Sunday night, I watched the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, and having watched most of the shows, I have an announcement to make.
I finally get it, Grammys. I’m not going to have an attitude. I’m not going to whine. I’m not going to complain anymore about our favorite artists and music not winning. When you really break it down, popular music today does not deserve a Grammy. In most cases there’s nothing original about it. It’s Karaoke. It’s samples. It’s not new.
Yeah, at first, I was like most of you. I was mad that the best new artist was someone that I never played on the radio, upset that so many people honored were people we never heard of. But after I woke up and thought about it, the Grammy committee was right. How can you award somebody for being new when all you did was take a hook from an old song?
When I told my 20 something daughter-in-law that “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys samples the 1970 “Moments” hit “Love on a Two-Way Street,” she was crushed. And when I told her that her favorite, “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson, was a Bill Withers/Grover Washington Jr. song, “Just the Two of Us,” she put her hands to her ears, and said no way.
Not honoring those popular hits may have made a point for the Grammys, but it also made for a boring show with no R&B category recognized on the awards broadcast. For the record, Usher won for best male R&B performance; Fantasia won for best female R&B performance, and Sade won for best R&B performance by a duo, group or with vocals. John Legend was a huge winner. He and The Roots won for best Traditional R&B performance; “Shine” won for best R&B song, and “Wake Up!” was R&B album of the Year. Best contemporary album of the year was Usher’s “Raymond Vs. Raymond.” Cee-Lo Green won for best urban/alternative performance.
From the opening tribute to our Queen to Mick
Jagger’s performance with Raphael Saadiq, if it was R&B, it was a remake, sampled or worst – just plain stealing. Lady GaGa thanked Whitney? She should have thanked Madonna for that song.
At least most of the songs that got awards were really new. You want Drake, Black Eyed Peas and the rest to get an award, wait for the American Music Awards.
It would have been better for the Grammy people to just say, “Look, this is about art and originality, so don’t waste your time if you’re looking for a popularity contest.” It could have kept a lot of us from getting bored and frustrated.
If the Grammy committee really wanted to do something original and educational, they could give awards to the people who wrote and recorded the original songs that these new people made famous.
I know what some of you are thinking: Tom, what about all of the white artists like Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger who stole original music from black artists and made big hits out of them?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know I know. But I also know that life is like that for us, and the best way to fight it is to have some ammunition. And we’ve got it. Ebony, Jet, Black Enterprise, the TJMS and BlackAmericaWeb.com, to name a few, will always recognize the good things and great things black Americans have contributed. And BET with its award shows and TV One’s “Unsung” play a huge role in making sure we get our props.
Like I always say, let’s not ever depend on someone else to lift us up or tell our stories. In the words of the late, great and very original James Brown, ”Don’t need nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door, I’ll get it myself.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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