The Grammy's Hit Some Major Highs and Lows
I wrote an article back in November about Country music’s representation in the Grammy’s based on the announced nominations, but how did the night end up? Honestly, it was the best possible outcome. I was convinced that this was going to be the year that I was going to have to hear the words “Grammy Award Winner, Sam Hunt,” and I thought it was going to literally kill me.
Fortunately for everyone he did not win, and I’m still here to breakdown what happened with respect to Country music’s representation in the 2018 Grammy’s.
Best Country Album: From A Room Vol: 1
Best Country Song: Broken Halos
Best Country Solo Performance: Either Way
Best Americana Album: The Nashville Sound
Best American Roots Song: If We Were Vampires
Zero Bro Country winners
No Grammy’s for you, and I don’t have to kill myself
Zero Bro/Pop Country winners despite several nominations
Apparently women need to “try harder”?? (see below)
Firstly, lets talk about the big winners at the Grammy’s: Chris Stapleton wins all the awards that could have gone to Sam Hunt, as well as best Country Album, and Jason Isbell’s masterful Nashville Sound gets the credit it deserves by winning Best Americana Album as well as it’s song If We Were Vampires capturing an individual award for Roots performance. Like I said in my article about the nominations, if Stapleton and Isbell win big, then all my complaints about the terrible nominations will wash away and I’ll be content. This did indeed happen, however, I still have some complaints that I will get into later.
Now, for the losers at the Grammy’s. I openly complained at the likes of Thomas Rhett’s EDM laced album, Sam Hunt’s obviously non-country Body Like a Backroad, and Lady Antebellum’s latest decent into pop all being nominated for various Grammy’s despite 2017 being loaded with great, authentic country offerings. I was more upset by the fact that so many great albums and singles were released this year (see both Steve and I’s best of 2017 articles) that were not nominated than I even was by the actual nominees themselves. However, if a lot of great country music had to be snubbed this year, at least the actual winners went mostly to the likes of Stapleton and Isbell. There is one aspect of this year’s Grammy’s that deserves a massive complaint: the lack of recognition of women, and the Grammy’s apparent opinion on this issue.
After the conclusion of the ceremony, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said that women need to “step up” in order to win at the Grammy’s. This obviously is a ridiculous statement seeing as though so much amazing music was given to the world by women in 2017. Two of my top 5 albums of 2017 were by women (Sunny Sweeney and Ira Wolf’s latest), and of the nominations for best Country song, Miranda Lambert’s Tin Man should have won in my opinion. Even beyond country, although I rarely even listen to pop music, I very much enjoyed Kesha’s latest album – even without thinking about the context of that release, it’s a good album. There were plenty of great offerings by women this year, and it’s not their fault that the Academy has its head too far up its ass to realize it. This, however, is just another example of the overwhelming disparity between male and female representation in the music sphere these days. I will never be a person who says that someone should win an award purely for diversity’s sake, but only one woman winning a major award this year is most certainly not due to a lack of quality female driven music available.
In the end, we do have a reason to be optimistic going forward though: the last 5 winners of Best Country Album have been Chris Stapleton (twice), Sturgill Simpson, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves. Also, based on the albums that have already been announced for 2018, it looks like it’s going to be a great year. So, if next year at this time I’m complaining about some terrible nominations, but the winners are actually good, I guess I’ll take it.