by Liam O’Hara ’21 A&E Staff
The Grammy Awards show is arguably the biggest celebration held annually in the music industry. Some go so far as to describe it as the Super Bowl of the music world. Musicians and artists of countless genres work tirelessly their whole lives to be nominated for specific Grammy categories and then, hopefully, to receive a gilded gramophone for their outstanding musical works. Artists and their works that are recognized for this year’s Grammys released their respective recordings between Sept. 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2020.
The ceremony is what every musical artist hopes to be a part of one day. It is not easy to get to, and it was certainly more competitive to receive a nomination this year. Music became more of a hobby over the months at the start of the pandemic. Harvey Mason, Jr., the interim president and CEO of the Recording Academy, a company sponsored by the Grammy Awards, said, “I’ve spent a lot of time talking to artists, managers and labels and getting a feel for how the pandemic is affecting the release of music—and as I’m sure you noticed, the amount of music released has actually increased during the pandemic, so we would not want to delay our date with so much great music coming out.” Artists tend to create music when working in private settings, and over the last year, people have had more time to work in quiet environments. It really is no surprise as to why more music was released during this time spent in quarantine.
Among the pool of nominees, the most recognized artists are Beyoncé with nine nods, followed by Dua Lipa, Roddy Rich, and Taylor Swift all tied at six. Brittney Howard earned five, and Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, DaBaby, Phoebe Bridgers, Justin Bieber, John Beasley, and David Frost all received four.
Since 2000, the awards ceremony has taken place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Alicia Keys has hosted the last two years, but this year, South African comedian Trevor Noah will take over. The awards were originally scheduled for Jan. 31, but, in early January, Los Angeles County saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, causing many health and safety concerns for the community. Given the circumstances, it was then decided that the ceremony should be pushed later to March 14.
This year’s show is sure to be unique. Mason expects the ceremony to “be live at the Staples Center, with no audience, or maybe something more virtual with some elements from different locations.” Finally, Mason expects that the show will not only contain the announcement of all 83 award winners as well as performances from select artists, but that “the civic and social unrest will be recognized too, and we always encourage artists to voice their opinions, so I expect we’ll see messages both from the artists’ side and the Academy side.” Catch this year’s Grammy Awards on March 14 at 6:30 p.m. live on CBS.