Grammy nominations represent diversity

Breandan Gibbons, Rubicon TV: Executive Producer

After the announcement of the Grammy Awards, diversity finally seems to be breaking into music award shows. With the award show airing in New York City on January 28, 2018, lineups feature the most diverse group of nominees of any major award show.

The Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 60th annual Grammy Awards on the morning of Tuesday, November 28. The nominations featured the most diverse list of artists ever. It does not fully represent the way that art reflects a diverse society, however, these nominations actually recognize minority artists, unlike many film awards to date. The worldwide hit Despacito is the first Spanish song to get a nomination for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Grammy Nominees Kendrick Lamar, Producer No I.D, Childish Gambino, Sza, Khalid, Jay-Z, and Bruno Mars are a part of the most diverse group of nominees in Grammy history.


Every single nominee for Record of the Year featured a person of color as the lead artist. And for the first time ever, a white male artist did not get nominated for Album of the Year.These are just a few of the ways in which the award show have been inclusive to other cultures.

This lineup finally represents the way the music industry transitioned in the last decade. While there are still problems with both racial diversity and gender diversity, it is better than the past.

A good metric to determine what younger people are actually listening to, with the rise of streaming services like Apple Music, are the top charts of those streaming services. Apple Music’s top chart, for example, includes just twelve white lead artists in their top 50 songs. The previous year the number was as low as two artists.

This shows that, for younger listeners, there is a wide-ranging group of artists with not just one specific background. The Billboard Top 100 misses out on this because the methodology just includes radio play.A study from the Music Business Association found that only 35% of Americans still listen to the radio. That number drops to 13% for Americans aged 15-19. This means that the Billboard list, which calculates how many plays a song gets on the radio, only accounts for what about a third of Americans listen to.

Much like the transition away from radio did not happen overnight, the Grammys did not progress overnight. Last year’s nominees were diverse as well. Two years ago Kendrick Lamar won the most awards of anyone and was nominated for the most awards of anyone.

This year’s list is much different because it actually seems to represent the music that people are listening to throughout. There is no preference given to any single artist because there is not just one artist that took over the music scene this year.

It is a truly representative nomination list and other voters for other award shows, across the entertainment industry, would do well to take note.

The Grammys award show airs at 6:30 pm central time.