Grammy audience biggest in a decade

Cee-Lo-and-Gwenyth-PaltrowImage Credit: Image Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBSSunday’s 53rd annual Grammys were full of surprise awards (Esperanza Spalding?) and terrific performances (Cee Lo Green singing his “F**k You” song with puppets, a slinky Gwyneth Paltrow, and a rocket ship… in a performance that somehow worked).

But the show’s ratings deliver yet another shock: According to CBS, the telecast drew 26.7 million viewers and a 10.0 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 11:30 p.m.

That’s up very slightly from 2010 and marks the show’s biggest adult demo number since 2004 and the largest audience for the show since at least 2001. 

Read more:
Grammy surprises
Grammy winners list
Who the heck is Esperanza Spalding?
Surprise! Arcade Fire wins album of the year

Comments (58 total) Add your comment
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  • Noggster

    So no one buys music anymore yet a show about music is seen by 26 million ppl. Ok sure.

    • Fog cue

      You’re not plonking down money to watch network TV.

    • Kris

      People still buy music, they just don’t buy CDs, they use iTunes instead. Yes, lots of people illegally download music but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in music.

    • fede

      watching the Grammys is free, you dumbass!

      • Tony

        HAlf Of those Viewers were Justin Bieber fans Crying that he lost to Esperanza Spalding.

      • Noggster

        Alright ahole I was just trying to correlate declining music sales with an awards show about music having the best ratings in years. Yes it’s free but how many ppl actually listen to these artists that aren’t eminem, lady gaga, bieber? I am the only person I know who still buys cds and had a few that were nominated including arcade fire. I didn’t watch the show but if I didn’t listen to these artists why would I care? I was just surprised with the amount of ppl who watched considering the state of music.

  • Keith

    Hey, that’s great. If that many people watched, maybe they discovered some great music they’ll actully buy and support.

    • Adam

      …Or maybe they’ll just complain about never having heard of Esperanza Spalding and Arcade Fire and bemoan that Justin Bieber and Katy Perry didn’t win and not bother to expand their musical horizons outside of Top 40 radio. Oh wait, that already happened.

      • Keith

        That is true. I’ve heard a lot of that. But I’ve also heard of many who had never heard of Mumford and Sons or the Avett Bros or Janell Monae or Esperanza and have now checked out their music. Most had big boosts in sales per iTunes. So some good came with the bad.

    • Ethan

      Amen! I loved the Mumford & Sons song they performed and downloaded the album immediately. Sadly, I didn’t download it during the “Don’t download music” speech.

  • Bookplace1717

    There was 1 reason your ratings went up and 1 reason only- Adam Lambert was nominated!

    • Sarah

      ???? I’d give the credit to Eminem, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebelluem and oh hell, Justin Bieber.

    • Adam

      Yeah, that MUST have been it.

      • Flip

        See, even Adam himself agrees!

    • t.t

      of course! I mean you saw his record sales didn’t you? all those 26 million people who bought his record must have tuned in

      • Mike


    • Sure Youre Right

      Yes, I’m sure Lady Gaga debuting her new song and Justin Beiber being his teen girl bait self had nothing to do with it.

      • Flip

        Her song actually debuted Friday (and it’s awful).

      • trystan

        It’s actually more than awful. The lyrics are lame and seriously Madonna should be on her way to the lawyers right now. I’m smelling another Ice Ice Baby here.

    • Juneau

      He was? For what? I must’ve missed it.

    • Titan Ford

      Umm yeah ok???

  • Tiffany

    Worst Grammy’s EVER!

    • Jethro

      Totally agree, at least the worst in recent years, way too many performances, not enough awards being handed, but thankfully no Kanye!

    • Surely

      You must be ten

      • Jethro

        Out of ten, yes, thank you!

  • Jose

    I think it was the variety of the performers like Bob Dylan/Stones and Eminem/Dr Dre.

  • Classy!

    I’m not surprised it got good ratings. It was a fantastic show.

  • Flip

    I haven’t been interested in the Grammys since the last time Rosie hosted in 2000.

  • Adam

    Some of Justin Bieber’s delusional and insane fans showed how truly disgusting, pathetic, and juvenile they can be by attacking Esperanza Spalding’s wikipedia profile, adding things to her bio like “go die in a hole.” I’d be surprised if Bieber himself isn’t embarrassed by how disgusting some of his own fans can be.

    • Hali


  • Tego Livi

    I haven’t watched awards shows for many years (and didn’t watch this one) but it sounded to me as if the producer’s primary mission was to draw high ratings–they have many noteworthy performers from a wide variety of music styles, and it was almost more of a concert than an awards show. I checked out the show during ad breaks and never once saw someone presenting an award. All I saw was performances. And all the cheesy popularity-based awards shows from the past several months really make a (comparatively) serious show like the Grammys look good.

    • Jethro

      I said the same thing above!

    • Clete

      I too haven’t watched award shows of any kind in years. I consider them to be a complete and total waste of time. Television needs to concentrate on what’s important…the commercials.

  • Alice

    I would thank Facebook and Twitter for providing a space for people to talk smack/ or give love to all the artists. Thats probably why people watch award shows anymore

    best tweet -> kanyewest:
    I didn’t know Johnny Depp played guitar

    • Hali

      lmfao… I said something similar to a good friend of mine(that he looks like Johnny Depp that is haha).

    • Holly

      It literally took me a few minutes to see it was John Mayer.

  • Rachel

    Most people are not going out as much because we’re all trying to save money. So everybody is watching more tv. It probably explains why the Superbowl got it’s highest ratings ever.

    • vera

      Very good point.

    • Jenn

      Very interesting.

  • John

    The show was awful, though, I hope people aren’t turn off by the lack of musical talent out there.

  • all for ratings no substance

    Oscars, SAG, Golden Globes, Grammys – used to stand for quality. Now the music is not what matters at the Grammys, it’s how outrageous the outfits are, and how many Kardashians will show up. Worthless.

  • Lady Antebellum

    Really – best song of the year? That is the worst song I have ever heard? And lyrically? –
    quarter after ONE
    I’m a little DRUNK
    yeah, that rhymes
    what a mediocre song
    really, mediocre

    • swthompson

      i don’t like the song because the melody is ripped off from “eye in the sky”– but lyrically, a song doesn’t have to rhyme.

    • Dean

      Uh, it’s not meant to rhyme. Not every song follows an ABAB rhyming scheme. What a stupid comment.

  • Ted

    The show was not so good.

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