Everything You Should Know About Music’s Biggest Night: The Grammys - America's Future

February 8, 2019


Everything You Should Know About Music’s Biggest Night: The Grammys

By: Chloe Anagnos

Originally called the “Gramophone Awards,” the Grammys have been presented annually since May 4, 1959, to recognize the musical accomplishments of performers.

Behind the glitz, glamour, and politics of the awards ceremony is a meticulous nomination process that determines which artist, album, and song reign for a year.

Media companies registered with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and other professionals in the industry can enter recordings for consideration. Reviewing sessions involving more than 150 experts from the industry determine if each work is entered into the correct category.

Then, voting members nominate no more than nine of 30 other fields on their ballots. General fields include Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. Specialized and craft categories are also recognized.

Once the voting members determine the top five recordings in each field, those become the nominees, and the winner is announced during the live broadcast.

From ridiculous outfits on the red carpet to star’s throwing shade and infamous snubs during acceptance speeches, controversy has historically surrounded the awards presentation – and this year is no different.

Controversy, Politics, and Music

Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Childish Gambino reportedly turned down performing at the Grammys. Lamar leads with eight award nominations, followed by Drake who has seven. Childish Gambino has five nominations.

Much like the Academy Awards, the music industry has long been accused of not doing right by artists of color.

Moreover, Ariana Grande has been vocal about Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich passing her over to perform this weekend, claiming he lied when he told the Associated Press “she” [Ariana] “felt it was too late for her to pull something together.”

Grande tweeted Thursday: “i’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me.”

Viewers can expect performances this year from Lady Gaga, Kelsea Ballerini, Leon Bridges, Luke Combs, and Charlie Wilson.

Who to Watch

As with most award broadcasts, anything can happen, but here’s a list of the nominees for the four biggest awards categories. Critics have all but guaranteed big wins for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” along with Dua Lipa for Best New Artist and Kacey Musgraves for Album of the Year. Who are you rooting for?

Song of the Year
“The Middle” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA
“Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“In My Blood,” Shawn Mendes
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
“This is America,” Childish Gambino

Album of the Year
By the Way, I Forgive You — Brandi Carlile
Scorpion — Drake
H.E.R. — H.E.R.
Beerbongs and Bentleys — Post Malone
Dirty Computer — Janelle Monáe
Golden Hour — Kacey Musgraves
Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By — Various Artists
Invasion of Privacy – Cardi B

Best New Artist
Chloe x Halle
Luke Combs
Greta Van Fleet
Margo Price
Bebe Rexha
Jorja Smith
Dua Lipa

Record of the Year
“I Like It,” Cardi B and Bad Bunny
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“This is America,” Childish Gambino
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All the Stars,” SZA and Kendrick Lamar
“Rockstar,” Post Malone and 21 Savage
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018, in the music industry, will be held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.