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Grammy Awards | History, Facts & More

A Grammy Award is one of several accolades given out each year in the United States by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences or the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Grammys, as they are popularly called, are intended to celebrate outstanding achievement in the music business.

Winners are chosen from more than 25 categories, including pop, rock, rap, R&B, country, reggae, classical, gospel, and jazz, as well as production and postproduction work, such as packaging and album notes. In addition, four general prizes are awarded for record, album, song of the year, and best new artist, for a total of more than 75 awards. The awardees are presented with a golden phonograph statuette.

Flea Market Gramophone Music Speakers Melody

To be eligible for a Grammy from NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), the recording or music video must have been released in the United States between October 1 of the preceding year and midnight on September 30 of the Grammy year in question.

Entries are submitted by record labels as well as academy members, and they are examined to determine eligibility and category placement. NARAS voting members pick five candidates for each award and, eventually, the winner through a series of ballots; voters cast ballots solely in their areas of expertise. The winners are revealed live on television.

The Grammy Awards were first presented by NARAS in Los Angeles in 1959, when 28 prizes were given.

As new musical genres have evolved, the number of prizes has grown. The academy initially acknowledged Rock as a genre at the 1980 ceremony, then Rap at the 1989 event. The inaugural award for best music video was given out in 1982 to recognise the medium's expanding importance.

Winners are presented with a Grammy Award; those who do not win receive a medal for their nomination. In both voting rounds, academy members are required to vote solely based upon quality, without consideration for sales, chart performance, personal friendships, regional preferences or company loyalty.

How did the Grammy Award get its name?

Since the first Grammy Awards ceremony in 1959, the statuette presented to winners is a gold-plated gramophone, also known as a phonograph or record player. The name Grammy is an homage to the gramophone and its revolutionary impact on the music industry.

What is Latin Grammy Award ?

In 1997 the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences created the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences as a response to the booming Latin American music industry. Recordings eligible for the Latin Grammys may be released anywhere in the world, but they must be recorded in the Spanish or Portuguese language. The first Latin Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles in 2000, with award winners including Shakira and Carlos Santana.

Who Has Won The Most Grammy's ?

A simple Google search will give you this answer.

"The record for the Most Grammy Awards won in a lifetime is held by Sir Georg Solti, a Hungarian-British conductor who conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for twenty-two years. He has won a total of 31 competitive Grammy Awards out of 74 nominations and was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996."

I suspect you already did this and you didn't think Google was right. There is no one Grammy award. Instead there are many different Grammy awards for many different catigories of music.

Do artists get money for Grammys? The short answer is no: Artists, producers, and/or songwriters do not get a check or monetary amount for winning an award.

How much do Grammys weigh?

The famous Grammy statue weighs about five pounds. According to The New York Times, the five-pound statue is made of a substance called "grammium." It is a combination of trademarked zinc and aluminum metal alloy. Parts of the statue are also plated with 24-karat gold.

Who was the youngest person to win a Grammy?

LeAnn Rimes Country-pop sensation LeAnn Rimes made history in 1997 when she, at just 14 years old, became the youngest person ever to win a GRAMMY, taking home Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance (for her rendition of "Blue," a cover of Bill Mack's 1958 track).

What Would Happen If You Decline A Grammy Award ?

In 1991, Sinead O’Connor won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance for her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, but she refused it. Absolutely nothing happened. Her refusal was expected, and everyone pretended like it never happened.

Before the ceremony, O’Connor had previously stated that she wanted to withdraw her name from consideration for her four nominations because she felt the ceremony and awards were all just crass commercialism, but her request was ignored. After winning, she refused to accept the award.

However, the Grammy Awards acknolwedged her as the winner without any caveats. All publications still list her as the winner, including the Grammy’s own website (see image below, from the winner list). Most other websites, databases and almanacs list her as the winner, too. Only music trivia sites mention that she declined the award.

How can I get tickets for the Grammy awards (without buying on an exchange site like StubHub)?

First, I should make clear that the Grammy awards is a closed event. Only nominees, special guests of the academy, and voting members (along with a limited number of their guests) are invited to come to the Grammy awards. Even as a member, it is very difficult to get tickets. I have been a voting member for many years, but have found it very difficult to get tickets.

Members must buy tickets which start at $250 and go up from there depending on where you sit. To purchase a ticket, you have to take the original invitation that was sent to you, fill it out (including credit card information) and if you really want a chance of getting a ticket, fax it (yes fax it) to the academy precisely at the moment when ticket requests will be accepted. You then have to wait to learn if you’ve managed to get tickets.

It used to puzzle me (and other members I’ve spoken with) that it is so nearly impossible to buy tickets when there are only a few thousand voting members, particularly when you consider that the awards show is often held in the Staples Center in Los Angeles which seats nearly 20,000 for concerts. However, when you look at the ever growing number of categories and resulting nominees, then add guests, and then consider that seating is reduced for broadcast production equipment and staging, it starts to make sense.

If you see tickets somewhere they are very likely counterfeit because if a member tries to resell their ticket to a third party they could lose their membership. It’s not easy to become a voting member. Few members would want to be banned from the academy.

Speaking of counterfeit tickets, this is an ongoing problem. You should never ever buy tickets through Craigslist or a similar source for any show, not just the Grammys. People lose money daily from counterfieters this way.

An interesting note about the academy and it’s voting membership: Most members are folks like me. That is, men and women who don’t live in LA, aren’t famous, but do the day to day behind the scenes work of producing all kinds of recordings that entertain, inspire and educate.

What Is Your Review Of Grammy Awards ?

Well, I don’t care to watch it on TV because it’s too much of a concert. Just give me the winners. Now, it’s different for me since I worked in the industry. The awards are very meaningful to the people who are behind the scenes, most of whom work really hard.

While I am not always excited about the current music, I do know that many of the awards that are not aired are given to very deserving people. I was in a room next to a producer working on a song with a very famous singer and producer and listened to him work for weeks getting the sounds they wanted for a particular effect on the record. I’ve seen engineers and assistance engineers work for 36 hours straight to get a mix that both sounded great and pleased the client. (Not always an easy thing to do).

What most people do not understand is that the Grammy Awards are not intended to please the public. They are awarded by members of NARAS to those who those in the categories who most deserve the recognition. Some awards are for the songwriter, others for the artist, some for the producer.

I can understand why people consider the show boring. I seldom watch it. But, I know the excitement of seeing the box being delivered with the treasured engraved trophy in it and the joy of watching the winner pull it out of the box and pass it around.


Vinayak Biswas