2018 #GRAMMYs snubs, surprises, highs and lows

2018 #GRAMMYs snubs, surprises, highs and lows


For all that went down at the 2018 GRAMMYs, which took place at the New York Madison Square Garden, follow the links below or copy link and paste on your browser.

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Bruno Mars sweeps top awards at Grammys

Wins for Mars and Kendrick Lamar cap off year dominated by hip-hop and R&B

January 29, 2018 6:43 am by Anna Nicolaou in New York

Bruno Mars swept the board at the 60th Grammy awards, winning song, record and album of the year for 24k Magic.

Mars and Kendrick Lamar dominated the ceremony, scoring six and five awards respectively to cap off a year dominated by hip-hop and R&B as digital streaming dominates music’s biggest market.

Mars defeated Lamar’s Damn, with the politically charged album streamed on-demand more than 2.4bn times last year, as well as Lorde, the only woman nominated in the category for her acclaimed album Melodrama, and Jay Z’s 4:44.

As more people sign up to stream music on platforms such as Spotify, where R&B and hip-hop dominate, the genres have gained more clout on the music charts.

Last year, hip-hop/R&B surpassed rock to become the most popular music genre in the US for the first time, comprising 25 per cent of total music consumption, according to Nielsen. This was up from 22 per cent in 2016. Meanwhile rock, which derives more sales from physical albums, has dropped from 29 per cent to 21 per cent in the same time.

“Streaming is used by a younger audience, and hip-hop is skewed toward that same type of audience,” said David Bakura, vice-president at Nielsen. “The [Spotify] model really has spoken more to that younger, technologically engaged consumer and it’s reflecting what they are listening to . . . and that’s being reflected in the Grammys.”

The Recording Academy has long been criticised for being out of touch with contemporary music, sparking accusations of racism from fans last year when it awarded album of the year to Adele over BeyoncĂ©.

The 60-year-old institution this year offered a set of nominees skewed towards hip-hop and R&B. The most-nominated artists — Jay Z with eight, Lamar with seven and Mars with six — were hip-hop and R&B acts. None of the nominees for album of the year — the biggest prize of the night — was a rock artist and four of the five were not white.

Jay Z walked away with no awards despite leading the pack in nominations, while Mars, who has kept out of politics, was viewed as a safer choice for the top prize among more politically charged albums by Jay Z and Lamar.

“Despacito”, which was last year’s most-streamed song and topped the Billboard 100 chart for 16 weeks, was also shut out from big awards including song of the year and record of the year.

After actors used the Golden Globes to protest against sexual harassment earlier this month, the music business also looked to shine a light on the movement. Some artists and executives wore white roses and pins to support the initiative.

But with a few exceptions the music business has not undergone the same moment of reckoning as that felt in Hollywood. The biggest callout on Sunday night came from Kesha, the singer-songwriter who has accused Dr Luke, one of the music industry’s most prolific hitmakers, of sexual assault. She performed a moving rendition of “Praying”, a song from her album Rainbows, along with other female singers including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello. Dr Luke denies the allegations.

Gender inequality remains endemic at the Grammy awards. Only 9 per cent of Grammy nominees in the past five years were women, according to a study by the University of Southern California.

Winners of main awards at 60th Grammys

Album of the year: Bruno Mars — 24K Magic

Record of the year: Bruno Mars — 24K Magic

Song of the year: Bruno Mars — That’s What I Like

Best new artist: Alessia Cara

Best pop album: Ed Sheeran — Ă· (Divide)

Best rock album: The War On Drugs — A Deeper Understanding

Best R&B album: Bruno Mars — 24k Magic

Best rap album: Kendrick Lamar — Damn

-[The Financial Times]
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