Music exec slams Grammys for snubbing Justin Bieber, Eminem

Justin-bieberImage Credit: Mike Marsland/

Veteran marketing and music executive Steve Stoute lashed out at the Grammys and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Sunday in a full-page newspaper advertisement, admonishing the organization for losing touch with contemporary pop culture and failing to acknowledge the talents of hugely successful artists like Justin Bieber and Eminem.

Stoute’s ad, which appeared in the New York Times, also criticizes the “over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting,” and how artists like Eminem and Bieber — who were snubbed for Album of the Year and Best New Artist, respectively — are still called upon to goose ratings for the show. Both artists performed at the 53rd annual awards fête on Feb. 13, which attracted 26.7 million viewers – – the show’s largest audience since 2001.

To further his argument about how NARAS is out of touch, Stoute — who is best known for once managing the rapper Nas — also took issue with how Kanye West’s Graduation was beaten out for Album Of The Year by Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters during the 50th Annual Grammys, and how Steely Dan triumphed over Enimem in 2001. “While there is no doubt in my mind of the artistic talents of Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock, we must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation,” wrote Stoute, who as the CEO of the marketing company Translation, works with recording artists to find advertising opportunities in the corporate world. (For more about Stoute, check out this profile in Time from last year).

An executive close to the telecast who talked to EW exclusively agreed with some of Stoute’s criticisms about egregious snubs over the years but said it was unfair to criticize the actual show, which operates independently of the voting process. Veteran producer Ken Erlich, along with CBS, oversee the event with constant input from NARAS.  “The TV group is tasked to produce a Grammy-branded event for TV,” the executive said. “The voting procedure is done by the NARAS membership which has nothing to do with who produces the TV show.”

The producers are not privy to who will win the night of the Grammys, and are often caught off guard by the outcome. The executive said a member of Arcade Fire, which won Album of the Year and performed immediately after receiving the Grammy, said during rehearsal earlier that weekend that he expected Eminem to win.

Here’s the full letter from Stoute.

An Open Letter to Neil Portnow, NARAS and the Grammy Awards

Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture. My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay — so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter. Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic.

As an institution that celebrates artistic works of musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and technical specialists, we have come to expect that the Grammys upholds all of the values that reflect the very best in music that is born from our culture. Unfortunately, the awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate. How is it possible that in 2001 The Marshall Mathers LP — an album by Eminem that ushered in the Bob Dylan of our time — was beaten out by Steely Dan (no disrespect) for Album Of The Year? While we cannot solely utilize album sales as the barometer, this was certainly not the case.

Not only is Eminem the best-selling artist of the last decade, but The Marshall Mathers LP was a critical and commercial success that sold over 10 million albums in the United States (19 million worldwide), while Steely Dan sold less than 10% of that amount and came and went as quietly as a church mouse. Or consider even that in 2008 at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, after going into the night as the most-nominated artist, Kanye West’s Graduation was beaten out for Album Of The Year by Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters. (This was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album won this category.) While there is no doubt in my mind of the artistic talents of Steely Dan or Herbie Hancock, we must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. It is this same cultural impact that acknowledged the commercial and critical success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1984.

Just so that I’m not showing partiality to hip-hop artists (although it would be an entirely different letter as to how hip-hop music has been totally diminished as an art form by this organization), how is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? Again, his cultural impact and success are even more quantifiable if you factor in his YouTube and Vevo viewership — the fact that he was a talent born entirely of the digital age whose story was crafted in the most humble method of being “discovered” purely for his singing ability (and it should be noted that Justin Bieber plays piano and guitar, as evidenced on his early viral videos).

So while these very artists that the public acknowledges as being worthy of their money and fandom are snubbed year after year at the Grammys, the awards show has absolutely no qualms in inviting these same artists to perform. At first I thought that you were not paying attention to the fact that the mental complexion of the world is becoming tanned, that multiculturalism and poly-ethnicity are driving new meaning as to what is culturally relevant. Interesting that the Grammys understands cultural relevance when it comes to using Eminem’s, Kanye West’s or Justin Bieber’s name in the billing to ensure viewership and to deliver the all-too-important ratings for its advertisers.

What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions. As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed “Month of May” — only to… surprise… win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform “Ready to Start.”

Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation? Meanwhile the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hides behind the “peer” voting system to escape culpability for not even rethinking its approach.

And I imagine that next year there will be another televised super-close-up of an astonished front-runner as they come to the realization before a national audience… that he or she was used.

You are being called to task at this very moment, NARAS.

And to all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves.

Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art.

Steve Stoute

Comments (1012 total) Add your comment
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  • Andrew

    Justin Beiber does not define what it means to be a modern artist because he cannot sing.

    • Bob

      yeah that was almost as bad as calling Eminem the “Bob Dylan of our time”. A.) Dylan didn’t need to use the f-word every 3 seconds to get his point across B.) Dylan champions the underdog while Eminem is a huge homophobe. C) That’s just an asinine statement.

      This guy represents everything wrong with the music industry today.

    • ryan

      and who can jerk? Tom jones? Jimi Hendricks? Hanson? I think if a million people buy his crap, and even the biggest artist of the last decade(usher) signs him up, then the kid just might be able to sing a little. Just maybe A-hole! Just another EW commenter who is a freaking Prude on here, If its not Winters bone or some artistic piece of garbage you all hate it!

      • Steven

        Woah Ryan. Calm down.

      • stella

        cool story, Justin Bieber’s manager

      • Will

        But, popularity does not mean an artist is deserving of an award.

      • Jessica

        Quantity does not equal quality

      • LOL

        Looks like Ryan has bieber fever.

      • sarah

        Hanson is pretty damn amazing. They may be a lot less popular than they used to be, which is fine by me, but they are still producing music 15 years after their heyday and have a strong following of fans.

        don’t rag on a band that justin beiber wasn’t even frigging alive to know about.

      • D.B.

        Dude, do your home work. It’s spelled “Hendrix”. Obviously you have no fuc#ing clue what the fu#k you’re talking about.

      • Jack B

        Poor Ryan got his feelings hurt, because his favorite child singer got insulted….. Aww, poor ryan. Go get your box of tissues.

      • ryan

        Anyone over the age of 18 should not be listening to Justin Bieber should they Ryan.

      • A.Men

        New civility called for by Obama — no namecalling and hitting.

      • j

        i have no interest in this article whatsoever, i just came here to point out that this article is on drudge and there is neither one comment regarding obama nor one comment referencing something someone heard on glenn beck. i wonder how long it takes…

      • TorontoTom

        And back to the article – – – the author has a very VALID POINT. The Grammys are a joke. With a whopping 109 categories to vote on, the members must, at some point, just start randomly checking off their picks. Case in point: How on earth does Arcade Fire win Album of the year but lose Alternative Album of the Year to The Black Keys?!? Please note: I’m not judging any of the acts, I’m stating a glaring blunder on the part of the voters. There are way TOO MANY CATEGORIES and the results end up being random and irrelevant. Actually winning a Grammy no longer carries any value. It’s a 3 hour commercial for the music industry with a little professional jealousy thrown in. Pathetic! I totally agree with the Mr. Stoute and I admire him for speaking out.

      • TorontoTom

        Number of Grammys won by the Rolling Stones? NONE. Just a Lifetime Achievement Award in ’89. Says a lot about the relevance of the Grammy voters.

      • ChuLaiGuy

        Justin Beiber CAN NOT SING a note, he is just another Britney with a massive publicity agency. To think this little punk deserve a Grammy because a bunch of 12 -14 yearolds go gaga over him is just STUPID!!!!!

      • Soon to outnumber you

        Go diddle yourself Ryan. Just because you go for little boys like Bieber you pedo

      • MobTown

        Well, McDonald’s sells more hamburgers than any other restaurant in the country. Doesn’t make it the best hamburger.

      • Ed

        oh yeah, Jerking is music related. What a tool.

      • anonymous coward

        Have u ever been involved in recording music? Do u know anything about the music industry? Justin bieber was signed by usher because usher saw a cute little kid that could make him a boat load of money, not because he was talented. Justin bieber was the bait, u are the fish, and worst of all you r ignorant of ne of this. It’s called pitch correct, its easy in this age of computers you claim to be so knowledgable about.

      • LarryT

        Feel sorry for dolts like Ryan who never got the chance to grow up listening to truly good music.

      • nate

        eminem should have one. hands down. bieber, no

      • AB


      • Crashnburn

        Leave Britney alone!!!! sob wah wah… lol!

      • andyk

        actually Tom Jones had a helluva voice, if you bothered to listen…Bieber, on the other hand, sound slike a pre-teen girl…hence his audience

      • Mrs. Fahrenheit

        Ryan: Do me a solid. Listen to Queen’s “Under Pressure”, then get back to me on whether you still think Justin Bieber has talent.

      • ThatGuy

        In this case, Jessica, quantity does equal quality. I can’t stand Beiber, he ruined the NBA All Star weekend for me, but I’m not going to try and tell millions upon millions of fans that he isn’t as talented as Sleeping at Last who I’m really into right now but only a few thousand people probably like. Should Gabriel down the street who sold all of his posessions to help children in India get the Nobel peace prize over Obama or Liu Xiaobo? No, because awards should be about reach and exposure. Its not anybody’s fault that music fans don’t have as good taste in music as you and I do, but I think we’re the outliers not them. Let them have the awards, I’ll keep my good music to myself.

      • Nick Hexum

        Some words I heard off an album from about 1992:
        “I’ve come to know a travesty,
        it’s so sad to see, a scene dictated
        by a frustrated former musician; switchin, the empahsis of rock to money.
        Forgot They made a ton on me.
        What else, is wrong with me? The industries ability to manufacture stars, they turn em out like Iwo Jima makes cars. But the blame lies not with those suits for trying it’s a sheep: you keep on buying that souless crap. Whatever they put in front of you, they hysteria of America.”

      • MattyWillWinSeason23

        Winter’s Bone is a good movie.
        Justin Beiber sucks.

      • TheMapPoint

        The Map Point

      • TheTRUTH

        Actually, Usher is a piece o’crap, and hardly the biggest “artist” of the last decade. Further, you, Ryan, are an imbecile.

        Justin Bieber is just a manufactured turdski

      • Pete

        Bieber is just a media tool – some smart record exec found a kid that millions of teenagers will like and then hire a few people to write some bad songs and he goes up there and squaws for an hour and makes money – it no longer matters if one has talent or not – it’s all about marketing.

      • JessicaJ

        I hope the Music Exec complains the next time Erykah Badu doesn’t get an award or even nominated. lol

        He must have shares in Bieber’s and Em’s record companies or something.

      • Steph

        Not saying he can’t sing, but he doesn’t need to be crammed in our faces every ten minutes. That’s just how I feel about him. He CAN sing, but I can’t change a station without hearing a single thing about him, can’t walk into a store and not see him on the cover of everything, he’ on EVERy news station. And movie? He’s just being needlessly over used.

      • Patrick

        LOL Usher is the biggest artist of the last decade? Between that, your being overly emotional in your reply, and misspelling Hendrix, you lose all credibility

      • James O’Quinn

        Hanson is actually a band full of excellent singers, who can harmonize and play at the same time better than anyone in today’s pop culture

      • Taylor

        Being signed to a label, however popular, doesn’t mean you are actually talented. A pretty face can get you very far when you have the ability to manipulate sound in a studio.

      • Nona

        Why so hostile…

      • Tina

        i totally agree with this guy eminem was down right robbed, dammit grammys stop giving awards to people who are not known.

      • TayMads

        Hey now don’t knock Hanson and Hendrix. Hendrix was talented and Hanson turned out to be a pretty amazing band who write their own songs and play there own instruments on there own record label. Everbody is just so stuck on Mmmm-bop (which isn’t that bad of a song) that they can’t see their talent. They are a very talented group of boys. Don’t knock them if you are only basing it on one song that came out a long time ago.

      • Ian

        @ Tina — Just because you don’t know then doesn’t mean they’re unknown. I’m willing to bet there are a ton of amazing musicians with lots of fans that you’ve never heard of. Your post is the reason the music business is in the toilet. Try listening to stuff without MTV and pop radio telling you to.

      • Allison

        No I’m agreeing with Ryan on this one. I’m pretty indifferent on the Biebs, but for God sake the kid’s 16 and he has more talent than most of the people commenting on here. Why it pisses so many of you off is beyond me. I mean at least he plays instruments. And he doesn’t sound horrible. You all obviously have some underlying problem if you have to continuously rag on a teenage pop star so I would suggest you get good therapists.

      • Brian

        I f***ed the girl in Hanson.

      • jules

        @Ryan…millions of people also buy Britney’s albums but she can’t sing either. They are performers but the Grammy’s is about singing. And the reason millions of people buy Bieber’s music is because those people are most likely teens and tweens who think he’s cute. They could care less about what talent he does or does not possess.

    • Greg W

      actually, it is the fact that he cannot sing that makes him the quintessential modern artist

      • NoTalent

        Amen to that!

      • Paul

        Of course, it could just be that Bieber sucks, sings crap songs and is only so popular due to the fanaticism of 14yo girls and the woman who won best new artist is actually talented and appeals to more than just the tween set.

      • bob

        he is the bait you are the fish and you are ignorant to all of this. BIG FAN OF PEOPLE WRITING LYRICS BY ACCIDENT. i mean no sarcasm, just a good line.

      • KId Charlemagne

        PRO TOOLS was so aptly named for it can make talentless TOOLS into a singing PRO, ala Bieber, Usher, etc. (I’m not talking about autotune, aka the vocoder, either!)

      • Heartland Patriot

        Spot ON! Ever since the computer became more important than the instruments or the voice, music has SUCKED! At least, popular music…I listened to rap years ago but gave it up…middle-age white guy and rap don’t mix so well…I’ve listened to a LOT of genres and I’ve liked a LOT of different stuff…but say what you will, computers and marketing execs have just about KILLED popular music. Who cares about talent? Get a guy/gal/group with the right looks/style and MAKE them sound good…and turn a fast buck.

    • Le HIROSHI

      (Hello, Andrew)

      – –

      IMO, at the end of the day, “like” other awards, Grammy Awards are also based on popularity, more or less. Whether – say – Slim Shady or whoever, for that matter, won an award, one thing you can be sure is that it’s mainstream!

      – –

      For instance, Best o-m-GOSH “Rock?” (are you serious?) Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal (9 or 10 years ago): (guess what) U2 for “Beautiful Day.”

      – –

      Gimme a break. . .

      • ShabbyDoo

        How do you take an article about a sour grapes letter by a nobody former agent and spin it into an insult of one of the greatest bands of all time? Pick on U2? You must be 16, and an aspiring idiot. The Grammies are all about ‘mainstream’, with an undercurrent of trying to promote cool. They’re not usually successful.

      • Le HIROSHI

        @ ShabbyDoo,

        – –

        Because U2 is one of the respectable band, I raise their case as my point that Grammys are basically, more or less, for mainstream music – just like others. I was not pickin’ on U2 on malicious purpose.

        – –

        Here’s the deal: Listen to Beautiful Day, first.

        – –

        Then, think about the term: “B-E-S-T” “R-O-C-K” Performance by Duo or Group. . .

        – –

        That year alone, out of too many other rock artists with GENUINELY rock music, they PICKED U2’s Beautiful Day.

        – –

        I like (if not love) U2. But Beautiful Day for BEST ROCK performance? Are you serious? (Besides, you’ve just seconded my point that Grammys, too, are more or less about mainstream music.)

      • Le HIROSHI

        (one of the respectable bands)

      • Le HIROSHI

        (Cont.) Moreover, this is NOT a spin; I’m NOT a spin doctor, to begin with.

        – –

        Stoute made his point FOR WRONG REASONS. However, that, IMO, doesn’t mean that GRAMMYS are untouchable at all. I still stand my ground that, IMV, GRAMMYS are more or less about mainstream, just like others (there’s nothing wrong about that either).

        – –

        Another point of mine is that please do NOT glorify them to the absurd point. (I mean some readers are burning Stoute totally for “wrong” reasons.)

    • Carlos

      @Andrew; I agree with your comment. This kid is not talented and he’s getting too much media attention. I hope he turn out to be a productive adult because his childhood has been robbed from him.

      • L

        Just wait until he starts wearing parachute pants and has his own cartoon.

      • Enzo

        Not talented? He taught himself how to play 3 instruments and sang well enough to have both Usher and Justin Timberlake fighting over who would sign him to a contract. That’s pretty talented if you ask me. The haters need to stop.

    • ArcadeFireFan

      Justin Bieber’s success is based on the fact he looks like a puppy, not his voice. Have the same sounds come out of some fugly dude’s mouth and nobody knows his name.

      • Deke

        Bieber should never have been nominated for Best New Artist because 1) he’s a product, not an artist, and 2) he hasn’t done anything “new.” Pop music has seen plenty of pretty boys singing songs with the word “Baby” in the title or the lyrics over the last 5 decades. Bieber is just the latest one to fall off the conveyor belt. The Grammys are supposed to reward musical excellence, not pay homage to the people who have the most followers on Twitter.

      • MobTown

        Ah hahahhahahahah. Love it Deke.

      • Nelly

        I’m not a Bieber fan. Sorry Deke but ALL the artists now are products. I’m tired of people being prudes and thinking the music they like is “better”. Everyone is selling a certain type of image.

      • B

        F#$% it… everything is a product! Deal with it. Motorhead, U2 and any other “prestige” artist is a f@#%in product, and someone upstairs is making money off of it, doesn’t matter how many awards you do or don’t get.

    • anonymous

      this suit should stfu. the music biz sucks because people like him choose 2 or 3 artists they deem worthy of just shoving down the public’s throats, artists that usually like bieber have no talent at all, can’t sing to save their life – rihanna, bieber, katy perry, etc, when real artists like spaulding and others can’t get a break on radio, or the promo backing to have their music heard. top 40 radio is a joke, and people are fed up and tired of the same 10 artists being played, and we sick of autotune too. i hope the records labels, execs who have killed the music biz as we used to know it like this stout guy, top 40 radio, beiber and all the no talent bums using autotune in lieu of being able to really sing and have talent fall off a cliff. when bieber and these other no talent bums and the people who back them up are rendered irrelevant because people begin turning away from them in support of real singers again, it will be a great day for all who love music.

      • ALM

        A bit ranty, but very true.

      • Tarc

        Exactly. This is little more than another braindead moronic ‘music executive’ shouting at the rain because the public doesn’t have to throw accolades at their neat little, low effort, pet ‘packages’. Eminem is darker, rantier, and less intersting that ever (and what’s up with the pitiful diction?), and, well, Bieber… the probalems with Bieber are self-evident. When the highlight of the Bievber section of the Grammys was Usher’s dancing (followed by the Smith’s reaction shots of Jayden’s pointless and gratuitous insertion), you should gather from that there is a problem.

      • B

        Dude, there are other avenues to listen to these other more prestigious artist. Who said they have to be on MTV or win any awards for people to like them. Plus, once they do get popular, a whole other group of people like you would start ranting and start saying they suck… sellouts.. blah blah.

    • Jonathan

      I’m confused about all the hate toward Bieber. His album got solid reviews, and he can actually sing with a bit of skill considering his age. He is grossly overhyped by his tween fans, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make legitimately good pop music.

      • Brett

        I’m pretty sure David Cassidy didn’t win any Grammy Awards, either. I’m sure the music executive is probably more upset over this than Bieber.

      • Troy Soldier

        And David Cassidy could actually sing without the help of Autotune. Those old “Partridge Family” episodes are silly and the songs were cheesy, but the dude really did have a great voice.

      • Steve

        I’m confused about the Bieber haters too. I admit I stayed away a long time, not ’cause I’m an old dude, but because I really didn’t want to be remotely involved with teenie-bopper music. I remember the Partridge Family too well, and my younger sibilings listening to …wait for it….The Archie’s. Oh, sugar sugar. (Ew). Bieber is getting handed songs that are sickly sweet for the female tweeners. He does appear to care about participating in the writing process, but it’s clear that he is way too young and inexperienced to have the sort of life experiences that lead to great lyrics. It was only when I heard Never Say Never that I found a reason to sample Bieber’s other works. Most are still to cotton candy for my taste, but when he puts his efforts into a ballad about self determination, I find the effort very easy to listen to. It would probably not be all that comfortable next to the Van Halen in my music collection, but I plan to indulge the kid inside. It doesn’t make me a “Bielieber.” Or even a fan. But the kid *can* sing, and as his voice changes he will be more and more palatable to the older masses. Unless, of course, one is an immature teenager, either in fact or in heart.

      • Sally

        Every one of the other best new artists nominated were better then Bieber. The amount of albums you sell or the number of fans you have should not determine who wins a grammy. Thats for fan voted shows like the VMA’s or AMA’s not the grammys.

      • Pete

        it doesn’t matter if the album gets good reviews or not – the little girls 12-15 are going to go out and buy it because they think this little talentless hack can sing. Basically he will make Usher money until he surpasses puberty, then he’ll become someone on VH1’s “Where are they now – Child Stars”

      • Jonathan

        @Sally – I agree he shouldn’t have won; if not for the apparent curse, my vote would be for Florence + The Machine. I just don’t understand why people feel the need to hate on him when he plays various instruments and seems to have talent when singing live.

        @Pete – how does it NOT matter that his album got favorable reviews? Without critics who give an objective view of the music, there is really no argument for what is good or not. If the reviews weren’t positive, there would not be a base for arguing why Arcade Fire’s album was any better than Heidi Montag’s. There is always the argument of being biased toward an artist (in this case Bieber), so bringing in critics’ opinions serves as an indicator for whether or not the music actually has any quality to it.

    • Reality Check

      Actually Bieber can sing, which seems to be a new trend and without the help of autotune. He is a teenage boy and some hate him for that alone, especially given the Popstar screaming girls status he does enjoy. He is also capable of playing piano.

      • Steve

        Bieber has mad skills. Drums, guitar, piano and …basketball. I would think hockey too, although I have yet to see any footage of that. Pretty well rounded dude for someone up to his neck in handlers. Well, at least when he’s not driving around in his Range Rover with a Rolling Stones reporter supervising the effort and asking spicy questions.

      • AcaseofGeo

        All this Bieber bashing is beside the point. RC, you are correct, he IS talented. The issue is, was he the BEST NEW ARTIST? And I don’t think he was. He’s very popular with young girls and has sold a lot, but that doesn’t make him the “best” (which is subjective anyway). And he really didn’t need the award to further his career, however, the very talented Esparanzs Spaulding will probably get a great boost from this. Whoever won, I really don’t think people need to jump on Bieber the way they are.

    • scorpo

      I agree, nor does Eminem. They are voted on by OTHER artists. I am glad neither of them won.

    • Jenny

      Actually he does define it quite accruately because none of them can sing these days. They all have “help.” Sigh.

    • Tal Edwards

      A) I am pretty sure Justin Bieber is a girl.
      B) AC/DC which has sold hundreds of millions of records only second to Michael Jackson in sales and had thousands of of sold out concert arenas was also ignored by the Grammy’s. The Grammy voters are made up by a large number of gay men who like club music. Not a joke.

      • nick-o-larse

        Yep, the only artist who has outsold AC/DC is Michael Jackson… The Beatles, Elvis Presley, ABBA, Madonna, Led Zepplin, Queen, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Pink Floyd did not outsell AC/DC.

      • Pat

        lol @ nick-o-larse

    • Nick Hexum

      Some words I heard off an album from about 1992:
      “I’ve come to know a travesty,
      it’s so sad to see, a scene dictated
      by a frustrated former musician; switchin, the empahsis of rock to money.
      Forgot They made a ton on me.
      What else, is wrong with me? The industries ability to manufacture stars, they turn em out like Iwo Jima makes cars. But the blame lies not with those suits for trying it’s a sheep: you keep on buying that souless crap. Whatever they put in front of you, they hysteria of America.”

      • B

        Sounds like pretentious crap to me. The artist sounds like he’s about 69 by now, irrelevant, and/or never really hit it big around 1992. If all your singing about is how most music sucks, who the f#$% wants to listen to that.

    • Mike

      For him to even attempt to draw comparison between Eminem and Bob Dylan is ludicrous.

      The truth be told the artist of the decade should be Autotune.

    • Incitatus

      “He can’t sing” because he has his own voice and does not sing like a black kid?

      • KRibbons


    • GS

      Well neither can Bob Dylan but everyone sings his praises. Justin Beiber can carry a tune when Bob Dylan sounds like he sucks helium. Music is one of those things that is in the ear of the beholder. Everyone has a different idea of what is good. I personally HATE Kanye West music but totally agree about Eminem.

      • Petronius

        Bob Dylan, Tom Waitts, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Sinead O’Connor – none of them can carry a tune in a bucket but they’ve all done rather well over time.

    • pepper

      can’t stand bieber but he can sing and has a huge following so he should have won.

      • Blame Leno!!

        This is not the Billboard awards. Having a huge following has nothing to do with whether someone should win or not. I do think Beiber is talented. I don’t think he’s just a product but I don’t think he should win because he has huge album sales. If that’s the case why vote? Just look at the sales and give it to the one who’s selling the most. Honestly that’s what the American Music Awards and Billboard Awards are for. The Grammys are supposed to be above all of that. They are suppose to be a place where talented artist reward other artist they respect. Muscians have a choice. They can churn out popular music that at times lacks depth and forfeit the respect of their peers to make big money or focus on pushing the envelope and contributing to the furthering of an art form. There are some who are able to do both but not many. Bieber has fans and money and although he has talent he will have to work much harder and push himself creatively to earn the respect of his peers. That’s what will win him awards like the Grammys.

    • igotswag

      yes he can sing

    • Reese

      Andrew, we don’t have to like Beibers music to understand that it is having an impact on our culture. Weather we like it or not, people flock to him, and like what he does. I am certainly not one of those people, but I do have a certain amount of respect for him to being able to do so much. I can’t hate the kid just because he makes more money than me!

    • 1984AnimalFarm

      Justin Bieber a Grammy??? SURE! Right after Annette Finicello gets hers.

    • Americana

      Neither can Kanye West or most of the socalled hip hop rappers. Rap is overrated, for the most part its not music, but whites have swallowed the koolaid like good guilt-ridden sheep and praised even the most talentless efforts of black artists. Hell, you even see these black talentless artists trying to bully gifted white artists like Taylor Swift. The oppressed soon become the oppressors, and this is a prime example of that.

      • Toastface

      • mlj

        Oh jeez…shut it up already

    • Michael

      Listen, there are no two artists on the planet who get on my nerves more than Eminem and the Biebs. Eminem has the most grating voice I’ve ever heard. It actually makes me ill to listen to him. The Biebs is just everywhere and I know much more talented lesbians than him.

      That said, There’s no denying the impact they’ve had on the landscape of music. Even I won’t take that away from them. Arcade Whozeewhatsit and Lady AntiChrist…who the eff are these people? I’d rather listen to that trifling Baby number by the Biebs than hear that good awful song about needing someone at a quarter after some time of day. The Grammys have, in my opinion, been irrelevant for quite a while. When I was a kid, the upsets rewarded terrific, unknown tracks and artists. Now, they nominate off-beat artists and give them trophies just for the sake of doing so.

    • Diana

      Eminem brought the house down at the grammys, last year it was Pink this year it was his night.

      Beiber isn’t my genre but he should have won new artist of the year, I have never even heard of the winner and Justins name has been every where and unlike Taylor Swift he actually can sing.

    • Damion

      Um, if he cannot sing, why the hell was there a bidding war between Usher and Timberlake to sign him? You’re a moron. Beiber is hardly a musical genius, but his talent is irrefutable. And I don’t even like the kid’s music…but that’s just taste. I wouldn’t be stupid enough to undermind his talent.

    • chase


  • Simon Jester

    Dear Steve Stoute: The Grammy’s are not the People’s Choice Awards. Thank goodness.

    • Michael

      Exactly what I was thinking

    • Ana


    • LOL

      Simon FTW!

    • geez

      Dear Simon Jester.
      Learn to read.

    • bao

      Well put Simon
      Eminem – Agreeeeeeee
      Biebs : Not in a million years

    • Kwise1

      Well put Simon Jester. I totally agree. Although Stoute does make a good point: about relying on Bieber and Eminem for ratings for the Grammy broadcast, and then not giving them the big awards. Still, I’m sure all Grammy performers are well aware that their performance does not guarantee an award….so they are fully warned in advance, I would guess. Plus, the performers benefit from the exposure too – so I don’t buy that the Grammy’s are exploiting them in anyway.

    • B

      Obviously.. who else would’ve voted Jethro Tull best heavy metal band. Not the people.

  • Barry

    Talented artists won not tennyboppers wet dreams.

    • Brett

      And in the case of 2001, talented musicians won over some guy that shouts in rhyme, and Herbie Hancock won out over a guy who also abuses AutoTune and can’t seem to write a song without swiping melodies from other, better artists.

  • Joe in Philly

    This article might mean something if anyone knew exactly who this letter-writer is and why anyone should care about what he thinks.

    • DOUG

      @JOE IN PHILLY you better do your research on music history. steve stoute has been at the forefront of the hiphop/rap movement for the last 25 years.

      • Chris

        Doesn’t mean he’s not a moron.

      • b

        @Chris Sing it!

      • Brett

        So, in other words, DOUG, he really has had nothing to do with actual MUSIC for the past 25 years.

      • SnotPuppy

        Right On Brett. Rap/HipHop is NOT music. Not sure what it is but it doesn’t qualify as music.

      • andy

        Wow. You all have no clue what music is do you? I’m not a fan of rap/hip-hop but to label it “not music” because the words are mostly spoken is just plain dumb. It also shows your general ignorance given that the dictionary definition of music is in fact (from Merriam Webster; I know you haven’t heard of it, clearly.):

        a : the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity

        b : vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony

        It’s called the internet, folks. There’s a lot of knowledge to be found when you aren’t ignorantly commenting on things about which you do not know. Just because your personal tastes don’t incline you to listen to it doesn’t change the fact that it is indeed music.

      • Mark Drummond

        Brett FTW!

      • Htos1

        Rap ain’t music,soory.

      • Dream Out Loud

        I hate rap. but what’s your logic about rap not being music? cuz there is no singing? does that mean Mozart isn’t music?

      • Mitch Hedberg

        After all these years, I can’t believe people still claim rap isn’t music. I’m by no means the world’s biggest hip hop fan, but I find it hard to believe people can write off artists like Outkast, The Roots, and Beastie Boys as anything but music. Some of it may be derivative and uninspired, but it’s all music.

      • hownwhy

        Grammys are given for recordings no one ever said the awards were for music. They are for recording artists NOT musicians.

      • dan

        Just a coupla things –
        I love hip-hop but isn’t music any more, than say, Andrew W.K. was a musician. It’s just rhythm – w/o melody it it just isn’t music – not bad, just not music.

        Also – Justin Bieber, and people who like Justin Bieber, are why this country is withering on the vine. We are becoming a nation of complete wussies. When I was a kid (a shockingly short time ago), you could make music that was subversive and rebellious and questioned authority and accepted social norms – and be a popular success doing it!

        That simply isn’t true anymore, and the problem is not smarmy little twits like Bieber – it’s what our worthless, brainless, soulless populace actually wants – so screw ‘em.

        There isn’t any good music and I don’t give a crap, anyway. I’m gonna go listen to the Clash and Pantera.

  • tim

    He has a point about the Album of the Year. It has too often gone to the oldest person nominated or the person closest to death (or even one who has just died). There is no way The Marshall Mathers EP should have lost Album of the Year in 2001. The real beef I have with Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year this year is that they didn’t even win their own genre, losing to The Black Keys for Best Alternative Album. So how exactly can an album that loses is a sub-genre wins for Best Album out of all genres?

    • tim

      I meant The Marshall Mathers LP, obviously.

      • Troy Soldier

        “The Marshall Mathers” LP” was not Eminem’s best work (although it may have been at the time). He was still in clown mode back then. “Recovery” was more mature and had something much more substantial to say. Even so, I still have to go with Arcade Fire this year, but that may just be a matter of taste.

      • Tarc

        I’d argue the reverse. Recovery is dark, repetitive, droning, and his cleverness and diction have suffered. It’s inferior technically and creatively, even if it is more personal. I’ll take the creative Eminem that you can understand, thanks.

      • Vince from NYC

        Eminem Show was his most complete well rounded work. I love everyone, even Encore wasn’t as bad as everybody makes it out to be. Recovery was awesome and a great comeback after two mediocre albums (Mediocre for Em)

    • Beth

      Perhaps the voters in general realized that the Arcade Fire’s album was more of a mainstream album than an alternative one.

      • joey

        Tim, I thought the exact same thing…it does not make any sense!

      • tim

        Still doesn’t make sense. It would be like a foreign film that lost Best Foreign Film at the Oscars but went on to win Best Picture.

      • Rylan

        I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with Beth on this one. Those genre categories are pretty subjective in the first place. And haven’t the Arcade Fire sold out Madison Square Garden? What’s more mainstream than that?

      • mark

        possibly b/c the alternative genre generally has the best albums nominated out of all the ‘album’ categories. look at each year since they began this category. I bet black keys won the vote by a small victory over arcade fire (or any of the other nominees for that matter). In the album of the year, i bet arcade fire won with a runaway number of votes.

      • hutchitl

        Here’s a thought, maybe the voters felt that both arcade fire and the black keys deserved to both be recognized, so by voting best alt. album for brothers and aoty for the suburbs was a way to ensure both would be recognized.

      • Tim

        Did anybody stop to think that The Black Keys would’ve won had they been nominated for Album of the Year? Or maybe those who voted Arcade Fire for Album of the Year voted for The Black Keys to spread the wealth? Both had far superioir albums to anything else nominated for Album of the Year (plus, “The Suburbs” was listed in the top 5 of just about EVERY critic’s top albums of 2010..also, go look up the albums on metacritic…enough said)
        Plus, there is a supreme irony in Mr. Stoute using Kanye as an example, since Kanye’s twitter feed shortly after Arcade Fire won read: “There is hope.”

      • Ethan

        @Tim, I was thinking the same thing! Brothers was my favorite album of the year but the Suburbs was a close 2nd! Im glad that both got recognized!

    • ryan

      exactly! no matter what its content was the Marshall mathers was amazing

    • Carly

      I agree that the MM LP should have won in ’01, but that has nothing to do with Arcade Fire’s very justifiable win. I think The Suburbs was in fact the best album of the year, Eminem’s latest included. I’m sure that The Black Keys and Arcade Fire share voters, and said voters might have split their votes to spread the wealth, giving The Black Keys the alt album of the year vote and Arcade Fire the overall album of the year vote.

      • alyssa

        I totally agree about the votes being shared for the Black Keys and Arcade Fire in the alt category. That makes a lot of sense.

    • PM

      They will always give the award to someone who’s the oldest artist for Album of the Year, yet who has overcome drug or drinking problems, addictions, going to rehab, is now clean and sober for over 10 years or so and later making a comeback album and they want that comeback moment and buildup and standing ovation from the audience and tears from the winner if that artist wins. It happened several times in the ’90s. They’ll give it to a comeback artist instead of a current, active contemporary artist that had many hits of their album that year.

      • Faye

        Except that none of those things apply to Arcade Fire. Explain that.

      • Juke

        Or Taylor Swift last year (even though I don’t agree with her winning).

      • Ron

        That sounds quite a bit more like Eminem than Arcade Fire…

    • jon

      brothers was better than the suburbs. thas why the black keys won. the academy just didn’t have the balls to nominate brothers for album of the year because the suburbs is a critically acclaimed album.

    • different tim

      @fellow tim

      it could be that the black keys new album was a better rock album, while arcade fire’s album was just an overall better album. it’s like winning best screenplay but not best picture. i think there is a difference between an alternative album and a best album overall. i guess, arcade fire had the best album of the year, but the black keys still made a better alternative album. looking purely at teh alternative music genre, and nothing else.

  • Ben

    If Justin Bieber is symbolic of today’s ‘artists’ then we are in more trouble than I realized. And by the way, the Grammys are about excellence, not about sales. For that, look for the Billboard Awards, Peoples’ Choice or AMAs.

    • Le HIROSHI

      @ Ben,

      – –

      More or less I agree with your first sentence. As for the second one and the last, IMO, Grammy and other brands are basically the same; I myself don’t see much of difference.

    • Huh

      Or the now-defunct Cashbox Awards, which tended to go to best-selling acts that got little love from the more staid, predictable Grammy Awards.

    • sarah22

      The grammys are supposed to be about excellence, but why artists like Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Katy Perry have been nominated? :/

      To me, the grammys are the same as the other awards.

  • Emma

    I agree whole-heartedly but I wish he had kept Justin Bieber out of it. As for Eminem, I didn’t even realize that the album that basically dominated every radio station through 2001 did not win Album of the Year.

    • SaraJ

      I agree!! Justin Bieber had a big year, but come on.. musically speaking, big deal, NSync never won any Grammy’s and they had more license over the creation of music.

      Eminem losing isn’t right, but what about Lady Antebellum winning BOTH Song and Record of the Year? Lady Gaga should’ve won one of these for Bad Romance.

      Lastly I feel the Grammy’s are both out of touch and try too hard to be IN touch — why is Rihanna winning Grammy’s? That’s a travesty. She’s awful.

      • Jonathan

        Rihanna is the best of the Top 40 singles artists in terms of creativity. She deserved some sort of Grammy love for ‘Rated R'; that was one of the best mainstream albums I’ve heard in a while. Her latest effort is frustrating because it is like a step back from artistry, but I’m hoping she goes with more depth on her next effort since she has shown that she’s capable of such.

      • Linda

        Agree Rihanna is the worst artist ever. Can’t sing, can’t dance,regurgitates every other artist, every other cultures swagger and tries but fails to make it her own. I can’t wait for this media made no talent to go back to her country and inflict her tone deft sound on them forever.

      • Stan

        Jonathan – sorry to disagree, but you must be tone deaf. Rihanna can’t sing her way out of a wet paper bag. Her Grammy performance exposed her. I sense that her career will grind to a halt now.

      • Melissa

        Rihanna sounds awful live. The girl cannot sing without her autotune.

      • Jonathan

        @Stan – I actually thought she was good doing “Love the Way You Lie Pt. 2″, and she has a strong voice on songs like “Fire Bomb” and “California King Bed” but maybe that’s just me. In terms of the Grammys, she was no Skylar Gray, but also not as bad as a lot of other singers.

      • JacklynB

        Rihanna’s nominations, TWO performances and wins prove that the Grammy’s have no idea what is actually good music.
        Last year she won for “Run This Town” — really? That song is ok, but the best of anything in the industry? Gross.

  • Jade

    Selling a bunch of CD’s does not make you good. This letter is disrespectful to those singers and groups who did win.

    • Chris

      Exactly. This is not the American Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards or some kind of popularity contest – at least it’s not supposed to be.

    • Kris

      10 million copies is not a ‘a bunch of CDs’ my dear.

      • Ian

        Vanilla Ice sold 15 million copies of “To the Extreme”. Should he have a Grammy for it? Selling millions of records does not make it good. Jackass also made more money than Shawshank Redemption. Success is not measured in dollars….my dear.

      • Bob

        I’m pretty sure that 10 million copies is “a bunch of CDs.” My dear.

      • Juke

        @Ian: Perfect examples.

      • Jean Genie

        Oh, of course: success over talent/commerce over art/size is everything. Charming, MY DEAR.

    • jessicait

      the letter is not disrespectful to the singers and groups who won; it calls attention to the exploitative and disrespectful manner in which the Grammys promotes musicians – musicians it knows are worthy of performing on the Grammys stage and who have defined pop culture and music culture – only to snub them.

      • asher

        Some of those very same snubbed musicians get boosts to their careers because they performed on the telecast, so I honestly find it hard to feel too bad for them. Bieber will be fine, and may win Grammy’s in the future. Esperanza Spalding aside, I think Bieber was acually the least deserving nominee for best new artist.

      • Ben

        Grammy’s had to invite them to perform anyways. otherwise people would through even more fits when people like beiber didn’t perform.

      • Tink

        Only to snub them? THey gave Eminem two grammy’s. He now has a total of 13 grammys. Yeah, he really got snubbed. And I bet the Taylor Swift fans felt snubbed when tuned in to see Taylor swift win best grammy, and she didnt…. Oh, wait.

      • AH

        How is it disrespectful to give artists free advertising on TV? An album that goes platinum sells 1 million copies. Even in a bad year, the Grammys have many times more viewers. If they felt it was a bad deal they wouldn’t perform on the show.

      • Juke

        Stoute is being disrespectful to the winners. He’s doing the same thing Kanye West did to Taylor Swift at the VMAs. He’s just doing it in print — although he may be just as drunk.

      • Tarc

        Like most of the rest of the industry, Stoute is just another self-absorbed hack pushing to add to his own bottom line, regardless of the consequences. Welcome to America, 2011.

      • AltDave

        Actually, Stoute disrespects every artist and Grammy voter with his childish BS. He’s saying “Hey morons, you didn’t vote for the right people!” He talks about the Grammys and NARAS like they’re a singular entity that just doesn’t GET IT. Funny, I thought the awards were decided by the secret ballots of each and every voting member of NARAS, not at a secret midnight meeting of a handful of shadowy figures who plot to deny awards to the truly deserving.

    • Chloe

      My sentiments exactly.

    • ryan

      What does then? I belive that bieber and em have just as much put into their music as the other people nobody heard of who won did.The only problem isthat I m sure there were alot of other groups, bands, artist who were not even looked at by the grammy’s. If they are going to pick unkown albums they should at least look at them all.

      • Bob

        What’s unknown? A lot of people know Arcade Fire, even if my mother doesn’t.

      • Juke

        @Ryan: Em puts a lot into his music, but Bieber is a puppet. He rides his skateboard around the parking lot until his handlers call him up the mike. He’s nowhere in sight when the final recording is mixed.

  • Ramsey

    soon he will be grabbing his goldfish and asking the quieted office…”who’s coming with me?” Nice memo Stevey Stoutguire

    • Chris

      Nice reference.

    • Color Me Impressed

      Haha nice, a Cameron Crowe reference is always appreciated in my book

    • Sheli

      It was a mission statement!!!

  • Chris

    Eminem as “the Bob Dylan of our time”? Please.

    • Erica

      If Eminem is the Bob Dylan of our time, I want a time machine.
      This exec was clearly fixated on one album and one artist. He had nothing to say about any of the other nominees. If he were to explain why The Suburbs (and, for that matter, any of the other nominated albums) was inferior to Eminem’s album, maybe I’d take this seriously. Was he hoping for the Grammys to be like the Oscars this year, and make up for a ten-year-old snub?

      • DParty

        Great comment!

      • Tarc

        Mostly, he was griping because the results didn’t line his pocket. Frankly, Recovery was a droning bore – dark, repitive, and not in any sense creative. I might suggest that he manage to create at least on song per album that doesn’t contain profanity so he’ll have something to perform on TV – because it’s pointless to bother (and just offputting to watch him) bob up and down in virtual silence for 3.5 minutes.

    • Allie

      That’s exactly what I was thinking!!! How can anyone put those two in the same category?!

      • Stan

        What’s funny is that he put MM and Bieber in the same catagory in this letter. Guilt by association. I bet MM is thrilled to have his name in the same sentence as Bieber’s.

    • MobTown

      Yeah don’t you remember, “Blood on the Tracks” was all about taking pills, killing his ex-wife, and making jokes about Christopher Reeve.

    • JR

      Even Bob Dylan was overrated. Jesus that guy has a voice that grates and his lyrics were ridiculous, even for the time.

      I remember the time. New and weird isn’t always iconic or cutting edge, sometimes that just means that you’re weird.

      • MobTown

        John Lennon called Bobby D the true genius of our time, Jimi Hendrix idolized him, and Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde are 2 of the top 10 albums on Rolling Stones top 500 albums. Oh, and Rolling Stone took the name of the magazine from Bob Dylan’s song, which incidentally has been cited as one of the greatest songs ever written.

        So overrated.

  • Seeesaaw

    Grammys have lost touch with contemporary pop culture? Wasn’t aware that the Grammys were a pop culture award, a popularity contest. This dude is pissed the awards have integrity?

    • Alyssa

      THIS! ^^^

    • AOI

      Exactly. This dude is confusing popularity with quality. There are many other awards out there that celebrate sales and popularity, such as the Billboard Awards and the AMAs. The Grammies were always supposed to celebrate talent and quality, not what is popular on the charts. That’s why Katy Perry’s nomination for album of the year caused an uproar…

    • Mya

      I agree with you on some points AOL. Yes, the Grammys are supposed to reward musical excellence, but when you have artists like Beyonce and Taylor Swift winning Grammys, then you have to question why these other mainstream pop acts are not being recognized.
      You can hardly say that a show awards musical quality when “Single Ladies” wins Song of the Year, yet ignores Sade for Album of the Year. The Grammys love honoring pop acts too, just look at Amy Winehouse, the Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, and Gaga. The problem is that they have their favorites, which is what ticks a lot of people off.

      I’m no Katy Perry fan, but if Gaga and Bey can be nominated for this award, then so can Perry. Whether you like her style is another discussion.

      • listerine

        Exactly. Even though I don’t agree with lots of his points, Stoute raises the issue of popularity versus quality of awards, and what should determine a winner. Even though awards are focused on excellence, things that are more popular are more likely to get nominated or be honored just so that ratings will be big. Why do you think the Oscars extended Best Picture to 10 nominees? Award shows are choosing to feature popular acts even if they have little to do with the awards themselves in the form of presenters and performances.

  • Lilu

    Most of the people writing comments are the same out of touch people who cannot identify popular culture and do not know what is relevant because they are not relevant themselves. They should do a show with Esperanza Spalding, Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock. See how good the ratings are then.

  • cee

    Epic Fail. HE just made himself look stupid. People like him are one of the reasons the music industry sucks today.

    • cee

      I meant music execs like him turned the music industry into crap.

      • Stan

        Totally agree. Thank God we can find our own good music now via the web and not have to rely on these morons to spoonfeed us their drivel.

      • Tarc


  • redsoxmike63

    Can understand what he’s saying about Eminem but defending Bieber??? Is this guy his agent??? Bieber should be glad he didn’t win best new artist because it’s the kiss of death for most artists (look back at past winners…where are they now????).But Bieber will be the cause of him own death when his mediocrity wears thin and his current 12-15 year old fans grow up and move on to better music.

    • Cici

      Christina Aquilera won Best New Artist in 2000, over Britney Spears and Kid Rock !!

    • jezoebel

      Kiss of death? Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow, Leann Rimes, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, John Legend all won the Best New Artist grammy and their careers are doing great. Bieber is simply just teen’s latest pretty boy with limited talent, skilled marketing, whose 15 minutes should be up…

      • Renaton

        because everybody listens to Aguilera and Rimes nowadays, right?

      • Ian

        Yeah, good job finding a handful who went on to have careers. Now let’s look at Sheena Easton, Culture Club, Christopher Cross, Men at Work, Jody Whatley, Tracy Chapman, Milli Vanilli, Marc Cohn, Arrested Development, Toni Braxton, Hootie, Paula Cole, Shelby Lynne, Amy Winehouse, Starland Vocal Band, Adele, A Taste of Honey, Rikki Lee Jones, Debby Boone, or The Swingle Singers.

      • AH

        @ Ian. Adele was 19 when she won. She is 21 now and her second album just came out. So I think it is a bit early to write her off.

      • Pierce

        Adele’s new CD is pretty damn good. I hope it catches on.

      • DParty

        @Ian! Toni Braxton is still hot, records better songs than her younger peer divas, critically favored & she still receives wide mainstream exposure/promos when she releases her albums! Jody Watley is releasing a new album this summer that the industry is pre-buzzing will be a comeback of real funk-based dance music! Both of these ladies can still put on a great live show & they both should be removed from your list of career ill-fated best new artist winners!

      • Tarc

        Exactly. And last year’s winner was Adele, who is hands-down the best singer under 30 in the biz. here new album 21 is *genius* – I literally can’t stop playing it.

      • Shannon

        Yeah, really. Adele is awesome! You know you got something when you can do an entire music video sitting in a chair and still blow people away.

      • Jean Genie

        Sade got BNA, too. She’d slid in popularity for a while, but her most recent CD deserved its success.

      • Zakry

        I don’t understand Ian’s point. Sheena Easton, Culture Club and a number of those acts went on to sell tens of millions of albums. Nothing last forever, but I wouldn’t call them flops. Amy Winehouse and Adele are still quite culturally relevant – what is your point?

  • Ana

    He lost all credibility when he mentioned Bieber as a Best New Artist. He may have a point with Eminem to an extent but just because Bieber is today’s hit, doesn’t make him a best new artist.

    • Susie

      Obviously not, he WAS nominated, right? Just because Justin Bieber is not “out there” showing up in eggs and cursing all over the stage, does not make him any less deserving of a grammy. In music today, the more weird you are, or the more obscure you are means you are a true artist. I happen to like Justin Bieber and think he has a great voice. And no, I am not a tween….I am 44. Just wait and see, all of you high brows will eat your words one day.

      • Brandon

        You think Bieber has a good voice? Haha. All he uses is an autotuner(like every other hip hop artist). An artist that has a good voice never uses an autotuner. Go listen to Bieber without using one and see if you still like him.

      • Toni

        If you’re 44 and a Bieber fan, there’s something scary-wrong with you.

      • JMB in FL

        @Brandon: Bieber became popular via Youtube. I’ve heard him sing live w/just a guitar and no auto-tune–and he *can* sing, a whole lot better than Miley, Taylor, and a host of other tweeny pop stars. As the mother of three teenagers, I hear a lot of crappy music in my house, and Bieber is actually pretty good. My own taste runs more to early 80’s alternative, but whatever. The fact is, Bieber can sing and play instruments. We can be heartily sick of the over-hype machine all we want (and I am), but just hating some singer *because* he’s popular is just as stupid as liking him because he’s popular or cute. I just don’t get all the vitriol, I really don’t.

      • Kiki

        JMB in FL — did you hear him at the Jingle Ball in Florida? He was singing live with the aid of autotuning on at least one song and another sung was totally lipsynched. Just because a singer is mouthing the words while a microphone appears to be attached, does not mean you are hearing the singer actually singing live. As evidenced by the fact that when he spoke to the audience, his voice kept cracking. If his voice is cracking, that would show up in the singing– ala Peter Brady.

      • Jonathan

        @JMB in FL – I agree about Bieber, but there’s no need to drag Taylor through the mud. Yes, she had a few really bad live performances early on, but she has improved greatly. As for on record, have you heard “Dear John”? She has quite the pipes on that song, considering she used to be awful. Taylor is one of the most legitimate mainstream artists out there; she’s the only artist I know whose writing actually IMPROVED without co-writers.

      • u

        @ Jonathan:

        Taylor Swift has great pipes? Her songwriting has improved? She is one of the most legit artists in mainstream? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

      • Jonathan

        @u – and you backed up your condescending opinion how?

      • mlj

        I agree with you Susie!

    • Aiden

      I agree. Being today’s hit doesn’t make one the best. We’ll see in the future which artists’ music leave a lasting impact, then we’ll decide.
      The Grammy awards’ job is to award the best of the best in music–most popular in our culture or not. What is on top right now may not even be remembered tomorrow. Esperanza Spalding and Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs are apparently deemed to be the best right now. Let’s just accept that and move on.

    • ummm…

      Has anybody acknowledged the fact that it should have been Florence and the Machine that won Best New Artist!!! When Esperanza won was I the only one shocked because it wasn’t Florence? Everyone keeps talking about Bieber but the snub was to Florence and the Machine.

      • Tarc

        I’m with you on that. Florence + The Machine – Lungs was one of the best albums of the year, new or old. Just brilliant, and as we got to see in the Aretha album, she’s just way too cool.

      • u

        I agree, but I’m not mad. At least she lost to someone who’s actually talented, which isn’t Bieber.

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