Tween girls aren’t the only ones still hopping mad that jazz songstress Esperanza Spalding yanked the Best New Artist prize right out from under Justin Bieber’s bangs at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards earlier this month.
On Sunday, hip-hop marketing expert Steve Stoute hit The New York Times with a very public “Up Yours!” to Grammy organizers, accusing Music’s Grand Council of snubbing artists like Bieber and rappers Eminem and Kanye West, who have also been at the center of surprising snubs at ceremonies past, in the form of a full page ad. At this year’s Grammys, for instance, despite being nominated for 10 gongs, Eminem went home with just two. West has been a consistent loser in the coveted Album of the Year category.
It’s all become a little too much for Stoute, CEO of the marketing firm Translation. In a scathing open letter aimed at the Recording Academy of America and its 12,000 voters, Stoute spews: “Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture…”
And he’s not done yet: “The awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate….”
Stoute noted a connection between performers and winners, citing Arcade Fire’s surprise Album of the Year win just moments after they’d wrapped up their performance, before imploring Grammy organizers to examine how they select winners.
“We must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation…How is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist?”
Do you agree with Steve’s comments?