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Grammy Awards

Norah Jones at the Grammy Awards
Artist Norah Jones
at the Grammy Awards
The Grammy Awards, presented by the Recording Academy (an association of Americans professionally involved in the recorded music industry) for outstanding achievements in musical recordings, is one of four major music awards shows held annually (the others being the Billboard Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony). However, the Grammys (usually held in February as the last of the "big three" music awards shows--the others being the BMAs and the AMAs) is the approximate equivalent, in the music world, to the Oscars.

Like the Oscars, the Grammys, currently with a total of 105 categories within 30 fields of music (such as pop, gospel, and rap), are voted by peers - in this case voting members of the Recording Academy - not upon popularity (as with the BMAs and the AMAs) but by merit.

The awards are named for the trophy given for them, a small gilded statuette of a gramophone. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the more prominent Grammys are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony.

The Grammy voters tend to be conservative, and are marketed to by record companies, who place great stock in some types of artists winning Grammys (accurately but cynically put as those which sell to "teenage girls and housewives"). Therefore, the main Grammys tend to go to either well-established acts or those which fall into the above categories. Hence, the Grammys are not taken seriously by some musicians or music fans.

In fact, some of the greatest acts in music history (such as Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones) have only been awarded very few Grammys. On the other hand, The Beatles have won more Grammys than Elvis and The Stones combined. For example, they won for 1966's Song of the Year ("Michelle"), 1967's Album of the Year (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), and for 1996's The Beatles Anthology.

Of the "big three" music awards shows, the Grammys are the highest rated. Some music fans believe that the competition between these awards shows (and the controversies that come with it) only press the need for a unified awards system.

The Grammys currently air on CBS.

Awards include:

  • Record of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best New Artist
  • Grammy Hall of Fame
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