When great music gets recognised, that usually has a positive effect on the people who make it and the industry as a whole. For that reason, awards exist in the world of music to honor those who contribute to a song’s success. This includes artists, producers, songwriters and videographers. In addition to the coveted Grammys, there are a variety of other trophies handed out in different areas of the music business.
While award shows aren’t the final word in what makes great music, they can still be important indicators of trends and a good way to showcase talent. Some of the most memorable moments from these televised events include the times that music’s biggest names took to the stage to perform their biggest hits. From the time Rihanna sported a green fur outfit with matching green boots as she commanded the stage to deliver her hit “Bitch Better Have My Money” at the BRITs in 2015, to when country star Jason Aldean performed his song “Burnin’ It Down” while he was surrounded by pyrotechnics at the CMAs the same year.
These moments were all made possible by the prestigious Grammys, which is an annual ceremony put on by The Recording Academy to honour the recording industry’s most talented artists and musicians. There are 84 categories in total, including Album of the Year (which honours the performers and production team behind an entire album), Record of the Year (which is awarded to the songwriter/s of a single track) and Best New Artist (which is given to a promising breakthrough singer-songwriter).
The winners of these awards are determined by votes from members of The Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which is comprised of hundreds of thousands of professionals working in all aspects of the music industry. In general, the top five recordings in each category receive a nomination. However, in some craft and specialized categories, review committees decide the final nominees.
While some critics have alleged that the Grammys are not necessarily a fair reflection of artistic achievement, a win or even a nomination often brings with it a deluge of retail interest for an album or a single. Even if an artist isn’t a winner, appearing at the show can help inform thousands of clueless listeners about an album they may not have known existed.
It might be interesting to see what would happen if the Grammys were to shift their focus to rewarding cultural – rather than commercial – accomplishment. While that might free the winners from a blow to their creativity, it could also mean that a lot of good music would go unrecognised.