What artists expect from the show’s new leadership – Billboard


Ahead of the 64th annual Grammy Awards, slated for Jan.31, 2022, there have been plenty of artists, songs, albums and more to be heard amid the ongoing pandemic. With the Recording Academy appointing three new executives – co-chair Valeisha Butterfield Jones, CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and co-chair Panos A. Panay – to lead the Grammys, Billboard asked artists of all genres the following question: What should be their top priorities when it comes to awarding prizes?

BRELAND: The highest priority should be to recognize the ever-changing musical landscape, much of which exists between traditional genres. Many of the top songs from the past year merge genres in ways the world has never seen before. Trying to measure a song that dances between R & B / country against a traditional country song by the same metric is a difficult task, and I hope these new leaders are up to the challenge.

Japanese breakfast: The Recording Academy should strive to represent the greatest pioneers of music in all genres. It must promote an art that refuses complacency, an art that is both timeless and visionary. It should recognize the systemic forces that have sought to silence some of the most powerful voices in musical history and prioritize diversity alongside technical skill and a true depth of heart.

Nicholas Petricca (Walking on the Moon): I’ve always admired the Grammys as a platform to celebrate artists who make great art, as opposed to the popularity contest that awards shows sometimes become. I would really love to see the spotlight focus on emerging and established artists who bring new light and originality, and expand their respective genres, especially the more mainstream ones.

Paloma Granny: Diversify the [group] who votes for artists to be nominated, allows more talent to be incorporated into the performance of the show [and have] equal representation on the show across gender, culture and gender.

SG Lewis: I think the three things new leaders should prioritize are representation, diversity, and fair voting. It is important that the awards reflect the opinions and talent of the wider music community.

Vic Mensa: I think the new Grammys leadership should bring together an authentic group of people to represent hip-hop that the culture trusts to make decisions that accurately reflect the craft beyond the business metrics of success.

Ye Ali: I think the top priorities should focus on properly categorizing music selections for awards like R&B and Pop, [and] ensure black women are fairly represented in categories.

This story originally appeared in the December 11, 2021 issue of Billboard.


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