The Grammy Awards are considered music's biggest night. It's the only awards show where music megastars and the newly famous are brought together as equals, with their chances for winning an award not relying on popularity but on votes from their music industry peers. (Including me! Woot woot!)
Yet when it comes to pop culture cred, the Grammys take a back seat to the Oscars and Emmys. From Homer Simpson famously tossing a Grammy out of the window in 1993 to the huge backlash just last month after One Direction, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus were snubbed for nominations, it's becoming increasingly popular to hate on the Grammy Awards.
The numbers don't lie. Over the past couple of years, the Oscars and Emmys have seen increased ratings, with the 2013 Oscars beating all the other award shows. Last year, the Grammys' ratings dropped 28 percent. Still, the 28 million viewers it did draw is hella viewers.
Of all of the entertainment awards ceremonies, the Oscars is the oldest. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started presenting the Oscars to the film industry in 1929. The Emmys came along in 1949. The Grammys are the new kids on the block, appearing in 1959. Could the awards show's late arrival to the scene be part of the reason why it doesn't have the same prestige as the others? Is some old-school haterade being spilled on music's biggest awards show?
One reason people love the Oscars and Emmys so much is because the couture gowns and formal menswear turn their red carpets into a glamorous fashion show. The Grammys red carpet is not exactly formal. The Academy definitely suggests you come formal but, ummm ... when I went last year I wore a leather jacket. It might not be the fanciest red carpet in the world, but hey ... nobody has ever shown up to the Emmys or the Oscars being carried in a giant egg pod. That's pure entertainment.
I think the reason people don't gravitate to the music awards like they used to is because these days musicians are so accessible that seeing them on an awards show is no longer something special. It used to be that fans knew musicians only through their music. Actors are always presenting some kind of persona, so you can sorta feel like you know their personality. Musicians' personalities used to be seen only in performances and interviews. Now, social media is here. The mystique is fading.
Sunday's Grammys show is gonna be huge. Beyonce and Jay Z will perform (together?), Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons are performing together, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are performing together ... if this doesn't get people tuning in, then I don't know what will.
I won't be attending this year because I'm in Chicago working on my own project, "Respect My Disrespect." It's a bummer to miss such as awesome lineup, but no matter how many times the Grammys may be snubbed by culture snobs or fashionistas, the fact remains that millions of people like me who truly love music will be watching. And isn't that all that really matters?
RedEye special contributor Nikki Lynette, a Chicago native, is an indie recording artist whose music appears on MTV, VH1, Showtime and more.
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