How to Freshen Up the Grammy Awards

Getting rid of the polka category was good, but more should be done
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 11:00 AM CST
How to Freshen Up the Grammy Awards
Get these two together at the Grammy Awards, even if it's just back-to-back performances, writes Todd Martens.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

(Newser) – The 52-year-old Grammy Awards, which until recently still featured polka, are more reluctant to make changes than the Oscars and the Emmys. As we wait for tonight’s nominee unveiling, Todd Martens offers up some ideas for how the awards can stay relevant, in the Los Angeles Times:

  • Give album of the year to Kanye West: Once a frontrunner, his loudmouth antics now have people doubting whether he’ll even be nominated—but there’s no question that he’s “been the face of hip-hop since 2004,” and he deserves to win.

  • Don’t give Taylor Swift too many awards: “As the CMAs, AMAs, VMAs, and ACMs all went and gave Swift top accolades in 2009, Grammy voters shouldn't feel obligated to follow suit.” Swift is great, but she doesn’t deserve album of the year.
  • Stop ignoring independent labels: Indie artists have resoundingly and regularly cracked the top 20 on the album chart. "Grammy voters have largely been blind to this shift. The best new artist category is an obvious place to sneak in some indie newcomers, and the Jonas Brothers don't count.”
  • Change the eligibility period: Timing is the only thing keeping Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3, Pearl Jam’s Backspacer, and Rihanna’s Rated R—among others—from being considered this year.
  • Get rid of more categories: “Really, no one truly knows the difference between best R&B album and best contemporary R&B album (Mary J. Blige seems to waft between both without any rhyme or reason).”
For the complete list, click here.

(Read more Grammy Awards stories.)

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