At this year’s Grammys, Childish Gambino’s This is America won four awards including Song of the Year and Best Music Video. Kacey Musgrave’s Golden Hour won the Album of the Year award. Three Indian origin artists were nominated in different categories, and the Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman attended the event.
The function was largely controversial save for rapper Drake’s speech which the organizers cut off midway. Drake who won the Best Rap Song for God’s Plan, stressed on the importance of popular opinion over awards.
“All my peers that make music from their heart, that do things pure and tell the truth, I wanna let you know we’re playing an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” he said, according to a report in The Verge. “So it’s not the NBA, where at the end of the year, you’re holding a trophy because you made the right decisions or won the games.”
“The point is, you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown,” he said. “Look, look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this [award] right here. I promise you, you already won.” At this point, the show organizers cut off his mike and switched to commercials.
Former first lady Michelle Obama attended the event and spoke about the role that music played in her life. “From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side, to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story. And I know that’s true for everybody here,” she said, according to CNN.
“Whether we like country, or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves — our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys, it allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters, every story within every voice, every note within every song — is that right ladies?” she said.
Rahman and his daughter Raheema attended the event. This was Rahman’s first appearance after last week’s trolling that he faced online. He was criticised when his younger daughter came on stage wearing a burqa, at an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the composer’s Oscar win. He later posted a photo of his family with #FreedomToChoose.
Three Indian origin artistes – Falguni Shah, Snatam Kaur and Prashant Mistry, were nominated for this year’s Grammy Awards. Snatam Kaur, who mostly performs new age devotional music was nominated in the New Age Album category for her album Beloved. Falguni Shah was nominated in the Best Children’s Album category for Falu’s Bazaar. Prashant Mistry was nominated in the Best Immersive Audio Album category for Symbol.