You might remember last year when Adele, crying and cradling her Grammy for Album of the Year at the end of the night, tearfully told audiences that Beyoncé actually deserved the award.
It was a moment in which the Grammys ceremony actually reflected what people have been saying about it for years: the Grammys are kinda racist. Even though black artists make music that’s actually more popular than what’s in the “pop” categories, they don’t usually win in the big name categories like Album of the Year or Record of the Year. Black artists are often relegated to categories like rap and R&B and rarely move out of them. In the entire history of the Grammys only ten black artists have won Album of the Year. And artists have been taking note and backing off, as people like Drake and Frank Ocean have opted out of the charade because of how the Grammys snubs artists of color.
Which is why it’s incredibly important that, this year, the Grammy’s Album of the Year category includes zero white dude artists (aside from a few producers in the background like Jack Antonoff, for example.) Lorde is the only white artist in the category of four other performers: Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar. The diversity also carries over into Record of the Year, where Justin Bieber who is nominated for “Despacito” is the lone white artist.
This was the year that online voting was introduced to get younger members to vote, so perhaps the diversity in the Grammy nominations are a result of that change. But my question is: if Donald Glover wins a Grammy next year after earning an Emmy for Atlanta this year, how likely is it that he will be on the path to earning an EGOT?!