Are black artists OVERrepresented at the Grammys?

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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:35 pm

There have been lots of people claiming that Grammy is institutionally racist, despite people like Beyonce and Kanye West and Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones and Stewie Wonder being some of the biggest winners (even Obama has a Grammy).

They often point to the supposedly lack of black winners in the most prestigious Album of the Year category, without actually taking into account of facts.

Is racism only possible against black acts? With 13 black winners, black people are actually OVERrepresented in Album of the Year:

There have been 60 Albums of the Year. 1 was a compilation so for all intents and purposes shouldn't even be counted here, but still, 13 black winners is 21.67%. How many black people are there in the US? Not even 13%!

There's close to 6% Asians. 1.5 winners = 2.5%.

More than 17% of the USA are Latino. 3 winners = 5%.

Who's actually the underrepresented group?

---

And winning against women?

Who won in 2017? Adele. 2016? Taylor Swift. 2015? Beck. 2014? Daft Punk. 2013? Mumford & Sons. 2012? Adele. 2011? Arcade Fire. 2010? Taylor Swift. 2009? Plant & Kruass.

In other words, in the past 10 years, 4.5 were women. Was that really a gender imbalance?

---

And if your argument is that the Grammys award artists worldwide, and so global demographics should be taken into account...May I remind you that China and India both have larger populations than the entire African continent has? And many of them aren't even black. How many winners have China and India collectively produced? 0.
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Postby Pompeii » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:42 pm

Good, Whites have been overrepresented for too long.

But yes, the more diverse the Grammys become, the better we're going to be at reporting on these systems of oppression.
Last edited by Pompeii on Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby biscuits » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Interesting.
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Postby Debs_Wild » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:49 pm

Thank you for this informative post, Hilary. I love facts. :D
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:53 pm

Black artists have done so much for music as a whole though, not just r&b and hip hop. We have black people to thank for rock music, to thank for what we know as pop music, dance music, etc.... It's only fair they get their fair due given how much they have imprinted on our musical culture as a whole
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Postby TIfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:00 pm

The argument is being represented with the music they create. Blacks have created many genres of music, but have not gotten the credit for it. The Grammys will honor a white soul singer in the main categories before they will a black soul singer in the main categories. The moment Sam Smith came our, I knew he would sweep the main Grammy categories. Same thing for Amy and Adele. Don't get me wrong, these artist are truly gifted, but Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, etc... will not get the appreciation they deserve, but if a white singer comes out with the same style, they will sweep. Blacks have created so much, but it will only get recognized by the white artist that call them "influences" like Elvis did. That's why there was an argument on Blacks being underappreciated at the Grammys.
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Postby Jonathan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:04 pm

The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
Last edited by Jonathan on Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TIfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:05 pm

Another thing. Why is it that when someone of Asian or Middle Eastern heritage is not represented, it's Black people's fault? I've been seeing this argument for a few years now.
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Postby heppolo » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:10 pm

TIfan wrote:Another thing. Why is it that when someone of Asian or Middle Eastern heritage is not represented, it's Black people's fault?
Don't agree with the initial title of the topic, but I'd love to see some Middle Eastern or K-Pop album winning AOTY as a completely outside choice not based on popularity and sales, Or some flamenco metal from a Maori artist.
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Postby TIfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:14 pm

heppolo wrote:
TIfan wrote:Another thing. Why is it that when someone of Asian or Middle Eastern heritage is not represented, it's Black people's fault?
Don't agree with the initial title of the topic, but I'd love to see some Middle Eastern or K-Pop album winning AOTY as a completely outside choice not based on popularity and sales, Or some flamenco metal from a Maori artist.
It would be a beautiful moment, but others need to stop blaming Blacks for their lack of representation.

BTW, Bruno Mars is not Black. He has Asian ancestry from what I recall.
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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:36 pm

Pompeii wrote:Good, Whites have been overrepresented for too long.

But yes, the more diverse the Grammys become, the better we're going to be at reporting on these systems of oppression.
I don't really care about this over or underrepresentation business, but if we are going by that standard, people must not claim Bruno's win as anything but finally some recognization for Asians and Latinos, two of the biggest ethnic groups in the world.
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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:40 pm

NothingFails wrote:Black artists have done so much for music as a whole though, not just r&b and hip hop. We have black people to thank for rock music, to thank for what we know as pop music, dance music, etc.... It's only fair they get their fair due given how much they have imprinted on our musical culture as a whole
TIfan wrote:The argument is being represented with the music they create. Blacks have created many genres of music, but have not gotten the credit for it. The Grammys will honor a white soul singer in the main categories before they will a black soul singer in the main categories. The moment Sam Smith came our, I knew he would sweep the main Grammy categories. Same thing for Amy and Adele. Don't get me wrong, these artist are truly gifted, but Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, etc... will not get the appreciation they deserve, but if a white singer comes out with the same style, they will sweep. Blacks have created so much, but it will only get recognized by the white artist that call them "influences" like Elvis did. That's why there was an argument on Blacks being underappreciated at the Grammys.
That's irrelevant. The argument from representation is based on demographics. Black acts are overrepresented based on the numbers.

If your argument is then based on "contribution to music", you are saying Asians and Latinos don't do music, because not only have they not won much, nobody is really complaining about it. And if your justification is that Asians and Latinos have contributed little to western music, then you're saying music that's not western music isn't actually music.
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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:41 pm

TIfan wrote:It would be a beautiful moment, but others need to stop blaming Blacks for their lack of representation.

BTW, Bruno Mars is not Black. He has Asian ancestry from what I recall.
Bruno Mars's father is half Puerto Rican (Spanish mixed with Native American) and half white Jewish (Hungarian and something else).

His mother is Filipina (Pacific Islander mixed with Spanish).
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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:44 pm

TIfan wrote:Another thing. Why is it that when someone of Asian or Middle Eastern heritage is not represented, it's Black people's fault? I've been seeing this argument for a few years now.
It's not black people's fault, and I didn't make that point at all.

I made the point that some people are saying Bruno Mars's win represents the continuous snub of black artists. Both premises are false because he is a minority, a more underrepresented minority, himself, and black artists are in reality overrepresented among AOTY winners.
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Postby clh_hilary » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:56 pm

Jonathan wrote:The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
It's because most of them don't produce music that appeals to the mass. The Grammys is clearly mainstream-driven, and so to win in the general awards, one needs to produce music that appeals to everyone. That is the case with Bruno Mars, that is the case with ADELE, that is the case with Taylor Swift, that is the case with Norah Jones, that is the case with Whitney Houston, and that is the case with Michael Jackson. They do have a bias in favour of rock and jazz music, possibly due to their older demographics, but it's absurd to cite the fact that black artists who the mainstream audience have never heard of not winning AOTY as a proof of the Grammys' supposed white supremacy.

In fact, in recent years at least, black artists might have been victims of their own success. This year, for example, both Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z were nominated - being so sonically similar meaning they would compete for each other's votes. Unless you're advocating for a system a la the Singaporean presidential election for underrepresented minorities to have exclusive elections (resulted in a walkover this time around for them), that's always gonna happen unless that album is a crossover success. And even so, black artists would not be the group that gets an exclusive year, because black artists are not underrepresented looking at the demographics.

Case in point - where are the AOTYs from "essential country acts"?

How many AOTYs have Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, George Strait, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Florida-Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Tammy Wynette, LeAnn Rimes, Pasty Cline combined won?

I can very well then say Taylor Swift (who only won with pop-crossover albums) and the Dixie Chicks (only won after they practically left the country music community) are the only exceptions. Can I then say it's racism against white people?
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Postby bm08 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:58 pm

What is a similar breakdown, by race, of Grammy voters?

I think that would add greater context to this discussion, which frankly, shouldn't be based on numbers alone.
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Postby cheapthrills » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:59 pm

Call me when a rap album actually manages to win a major award.
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Postby TIfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm

clh_hilary wrote:
NothingFails wrote:Black artists have done so much for music as a whole though, not just r&b and hip hop. We have black people to thank for rock music, to thank for what we know as pop music, dance music, etc.... It's only fair they get their fair due given how much they have imprinted on our musical culture as a whole
TIfan wrote:The argument is being represented with the music they create. Blacks have created many genres of music, but have not gotten the credit for it. The Grammys will honor a white soul singer in the main categories before they will a black soul singer in the main categories. The moment Sam Smith came our, I knew he would sweep the main Grammy categories. Same thing for Amy and Adele. Don't get me wrong, these artist are truly gifted, but Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Macy Gray, etc... will not get the appreciation they deserve, but if a white singer comes out with the same style, they will sweep. Blacks have created so much, but it will only get recognized by the white artist that call them "influences" like Elvis did. That's why there was an argument on Blacks being underappreciated at the Grammys.
That's irrelevant. The argument from representation is based on demographics. Black acts are overrepresented based on the numbers.

If your argument is then based on "contribution to music", you are saying Asians and Latinos don't do music, because not only have they not won much, nobody is really complaining about it. And if your justification is that Asians and Latinos have contributed little to western music, then you're saying music that's not western music isn't actually music.
How can blacks be overrepresented when it's the music they created. Blacks simply were saying, can they win for something that is created by them. That is no different than Asians upset over Scarlett Johansson or Matt Damon playing Asian heroes. The thing is Blacks will fight for and others will sit quietly and point fingers. But then tell blacks to be quiet because they are not equally being represented as the blacks, when they finally get rewarded.
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Postby TIfan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:32 pm

clh_hilary wrote:
Jonathan wrote:The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
It's because most of them don't produce music that appeals to the mass. The Grammys is clearly mainstream-driven, and so to win in the general awards, one needs to produce music that appeals to everyone. That is the case with Bruno Mars, that is the case with ADELE, that is the case with Taylor Swift, that is the case with Norah Jones, that is the case with Whitney Houston, and that is the case with Michael Jackson. They do have a bias in favour of rock and jazz music, possibly due to their older demographics, but it's absurd to cite the fact that black artists who the mainstream audience have never heard of not winning AOTY as a proof of the Grammys' supposed white supremacy.

In fact, in recent years at least, black artists might have been victims of their own success. This year, for example, both Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z were nominated - being so sonically similar meaning they would compete for each other's votes. Unless you're advocating for a system a la the Singaporean presidential election for underrepresented minorities to have exclusive elections (resulted in a walkover this time around for them), that's always gonna happen unless that album is a crossover success. And even so, black artists would not be the group that gets an exclusive year, because black artists are not underrepresented looking at the demographics.

Case in point - where are the AOTYs from "essential country acts"?

How many AOTYs have Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, George Strait, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Florida-Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Tammy Wynette, LeAnn Rimes, Pasty Cline combined won?

I can very well then say Taylor Swift (who only won with pop-crossover albums) and the Dixie Chicks (only won after they practically left the country music community) are the only exceptions. Can I then say it's racism against white people?
Newsflash, Blacks invented country music. But we saw what happened when a Black woman performed at the CMA awards.
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Postby Goldmoney » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Pompeii wrote:Good, Whites have been overrepresented for too long.

But yes, the more diverse the Grammys become, the better we're going to be at reporting on these systems of oppression.
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Postby Hugo » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:40 pm

I'm all for discussing things, but the motive of this thread's creator is disgusting.

Jonathan wrote:The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
This.

Black acts receive black awards. They want them there because they're the ones who DELIVER the performances people talk about the next day.
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Postby bluecherry » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:50 pm

Black artists almost never win the major categories. Black artists are creating the most innovative and political modern (and past) music.

They may be statistically overrepresented (the inclusion of R&B, UC, HH, Rap/Sung etc) but artistically it might even be the other way around.
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:06 pm

clh_hilary wrote:
Jonathan wrote:The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
It's because most of them don't produce music that appeals to the mass. The Grammys is clearly mainstream-driven, and so to win in the general awards, one needs to produce music that appeals to everyone. That is the case with Bruno Mars, that is the case with ADELE, that is the case with Taylor Swift, that is the case with Norah Jones, that is the case with Whitney Houston, and that is the case with Michael Jackson.
I think its truly safe to say that Marvin, Prince, Sam Cooke, Aretha, Sly, Jimi, Beyonce, Kendrick and Kanye had/have more mass appeal than Norah who just happened to have the album every dinner party person needed to have that year. Those artists definitely have mass appeal and tons of classics to their names.
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:15 pm

Jonathan wrote:The most essential black artists of their respective times were snubbed in the major awards.

AOTY:
Miles Davis: 0 nominations
Sam Cooke: 0 nominations
Otis Redding: 0 nominations
John Contrane: 0 nominations
Aretha Franklin: 0 nominations
Jimi Hendrix: 0 nominations
Sly and the Family Stone: 0 nominations
Marvin Gaye: 0 nominations
Prince: 2 nominations, 0 wins
Public Enemy: 0 nominations
N.W.A: 0 nominations
2Pac: 0 nominations
Kanye West: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Beyoncé: 3 nominations, 0 wins
Kendrick Lamar: 3 nominations, 0 wins

and the list goes on. Stevie Wonder and Michael are the only notable exceptions.

The Grammys committee are a bunch of white supremacists.
I dunno if it's "white supremacy" as much as it's safe boring middle aged white people who are afraid to give the award to anything that dares challenge listeners or could perhaps "alienate" someone for not being cookie-cutter enough. They would have no problem giving AOTY to someone like Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston or Lionel Richie (who won over the "explicit" Purple Rain as well as the white, but anti-Reagan Born In The USA, even though Lionel's album actually sold the least of the three and is the least classic of them), inoffensive artists who just happened to be black, but not "scary" to old white people even though all the aforementioned artists you listed made better albums than the ones Natalie and Lionel won for. But to be fair even with white artists they rarely take a risk and would rather give AOTY to people like Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Celine Dion and Steely Dan, artists my mother could listen to without any shock or appalled behavior, while Eminem, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones (younger people are so used to them always being this dinosaur act that everyone reveres because of their longevity, but parents hated them in the 60s and 70s and they were perceived as evil and bad role models), Led Zeppelin, Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, REM and other "white" acts who perhaps were too scary too middle American suburban grandmothers or maybe touched lyrical content that didn't fly with them or something.

Michael belonged to everybody in 1983, it made sense he won, plus notice how the awards stopped rolling in once he became more controversial... Stevie made some serious political statements in his iconic 70s work but I think white middle America gave him a pass for being blind so they could respect his talent even if he had songs that were just as sociopolitical as the "scary black man" Marvin was doing.
Last edited by NothingFails on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby heppolo » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:17 pm

bluecherry wrote: Black artists are creating the most innovative and political modern (and past) music
I don't wanna argue about that, let's just say innovative and political modern mainstream (and past) music :)

I'd like to see a Native American to win a major category (currently there are notable names like Sky Ferreira, Kid Cudi and Angel Haze out there in the biz)
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