Music’s most prestigious award!
The Grammy is a powerhouse, performance-driven music award. The annual Grammy Awards show consistently attracts millions of television viewers and a sold-out, star-studded crowd. It’s always a pinnacle event– the “Academy Awards” of the music entertainment business. The Grammys present a fairytale story of award-winning artists who have been followed by ardent fans since they first exploded the charts or emerged on the music scene; viewers truly love to see their favorite artists honored with a Grammy award.
The term “fan” is a shortened version of “fanatic”. Devoted fans spend untold millions each year on concert tickets, CDs, Mp3 downloads, t-shirts, posters and other merchandise depicting their favorite artists. The more fans an artist has, the more amazing are the financial gains and measures of success that will propel them to the stellar level of receiving a Grammy award.
This year’s 2014 Grammy awards night, as reported by CNN, drew a record 28.5 million viewers. The second largest viewing audience in over ten years represents a blockbuster year for musicians. The long-standing record for viewer numbers occurred in 1993 and viewership hasn’t fallen below 25 million since 2009.
Glitz and glamor, fashion, an energy-charged forum and star-studded attendance never ceases to attract viewers to this life-changing award event. These stars are larger than life, bedecked in fabulous jewels and fashion designers’ masterpieces (or disasters, in some cases). Grammy award winners represent celebrity achievement at its climax, a fantasy moment their viewers, often, can only dream of.
Grammy Awards night is typically the second most popular awards show of the year, (the Academy Awards ranks as first in popularity). The Nielsen’s Social Guide service labeled the Grammy Awards as “the biggest social television event of the 2013-2014 TV season, to date”. It’s following consists, mainly, of viewers between ages 18 to 54. Yet, a considerable number of viewers, today known septuagenarians, octogenarians and centennials, have faithfully followed the star-studded, exciting event since the first-ever television airing of the Grammy Awards in 1959.
As technology and social media add to the enthusiastic following, Twitter, Facebook and many other online forums are buzzing throughout the show. Guest performers, elaborate sets, the vast array of fashion and a diverse, colorful crowd combine to give music fans plenty to “kibitz” about on Twitter throughout the show. Today’s Grammy is not only popular; it is also interactive. People all over the world responded favorably by sending all kinds of messages through social media forums. Our technologically advanced venues result in increased awareness within the population at large. Twitter saw over 15.2 million initial tweets during the awards. This number went on to peak at an astounding 171,593 tweets per minute (TPM). Truly, this is huge!
The Grammys are a literal launching point for fashion. What attendees wear is a viewer’s delight, in itself. Entertainment media from all over the world monitor every artist’s entrance and they are very quick to list the “who’s who” among fashion designers. The categories of “ best and worst dressed” fill pages of hundreds of tabloids, magazines and post-show commentaries. Being identified as worst-dressed, by the way, isn’t so bad-considering the increased media publicity attained.
People talk about the Grammy long after the show is over. It is a worthy experience for fans, through both online and television viewing.
So what, really is, the Grammy?
A Grammy Award (originally called Gramophone Award), or Grammy, is an accolade awarded by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). NARAS, located in the United States, seeks to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists. Presentation of awards is restricted to those genres that have the most popular interest, reflected by their success.
The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959 to honor the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Featured artists in this groundbreaking ceremony included Ella Fitzgerald (Best Female Pop Vocalist); Count Basie, (Best Jazz Instrumental Album); Perry Como (Best Male Pop Vocal Award) and Felix Slatkin (Best Orchestral Performance), just to name a few. Even Ross Bagdasarian’s hit song for children, “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas, don’t be late) earned him a Grammy for “Best Album for Children”. From 1959 to 2014, to quote a timeless band’s famous lyrics, “what a “long, strange trip it’s been!” –The Grateful Dead, “Truckin”, Sept 1, 1977
Following the 2011 ceremony, NARAS overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012. The 56th Grammy Awards were held on January 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. A small sampling of changes include addition of “Best American Roots Song” (added to the American Roots Music Field); the “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” category was renamed “Best Metal Performance”; the “Best Short Form Music Video” category was renamed “Best Music Video”; with numerous other additions and changes developed to keep up with an ever-transforming and progressive field of musical genres. Technology continues to challenge the industry’s award presentations as social media, free downloads and underground acts literally sprout up overnight across the globe.
By celebrating music through the GRAMMY Awards for over 50 years, the Recording Academy continues its rich legacy and ongoing growth as THE premier outlet for honoring achievements in recording arts and supporting the music community. The GRAMMYs is the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry. Many awards are presented without regard to album sales or chart position. This distinction in the methodology of selecting award recipients really means a lot, considering that it will take random performers who may be brand new; with or without an established history (think, Lorde—the mature beyond her years, teenage sensation who won “Best Song of the Year with her hit single, “Royals”; and realize that what WE listen to literally drives the Grammy awards. This is a departure from decades of the “rise to stardom” mentality and can transform a musician’s life in far less time that was originally considered for success.
Over the last decade, The Academy expanded its goals. It began with the important work of recognizing the best in music through the GRAMMY Awards, then broadened its goals and establish itself as the preeminent arts advocacy and outreach organization in the country. The Academy’s mission statement is simple, yet it represents the heart and soul of the organization’s efforts: to positively impact the lives of musicians, industry members and our diverse society. The Academy can be proud of its accomplishments on behalf of its constituency. Because of the endless effort and contribution of volunteer leadership and a truly capable professional staff, , music lovers and inheritors of America’s great cultural legacy are reaping the benefits.
The origin of the Academy dates back to the beginning of the 1950s Hollywood Walk of Fame project. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce asked for help from major recording industry executives in compiling a list of music artists who should be honored by Walk of Fame stars. The music committee, made up of these executives, compiled a list. As they worked, however, they quickly realized there were many more talented industry people worthy of something different. These artists set the standard in several categories, even though they may not qualify for a Hollywood Walk bronze star. Thus, the concept of the Academy and also of the GRAMMY Awards began to take root.
What it means to be nominated!
As the most prestigious award, within the music industry, the GRAMMY is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy’s voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, without regard for sales or chart positions (GRAMMY Awards Voting Process). The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world. Artists, as diverse as their viewers, have varying ideas about what it means to receive a GRAMMY award:
“I remember watching the Grammys and looking at the performances and crying to my mom, saying how much I wanted to be there.” — Christina Aguilera
“The last thing I want is to walk into my house after a long day and see all the Grammys and awards. It would make me feel weird.” –Alicia Keys
“At the end of the day, the Grammys are about recognizing genres that are making an impact.” –Keith Urban
What is means to win a Grammy
“This is my first Grammy you guys! I mean, this is a Grammy. I live in awe of the people I was nominated against in this category.” — Taylor Swift, after winning a Grammy for Best Solo Female Country Vocal for the song “White Horse.
“I just feel like I’m standing here accepting an impossible dream right now and I thank you so much for that.” — Taylor Swift, accepting the Grammy for best country album for “Fearless.”
Interesting facts about the Grammy
- Sir Georg Solti, a Hungarian conductor, holds the record for most Grammy awards won with thirty-one.
- Alison Krauss is an American country and bluegrass singer/musician. She, as both a solo artist and as part of a group, has won twenty-seven Grammy awards, the most for any female artist.
- Quincy Jones, known for being a record producer, composer, arranger, and conductor, is also a jazz trumpetist who has won twenty-seven Grammys since 1951.
- Irish rock band U2 won twenty-two Grammys since their formation in 1976.
- The incomparable Stevie Wonder won twenty-two Grammys in the past forty-one years. He is up for two more this year!
- Kanye West, in just eight years, won twenty-one Grammy awards! He is nominated for two in 2014.
- Bob Marley His poster is hanging in hundreds of thousands of college dorm rooms, but despite his prolific output and legacy, reggae icon Bob Marley never won a GRAMMY.
- Diana Ross, the Supremes front woman never won a GRAMMY. We think her 100 million records sold worldwide will keep her company.
- Queen Though “Bohemian Rhapsody” got them a Guinness World Record and induction into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, Queen has never won an actual GRAMMY award.
- Led Zeppelin None of Led Zeppelin’s nine studio albums have ever won a GRAMMY. Guess you can still have haters even after 300 million units sold worldwide.
- Guns N’ Roses One of the best-selling bands worldwide, but they have no GRAMMYs to show for it.
- Katy Perry’s 2010 album ‘Teenage Dream’ shattered records—and made her the first female with five No. 1 singles from one album—but she has yet to see that translate into a GRAMMY win.
- Although the Grammys are to celebrate music, it is also a night for the stars to show off their style, many memorable dresses and styles are debuted on the red carpet.
- The first Grammy Award ceremony was held on May 4, 1959. The first live Grammy Awards telecast was held in 1971.
- The first Grammy Awards ceremony contained only 28 categories. These days the Grammys usually consists of more than 70 categories — with most of the awards handed out ahead of the live telecast.
- Stevie Wonder holds the record for the most Grammys won by a solo artist, with 28 Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement award.
- With a total of 21 Grammys won, Kanye West has more Grammys than the Beatles, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor combined.
- Sinead O’Connor is the only artist to refuse a Grammy.
- At 14 years old, LeAnn Rimes was the youngest person to ever receive a Grammy. George Burns was the oldest, winning one at the age of 94.
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The road to Grammy gold
Record companies and individuals may submit recordings to be nominated. Nominations are made online and a physical copy of the work is sent to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Once a work is entered, more than150 experts hold reviewing sessions of nominations from the recording industry. They will determine whether the work is eligible and entered in the correct category for official nomination.
The resulting list is circulated to all NARAS members, who may vote each year, to nominate in the general fields (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist). They may then vote in no more than nine out of 30 other fields on their ballots. The five recordings that earn the most votes in each category become the nominees, while in some categories (craft and specialized categories) there are review committees in place that determine the final 5 nominees. There may be more than five nominees if there is a tie in the nomination process.
Whereas members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are generally invited to screenings or are sent DVDs of movies nominated for Oscars, NARAS members do not receive nominated recordings. This nomination process begins an artist’s dream for going for the gold. The gold statue called The Grammy can make or break a career but will always remain the most coveted award in the music industry. TTW proudly salutes The Grammy’s and will continue to bring our readers the most informative articles in the music industry today! We encourage ALL Indie artists to strive to be the best they can be, to never give up and believe you can live your dreams; that might just lead to a Grammy! Why reach for the moon, when you might just reach the stars!