×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

#GrammySoDiverse? Top Four Categories Are Notably Light on White Males

The Grammy Award nominations generally pack a fair number of surprises each year, but the 2018 main categories — Album, Song and Record of the Year and Best New Artist — are more racially diverse than any in memory. Among the artists nominated for the top categories — including Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Alessia Cara, SZA and Childish Gambino — there are several black males, several Hispanics, a Canadian of Italian descent, a New Zealander and hardly any white males. While the Album, Song and Record categories are dominated by males, three females are up for Best New Artist. Variety discussed this during an interview with Recording Academy CEO/chairman Neil Portnow on Monday.

We couldn’t help but notice the top four categories are quite diverse — you could almost start a #GrammySoDiverse hashtag. Obviously you don’t control the nominations, but do you have an opinion on that?
I like that [hashtag], let’s get that going! Actually, I do [have an opinion]. I think there are a number of elements that contribute to having a slate like we have this year. Number one, top of the list, let’s remember how we get to these nominations: It’s a voting process by approximately 13,000 voting members: They are the professionals who are making the music, and they represent all 84 categories across the board, right down to the chapter level, at the 12 cities that have chapters. Second, the results are reflecting the music of the times —hip-hop and urban music is pervasive in our society worldwide — not just in America. So when that continues to be evident and evolve, this is a reflection of that. And the third element is that we introduced online voting for the first year this year, and if you think about our voting population, they’re working musicians — and where are they? Working in the studio or touring, so being liberating from a paper ballot to an online one is a positive step forward, because it enables more people to participate and it’s a more achievable process. I think you put those together and that’s what you get, and we couldn’t be more proud of where we wound up this year.

Do you think it’s a reaction to the “Oscars So White” movement of 2016?
I honestly think that our community — musicians — really listens with their ears more than their eyes or anything else. So if you put our voters in a room with a blindfold, I think our community is very open-minded and thinks about music in a universal more holistic fashion, but our voters in particular are thinking about the craft. So I don’t know that there’s a movement here as a result of criticism and difficulties in the film or TV industry — I just think this is how our highest level of professionals feel about music today.

More Music

  • Spice Girls Open Reunion Tour in

    Spice Girls Open European Reunion Tour With Inclusivity Proclamations, Sound Issues

    Posh Spice chose not to be included, but there was a lot of other inclusivity to go around as the four other Spice Girls opened their reunion tour in Dublin Friday night. “We welcome all ages, all races, all gender identifies, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions and beliefs, all abilities,” they [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish Fans to Receive Perks Due to Chicago Venue Change

    Billie Eilish and her music agents at Paradigm are experiencing what most would call a first class problem. The demand to see the 17-year-old singer live has prompted a change of venue for her June 9 show in Chicago — from the 5,000-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 20,000-plus-seat United Center arena. The last-minute venue change [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres Buys Adam Levine’s Beverly

    Adam Levine Cashes in on Sale of Max Mutchnick’s Former Mansion to Ellen DeGeneres

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo have sold a baronial Beverly Hills mansion with an illustrious chain of ownership for a reported $45 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The mainstream radio rock star, who, it was announced Friday, will not to return as a coach on “The Voice,” and the Namibian-born Victoria’s Secret [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content