Each part of Hollywood has its own set of awards to recognize the work of its leading artists, including the Oscars, the Emmy Awards, and Tony Awards. These are meant to honor actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters, etc., in the fields of cinema, T.V., and theatre. While in the world of music artists aspire to win the Grammy, the most prestigious award in the field.
What Are Grammy Awards?
To acknowledge the achievements of musicians and artists in the United States, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), also known as the Recording Academy, presents more than 75 awards in more than 25 fields and genres, including pop, jazz, rap, R&B, country music, reggae, and classical music. The awards are presented annually in a televised ceremony.
Production and postproduction work are also awarded during the Grammy show. Such work includes packaging and album notes.
Why Were the Grammy Awards Created?
Back in the 1950s, both movie and television stars were honored for their work. The Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, were meant for the movie industry. While the Emmy Awards recognized leading T.V. artists. Yet, there was no equivalent award for recording and music.
Inspired by the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the realization that it was not possible for every artist in the industry to earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard, recording executives decided to create an award dedicated to the music industry.
Why Is It Called the Grammy?
When the Grammy was first created it was decided that the award will be called the Gramophone Awards in reference to the machine that played music on records and had a huge impact on the music industry. It was later shortened to be the Grammy Awards, and winners received a golden gramophone statuette.
When Was the First Grammy Award Ceremony?
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) held the first Grammy Award ceremony in 1959 in Los Angeles. Many leading artists and performers in the music industry were rewarded for their achievements during the ceremony, including Frank Sinatra.
What Are the Grammy Categories?
Grammy Awards are given for different accomplishments in various fields of music genres. But the most popular are the four General Field categories:
- Album of the Year: all people who had contributed to the success of the album share the award and that includes songwriters and production team, as well as the singers themselves.
- Record of the Year: this reward is dedicated to the songwriters and performers of a song.
- Song of the Year: this award is meant to acknowledge only the writers of a single song.
- Best New Artist: this award goes to new artists who released work that has been publicly recognized and established their identity as artists. It does not have the first thing they release.
Only two artists have won all four awards on the same night. Christopher Cross won all four at once in 1989. While Billie Eilish was the youngest to ever win the four general awards, at the age of 18, in 2020. Adele has also won the four awards but on separate occasions.
Other awards are given in recognition for performance, production, and contributions in videos and artwork. But since the total number of awards is over 75, only the four General Field categories, along with some awards for the most popular music genres are televised. Other awards are presented earlier before the Grammy televised show.
How Winners Are Chosen?
The first step is the submission of entries by NARAS members and recording companies. Then, more than 350 experts in different music genres check the entries for eligibility and place them into different categories. To be eligible for a Grammy the work of music must be released in the United States, between October 1 of the previous year and September 30 of the upcoming Grammy year.
Then voting members of the Recording Academy decide the nominees on each category through ballots. Another round of ballots is sent to the voting members to decide on the winners. The results are concealed, and major category winners are announced during the televised Grammy Ceremony, which also includes various performances by leading artists.