Monday, February 1, 2010

Grammy Award predictions: How did I do?

First off, thanks to the folks who joined in on our live chat during the ceremony last night. If you'd like to, you can replay the entire thing. The chat itself probably goes pretty fast.

Before we get to my predictions, let's take a look at the ceremony. Nearly four hours was waaaaay too long. Everyone didn't need two or three songs for each performance and some performances were flat out unnecessary. I could have done without Lady Antebellum, Maxwell, Zac Brown Band and Bon Jovi. They were all fine performances, but there were just too many of them. And you could easily have cut most of them in half. (I'm looking at you, Taylor Swift.)

Also, during the Oscars you get actors and directors and other movie people as presenters. At the Grammys, you get whoever is currently promoting an album, book, TV show, film or just about anything else. I love me some Kristen Bell, but there's no reason to see her present a music award.

As for my predictions, I didn't do great but I wasn't terrible. I was an even 50/50 scoring 12 out of 24 of the categories that I predicted. If you want to look at the list, check out the main list and the secondary one.

I actually did much better in the minor categories compared with the main ones. I should have bet bigger on Beyonce (she took home six trophies, a record for a female artist) and Kings of Leon. I basically thought that KoL were way too much like an indie band to beat out Green Day or the Black Eyed Peas.

It seems like the old, white voters in the Recording Academy went for many more younger, newer artists this year. Phoenix, Eminem, Kings of Leon and Lady Gaga all went home with trophies and they're all the kids of groups that the academy tends to ignore. Good work all.

An e-mail I received this morning boasted that independent artists won an astonishing 43 awards last night (take a look at my story about how few indies win Grammys).

Well, that's pretty much bull. They don't specify that they're counting all 109 categories, which includes genres such as New Age, Latin and Gospel. Those genres are made up almost entirely of small, independent labels.

While an indie is an indie, those aren't the independent labels that are on everyone's mind. For the record, 33 awards were given to major label artists and only 9 to independent artists in the pop categories (pop, rock, country, R&B, rap).

Those nine awards given to indies include four awards taken home by Taylor Swift, who is only an independent artist in name. She's signed to Big Machine Records, an independent, but she's distributed by the big boys at Universal. And when you're selling more than 5 million copies of one record, you're no longer considered an "independent artist."

So, let's call it 37 to 5.

Those five independent artists are Bela Fleck, Booker T, Jeff Beck, Phoenix and Steve Wariner (winner of a country instrumental Grammy).

So, did indie artists really do well this year? Not at all. In fact, it's about the same as in past years.

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