The Recording Academy of the United States hosts the Grammy Awards to acknowledge the art and content presented by musicians over the past year.
In the beginning, the Grammys were a significant part of music and pop culture. In today's age, the reason the Grammys is still mentioned is because of the constant mistakes in its voting.
One of the biggest controversies in the 2023 Grammys is the Album of the Year winner: Harry Styles' "Harry's House."
This year's Album of the Year nominees included Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” Mary J. Blige’s “Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe),” Beyoncé’s “RENAISSANCE,” Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti,” ABBA’s “Voyage,” Adele’s “30,” Brandi Carlile’s “In These Silent Days,” Coldplay’s “Music Of The Spheres,” Lizzo’s “Special,” and Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House.”
Some of the nominations themselves were questionable already, as there were relevant albums left out of the list and some included were not the artist's best work.
Ignoring that, the obvious choices were Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Adele, and Harry Styles, since the quality or impact of their work is hard to ignore. I would say Bad Bunny, but the Recording Academy is notorious for being behind the ball in terms of diversity and open-mindedness. Out of those top four, many assumed Beyoncé would walk away with the award, but to the surprise of some, Styles won.
"Harry's House" itself is filled with charisma and had great songs like "As It Was." However, the quality is not comparable to the others. The vocal performance is not equal to Adele or Beyoncé and lacks emotion. The album starts to doze off halfway through, which cannot be said about "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” or "Un Verano Sin Ti."
Overall, it is a solid album, but it is shallow and lacks the personality that someone of Styles' talent should be able to demonstrate, which is why the choice shocked many on social media.
For a while now, the award system has been controversial causing many superstars to call out or boycott the show, such as Eminem, The Weeknd, and Nicki Minaj. Some voters for the Grammys even released their reasoning behind their votes to Variety magazine. Many of these quotes display how tone-deaf the academy is and the lack of a true system.
"With Beyoncé, the fact that every time she does something new, it’s a big event and everyone’s supposed to quake in their shoes — it’s a little too portentous," said voter four, a music business veteran from the 70s.
"Bad Bunny was by far the most commercially successful album of the year, but I think a lot of people have no idea who Bad Bunny is, just like when ‘Despacito’ was the biggest song of the year and didn’t win," said voter one, a music manager who has been a Grammys voter for over 15 years.
While it was great to see Harry Styles win, it was a shame that it came like this since it is hard to argue that the album is better than Beyoncé’s, Adele’s, Kendrick's, or Bad Bunny’s.
It would be great to see the award show listen to the viewers' and artists' complaints and revise the voting system. Till then, there will be more incidents like this.
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