Opinion: Are the Grammys rigged?

Faith Worden, Reporter

The Grammys- a prestigious music award show, celebrating the achievements and success of artists in the industry. But, is this show so prestigious and highly acclaimed after all?

After their most recent award show on Mar. 14, people are raving about big winners like edgy-pop artist Billie Eilish and on the rise hip-hop artist Megan Thee Stallion. As deserving as these artists are for these awards, there is some controversy with some artists who were well-deserving of awards who did not walk away with awards or weren’t even nominated.

The Weeknd, a Canadian singer, songwriter and producer, is one of the many artists speaking up about boycotting the Grammys.

The Weeknd’s newest work, After Hours, is argued to be his best album yet. Despite this, he was not awarded, or nominated, for a Grammy.

The ‘Blinding Lights’ singer went to Twitter to share his thoughts after the Grammy’s nominee list went up last November.

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” he shared online.

While The Weeknd has been one of the larger artists to speak up about the faults in the Grammy’s, other artists have done the same. Justin Bieber spoke out online after the Grammys nominated him in pop categories rather than R&B for his 2020 album Changes.

“I am flattered to be acknowledged and appreciated for my artistry. I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said, I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me,” Bieber wrote on his social media.

With these different concerns regarding the Grammys being displayed on social media, the Grammys shed 53% of the 2020 award audience, according to Variety.

It appears that the Grammys have robbed and left confused several artists, taking them away from well-deserved nominations or awards. Nicki Minaj was another artist who took to Twitter following the announcement of the Grammy nominees.

“Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on Billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver,” Minaj said.

Something that should be considered in the process of figuring out the faults in the Grammys is, what is the process of getting nominated? What is the decision making process in doing this? Billboard broke this interesting process down. It all starts with an artist submitting their different works for consideration. Then, a group of ‘experts’ (not quite sure who these people are or what their qualifications are), review the selections and cast ballots to determine the final nominee list. Lastly, Grammy voters review this finalized list of nominees and place one vote in up to 20 categories.

This process seems somewhat fair, but my concern is about these so-called ‘experts’ and their criteria in choosing nominees. What makes a song, an album, or an artist ‘nominatable’, and what makes other artists not? Does there need to be a new set of criteria, a new group of experts reviewing and voting?

I think there needs to be more transparency within the people working behind the scenes of the Grammys so there can be accountability for faults and mistakes, but also for praise on what they are doing right. Maybe allowing more transparency will lead to less faults and controversies.

The controversies regarding their nominees, the lack of diversity represented and possible manipulation have gone all the way back to the 1960’s, so these accusations are not all of a sudden.

All of these accusations make me question, can we rely on the Grammys? Can we truly trust these ‘experts’ in telling us which artist, pop-album or so on and so forth is the best? The Grammys have truly lost their credibility after so many allegations.

It’s obvious that the Grammy’s cannot just go out and reveal everything that goes on behind the scenes and their different processes, but some transparency would allow them to be open, get accountability and be able to stay true to their word. I think the best step is to admit that they have weaknesses, maybe reveal some more details about their processes without revealing too much and create a mission to do better.