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The 61st GRAMMY Awards [A Brief History & 2019 Nominations]

On February 10th, 2019 the GRAMMY Awards will host it’s 61st annual ceremony.

Originally called the Gramophone Awards, the musical achievement celebration began in 1959 with two separate locations in Beverly Hills and New York City as an idea that spawned from the Hollywood Walk of Fame project just a few years earlier.

The GRAMMY's can be considered a late-bloomer in comparison to similar highly recognized awards such as the Oscars (1930), the Emmy's (1949), and the Tony Awards (1947).

The wide success of newcoming genre, rock & roll, worried music executives who fear the rebellious sound would dilute the prestige of popular music at the time. As an effort to counterattack, the GRAMMY’s sought to reward/promote music thought to be of “quality”.

There seems to be some truth to this statement. Once an artist wins a GRAMMY or enscripts “GRAMMY nominated” to their name, record sales seems to take an additional boost.

In its early days the GRAMMY's morally conflicted with rather to honor rock & roll music or only "good" music (Frank Sinatra). It was not until 1961 when rock & roll was categorized.

The Best Rap Performance was not recognized until 1989, with DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince as winners for the single Parents Just Don’t Understand. Unfortunately, the duos acceptance of the award was not televised causing a boycott.

Over the years, the GRAMMY’s have been criticized for overshadowing Black artist in categories where the ethnicity group leads in creativity . For example, Kendrick Lamar lost Album of the Year and Best Hip Hop Album to Draft Punk in 2014.

A hip hop record hasn’t been selected for Album of the Year in over 15 years. As a result, many mega hip hop artists such as Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg have expressed the GRAMMY’s disrespect towards the genre. Those with corny rhymes receive victories over those who mimic the black experience.

Nonetheless, I believe the 2019 GRAMMY’s will change the pace. There is an abundance of artist from the hip hop and r&b genres. I’m excited to see who wins!

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