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HuffPost: Will the Grammy's 2018 be a breakthrough moment?

Music 5 December 2017

Adrian York

Adrian York, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Music Performance at the University of Westminster, has written a blog post for the HuffPost about the Grammy nominations for 2018.

The blog post was prominently featured on the main Entertainment page of HuffPost.

York noted that much attention was paid to the nominations after last year’s trending Twitter hashtag #grammyssowhite which highlighted the issue that music artists from ethnic minority backgrounds are underrepresented in the awards. Looking at what changed this year so that the nominations include a much more diverse line-up, he wrote: “One major factor could be a move to online voting with the 13,000 voting members being able to access all nominated tracks and vote on the same website. This transition from paper submissions is seen to have widened voting participation from younger members of the academy who are likely to be travelling regularly and for whom online engagement is a more accessible route to participation.”

York said: “The big story from this year is that R&B and hip-hop artists have dominated the four categories that garner most media attention - best new artist, record of the year, song of the year, and album of the year.”

He also pointed out that “There are no women nominated for record of the year and Lorde’s album Melodrama is the only female fronted record with a shot for album of the year. R&B artist SZA has gained five nominations making her the most successful woman in a year dominated by male artists.”

And he added: “But the biggest sensation in the 2018 nominations has to be the decline of Ed Sheeran whose single Shape Of You and album Divide were both tipped for the top prizes but which have been relegated to the less prestigious pop categories.”

He concluded: “With #grammyssomale already trending it maybe also be that next year’s Grammy story will be about recognising more female talent outside of the gender silos of pop and R&B. What is for certain is that while issues of race and gender are so highly featured in our politics and popular culture, the awards that we bestow upon the artists who reflect our times will continue to be a highly politicised, controversial and entertaining space.”

Read the full blog post on the HuffPost website.

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