallion slayed alongside Cardi B with their “WAP” efficiency. The duo’s highly effective sexual vitality and confidence had been a welcome sight for community tv paying homage to J.Lo and Shakira’s Tremendous Bowl efficiency of 2020. Contemplating how a lot Black our bodies, particularly, are policed – fairly actually – Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s unapologetic self-love informed audiences to like their our bodies, too. America: We hope you watched and realized.
We could not have basic Pleasure celebrations this 12 months however that did not imply we stopped listening to “Rain on Me.” Woman Gaga’s win for greatest pop duo/group efficiency with Ariana Grande (arguably the tune of the summer time) was a win for the LGBTQ neighborhood, too. The observe arrived in late Might forward of Pleasure Month in June and served as an anthem to a Pleasure misplaced and a hope for a future one.
And we needed to leap into the display and seize Harry Types’ feather boa throughout his opening efficiency of “Watermelon Sugar.” Types turned heads final 12 months for being the primary man to grace the cover of Vogue – and did so in a ballgown. Seeing him but once more gender-bend effortlessly on nationwide tv will empower kids to really feel they need not match into any sort of gender binary – a win for all.
What did the Grammys get unsuitable?
We hung out critiquing the Grammy nominations, which had been hit (nice information for ladies in rock and nation music) or miss (a less-than-diverse displaying of youngsters’s group nominees) when it got here to range and inclusion. However the winners themselves had been a various group, suggesting that in future years, an much more various discipline to start with might yield sustainable inclusion efforts.
“A profitable present will likely be a present that individuals love and we do not get torpedoed … based mostly on who wins and who does not,” Harvey Mason Jr., nationwide chairman and interim president of the Recording Academy, informed USA TODAY forward of the present. Given the evening’s winners, we’re guessing the academy will keep away from a significant torpedo past these preliminary nomination snubs – save for Billie Eilish’s win for report of the 12 months, which even she instructed ought to’ve gone to Megan Thee Stallion. We’re inclined to agree.
The Weeknd failed to attain a nod in any respect, prompting him to tweet “The Grammys stay corrupt. You owe me, my followers and the business transparency.” On Thursday, simply days earlier than this 12 months’s ceremony, the singer (whose actual title is Abel Tesfaye) mentioned he planned to boycott the Grammys “due to the key committees.”
No Ok-pop teams broke into any of the foremost classes, and BTS didn’t win its solely nomination for greatest pop duo/group efficiency. Whereas Gaga and Grande’s “Rain on Me” banger was greater than deserving, failing to acknowledge the dominant pressure that’s BTS (and Ok-pop at massive) is an egregious blindspot the BTS Military will not quickly forgive.
The Recording Academy has weathered controversy in recent times stemming from a scarcity of range in its membership, nominations and awards.
“If we’re ready till Grammy evening to have conversations on race and inclusivity metrics, then we’ve didn’t acknowledge the systemic points plaguing the Recording Academy and its energy construction,” Kimberly Tignor, a civil rights lawyer and founding father of Take Creative Control, informed USA TODAY earlier than the present.
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