The Grammy Awards 2011 were two weekends ago but resentment still runs deep with many about some of the artists and acts that won and, more importantly, that didn’t. Music executive Steve Stoute has taken out an entire ad page for a call to artists to boycott the Grammys.
As he puts it, the awards, organizer National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and its president Neil Portnow have nothing in common left with current trends on the music scene.
This is the only thing that could possibly explain why such huge names like Eminem, Kanye West and Justin Bieber lost in all the major categories for which they were nominated.
“My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay – so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter. Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic,” a disappointed Stoute writes.
Not only do the Grammys not recognize anymore true talent, but they also go out of their way to please certain interested parties, while aiming to create the impression that they’re still a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
The truth is, they’re not, Stoute says. Winners are known beforehand and the NARAS would rather use stars that deserve to win for the billing, but not offer them the awards they worked hard for.
“We must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. How is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist?” the music exec asks.
“Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation?” he says.
The NARAS must act responsibly if it wants the Grammys to be an important awards ceremony as it was until some years ago. Artists, on the other hand, should boycott the Grammys until a change for the better is made.
“You are being called to task at this very moment, NARAS. And to all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves,” Stoute says.
“Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art,” he adds.
He isn’t the only one to speak of snubs during this year’s awards ceremony: as we also noted early last week, many considered that Justin Bieber and Drake had been robbed of their award.
Here is Steve Stoute’s open letter to the NARAS and the industry, as published in The New York Times.