Criticized last year for their lack of responsiveness at the heart of the wave #MeToo , the Grammy Awards, have taken several steps to open up to diversity, a policy which could come to fruition on Friday with the announcement of nominations for the batch of 2019. A single victory for a woman, the Canadian Alessia Cara sacred revelation of the year, among the twenty main categories, the pill was not passed, on the 28th of January last, at the 60th Grammy awards, the price of the music community american.
The keyword #GrammysSoMale (“Grammys so male”) had not been slow to flourish on Twitter, as much as Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars, the two big winners of the evening, had not once mentioned the women’s movements #MeToo or Time’s Up , celebrated on stage by many singers.
To make matters worse, the president Neil Portnow had had words miserable a few hours after the end of the ceremony, inviting women to “change gear” to win also awards.
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The critics were in the list of appointments, but also the composition of the members of the Recording Academy, the representative body of the professionals of music in the United States, in which the white men of mature age were over-represented. After months of dispute, the Academy has relented, create a “task force for diversity and inclusion” and take a series of measures.
The most visible has been the transition from five to eight named in the four major categories, namely the album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and newcomer of the year. The professional body has also made changes, less visible but more profound, such as the transition to electronic voting, to encourage the young musicians to participate. In early October, the Academy went a step further by offering to become members (with the right to vote for the Grammys) to 900 artists who exhibited diverse profiles to enhance the representativeness of the institution. The first tangible result, the validation committee of the nomination committee is now comprised of 51% females and 48% of members are non-white, compared to respectively 28% and 37% a year ago.
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But for that change to materialize in the eyes of the public and of the industry as a whole, it will have to wait for the appointments on Friday, and the winners, the 10 next February, in Los Angeles. Among the best-placed for this 61st edition figure the rapper Cardi B with his first album, Invasion of Privacy but also his collaboration with the pop group Maroon 5 on Girls Like You . The evening could also be good for the couple Beyonce – Jay-Z, carried by his album event Everything is Love , after a ceremony in 2018 difficult, where Jay-Z had finished empty-handed despite eight nominations. Always in the top category of album of the year, the canadian rapper Drake, Taylor Swift, or even Janelle Monae, will have their say.
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Side pieces, the nominations and the awards will be a test for the Academy, which has the option of showing politics with This is America of Childish Gambino and going apeshit Fan , or to stay in the entertainment, as in January of this year with Bruno Mars. In this second scenario, God’s Plan Drake, or Girls Like You Maroon 5 are well-positioned for recording of the year and song of the year, even if it is also a securities message.