Are the Grammys a Valuable Awards Ceremony?


Maroon Staff

Issues with gender and diversity, along with failed efforts to recognize Black female talent in the music industry, were some of the controversies plaguing the 2023 Grammys.

Rory Winston

On February 5, the 65th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held at Arena in Los Angeles, California. The night ended with Beyonce making history by winning her 32nd Grammy, making her the first artist with the most Grammy wins in history. Despite this, many are upset that she did not take home a Grammy for album of the year, which was awarded to Harry Styles’ album, Harry’s House. However, that was not the only controversy of the evening.

Issues with gender and diversity and failed efforts to recognize Black female talent in the music industry were some of the controversies plaguing the 2023 Grammys. In the 65 years of the award ceremony, only 11 Black artists have taken home the coveted award. Of the 11 artists, only three of them have been female performers. The last female artist to take home the award was Lauryn Hill with her 1999 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Furthermore, Beyonce has only won once in one of the four main categories for the Grammys. In 2010, she won the Song of the Year award for her song “Single Ladies.” Out of all Beyonce’s accolades, only one has come from the four categories. 

The Grammy’s history of failing to recognize Black talent in the music industry has not gone unnoticed. Viewership of the Grammys has decreased in the past ten years, dropping to an all-time low of 8.8 million in 2021, only gradually increasing in the last two years. 

Furthermore, the Recording Academy has also come under scrutiny—receiving criticism for its issues with gender and diversity. To combat the critiques, the Recording Academy has promised to expand voting membership to diversify the voter pool, hopefully allowing Black talent to receive more recognition in the awards ceremony. However, results have yet to be seen.

The Grammys intends to recognize and award notable works in the music industry. However, the Recording Academy’s issue with gender and diversity impacts the outcome of the awards. So the question remains: Does the Grammy’s lack of recognizing Black talent in the music industry decrease its value as an award ceremony?