Grammys: A Thing Of The Past?

Photo credit: Billboard

Staff Writer, Paige Welch |

Sunday, February 12, was the night of the annual Grammy Award Show on CBS. It is a five decade running tradition and celebration of musical contributors within the United States. Over the years though, it has transitioned from a more traditional awards show structure to a showcase of pop and mainstream Hip-Hop artists.

Most of the time is not dedicated to the presenting of the actual Grammy Awards, but rather, to the long list of celebrity appearances. It could be considered a three hour long concert filled with decorative performances of top Billboard hits. The main appeal of watching an award show on television is to participate in pop culture and to see the art forms being appreciated by a larger audience. But, there are mixed feelings about the television genre as a whole, particularly the Grammys.

One SUNY Oneonta student was asked about her feelings on award shows in general: “I just love pop culture and I like getting to see all of the celebs together and see what they’re wearing.” The draw to these events, the reason why award shows always rake in millions of viewers nationwide is because of the love of pop culture.

When asked about the Grammys in particular she said: “I think the performances are the best part of the Grammys. I’m excited for Adele’s performance, because she’s a queen, and the possibility of Beyonce performing because it will definitely be incredible.” But, even though she considers herself someone who generally enjoys the Grammys and watches them mostly every year, she does not find it to be a perfect event. According to her, the most problematic aspect of the Grammys is that “it’s always the same artists who are being recognized.”

Not many people seem to feel strongly against it as a concept. A Music Industry major at SUNY Oneonta had a few things to say about what he finds bothersome about the annual award show. He said, “It’s fun to watch, but a lot of the times it feels disconnected from what is really going on in the music world! It’s cool that they’re slowly getting more in touch, but it’s still a big issue.”

While scrolling through social media platforms such as Twitter, it’s easy to get a feel of how people are reacting to the program. Many users are posting positive reactions to the live performances, particularly the collab between Carly Rae Jepson and Lil’ Yachty.

Perhaps the biggest annoyance is the representation of only a few genres. Though Pop and Hip-Hop prevail as the most sought-after and listened to genres in the country, limiting representation to only a tiny fraction of what the music world has to offer eliminates the potential exposure for a lot of talented musicians.  But because it’s such a large scale event, it must appeal to its audience. Having little known people appear on stage may not be the best strategy for attracting viewers, though the production is in a position where it could expose emerging recording artists to the public eye.

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