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Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

EDITORIAL: Grammy Nominations Lack Diversity

2024 Grammy Nominations represent how The Recording Academy needs to diversify
EDITORIAL%3A+Grammy+Nominations+Lack+Diversity
Mallory Thompson

With over 25 fields of music covered and 84 awards presented at the 2024 Grammys, the same demographic of artists continue to get nominated. Since the Grammy’s establishment back in 1959, only 11 Black recording artists have won album of the year. On Nov. 11, The Recording Academy released this year’s Grammy nominations. The most known awards being Song of the year, Best Record of The Year, Best Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

Dominating the list, the Barbie soundtrack secured a miraculous 11 nominations. Phoebe Bridgers held seven nominations, Miley Cyrus with six and Taylor Swift with another notable six. While all musicians deserve to win each and every award, a theme starts to occur. Majority of the nominated artists are white. While they are all being recognized for their immense talents, is it truly necessary to pick the same artists multiple times?

To vote for a nominee, entries are primarily submitted by outside record companies and academy winners. The Recording Academy then narrows down the options by having their members’ vote by a series of ballots. 

Though over time, it has become apparent that they favor mainstream songs over anything. The academy seems to only pick songs that their audience will appreciate; many less popular or even people of color, will not be recognized for their achievements. For example, Snoop Dog has won 2 VMA’s but the academy hasn’t given him a grammy despite his 17 nominations.

Now in order to join the academy, applicants need at least two peer recommendations from well known music artists. Many critics have described the academy to be an exclusive group of wealthy artists using their power to override the system. But, in 2022, the academy invited over 2,700 new members to join in hopes to expand and diversify. 

The Recording Academy tried answering any questions referring to this major increase  by vaguely stating that 56% “belong to underrepresented communities.” Statistics show that black artists received only 26.7% of nominations while they represented over 38% of all artists on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from 2010 to 2020. Hopefully their inclusive act will diversify the system and change the outcome for future nominees. 

While each nominee deserves to be selected, there are plenty of other artists to include in the picture. The Recording Academy needs to embrace other artists, not just the household names.

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