SZA and Beyonce’s nominated albums spoke authentically to the Black female experience, and neither were rewarded.
Last Sunday, SZA, the most nominated woman of the year, was up for five Grammys and took home a heartbreaking zero.
2. Bruno Mars
Bruno took home six Grammys. While deserving of at least one award, his dominance of the evening, combined with his pointed apolitical remarks, made the most celebrated message of the evening “joy” which overshadowed many women’s sentiments of dissatisfaction.
3. Album of the Year
Lorde was the only woman nominated in this category, and you’ll never guess who she lost to (spoiler, it was Bruno Mars).
4. Best R&B Performance
The nominees in this category were Bruno Mars (winner), SZA, Kehlani, Ledisi and Daniel Caesar ft. Kali Uchis. This was a tragically missed opportunity to make a statement. Mars really didn’t need another Grammy, and for this one he bested three Black women; two of whom are LGBTQ+ and proudly produce queer music.
5. Best Pop Solo Performance
Four women were nominated, but ironically the lone male nominee took home the trophy.
Earlier in the evening, Kesha performed her nominated single “Praying” with a powerful “Time's Up” introduction speech by Janelle Monae. “Praying” is Kesha’s coming-out anthem of survival after her alleged sexual assault at the hands of producer Dr. Luke.
On the other hand, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was awarded for lyrics about his experience objectifying a woman at a club.
6. Lack of LGBTQ+ representation
The ceremony featured performances by openly queer artists like Sam Smith, Lady Gaga and others. When it came to awards, however, LGBTQ+ artists were simply not recognized.
Overall, the 60th Grammy Awards were a beautiful display of resistance by women and other underrepresented communities, which is arguably more impactful than any number of trophies.
However, it is important to recognize that as a society we place an incredible amount of value in awards, and similarly in meeting sentiments with tangible benefits.
Recently university leadership and government officials have put on many performances of support regarding diversity and prevention of sexual assault. But we must ask ourselves if the banners, emails and ads will lead to action, or if they’re just trying to put on a good show.