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December 10, 2012  | by: Jara Montez

Justin Bieber

Grammy nominations were released last week, to a rather pleased audience, I might add.

Except for the Directioners and Beliebers…

Whether you’re happy with omission of the teen heartthrobs, it’s important to note some interesting occurrences that are happening with the Grammys this year.

Let’s begin with pop, since we’re already on the topic. Despite Bieber’s Believe being the fifth best selling album of the year, and One Direction’s debut Up All Night coming in at #1 on the Billboard charts, there was no form of acknowledgement of the success in the nominations. (Here’s Scooter Braun’s, Bieber’s manager, reaction). An obvious argument here is popularity does not always equate with quality. But the “experts” who determine the nominations are incredibly fickle with the use of popularity in voting.

Take last year for example. New artist Miguel had possibly one of the most well-known, and popular songs, “Sure Thing” of 2011. Yet, for some reason, it was never nominated in any category. Flash forward to now, and Miguel has racked up a grand total of five nominations, for his single “Adorn”. So is this a “sorry we didn’t recognize you last year, so we’re going to make it up to you now” deal? Both songs were popular, but it was up to the experts to determine which one “deserved” a nomination.


On the other hand, the exact opposite is happening with Nicki Minaj. Last year she had various nominations, including Best Rap Album. This year, she tallies in with a grand total of zero, despite successes like “Starships”.  And one of the most contentious and undesireable celebrities, Chris Brown, was able to not only receive nominations, but snagged a performance last year. He wasn’t very popular after the infamous Rihanna situation, (just ask Miranda Lambert), so how was he able to bask in the limelight?

Which brings us to the core issue here. We’re dealing with the one the most subjective topics; music. There is absolutely no way a group of people can sit down and determine which songs, albums, and artists are more “deserving” of nominations over others.

If you’re going to use popularity as a factor, do it. If not, don’t. There is no reason to change how much/how little it should weigh in determining nominations, performances, and success. There needs to be some sort of consistency in the process. Music’s most coveted award is becoming ambiguous as to how to actually win one. It seems like people like Bieber, or Miguel (until recently) are doing all the right things, but continuously come up short.

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