GRAPHIC BY DENISE THUONG
By ANA-SOFIA MUÑOZ
These artists have a nomi-need for success—much unlike the award show that grants it.
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards occurred this past Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Los Angeles Staples Center. The music award ceremony took place in the wake of the deaths of basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Multiple artists commemorated the two throughout the night: for instance, host Alicia Keys started the show with a speech addressing the tragedy and dedicated a special performance to the father and daughter pair. Even in the midst of the heightened emotional state, performances featuring artists like Ariana Grande, Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Tyler, the Creator served to entertain audiences tuning in nationwide.
Perhaps one of the most notable aspects of the night was the diverse array of award recipients.
For example, artist Lizzo, who rose to fame late last year, was nominated for an astounding eight Grammy awards. These eight categories included the four major awards, upheld as especially substantial accomplishments in the music industry: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist. To achieve all four nominations is known as a “Grand Slam,” an incredibly rare feat for musicians, considering only ten other artists have scored a Grand Slam in the history of the Grammys.
Additionally, in a record breaking turn of events, eighteen year-old Billie Eilish, the eccentric pop star who cemented her name in the music scene last year, also earned a Grand Slam in nominations alongside Lizzo. This marks the first time in Grammy history that two artists have achieved this goal in the same year. Evidently, it goes without saying that Eilish swept the music industry off its feet in 2019; she received a whopping five awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. Despite receiving numerous bouts of criticism, Eilish ultimately proved her worth to the public in this display of just how well-received her music is. The young musician beat a multitude of other accomplished artists like Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande, serving to establish her stance as a newly prominent figure in pop music.
However, in spite of the star-studded show and exceptional performances, the Grammy’s ratings continue to rapidly decrease. Viewership has been dwindling within the past several years, with this recent award show reaching an all time low. Television ratings reveal that the majority of audiences were drawn away from the award show by other programs.
Undoubtedly, if the Grammy awards hope to continue in the same manner that they have for decades, they must take into account new ways to draw in more viewers. Even considering the number of popular artists in attendance, accompanied by record-breaking achievements, these components were unmistakably not enough to keep audiences engaged. Clearly, it is imperative to the future of the award show that those who direct the event are able to innovate it in a way that attracts more viewers.
Whether you view the Grammys as a needless show of subjective achievement, or a telling presentation of the state of the music industry, one thing is for sure: the future of the Grammys lies in the hands of those who manage it.