India Arie Slams Racism Involved In Grammy Voting

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India Arie Promo ShotMusic fans always complain about the Grammy Awards not getting it right when it comes to the winners. Fans were especially angry that breakthrough rapper of the year Kendrick Lamar was shut out of all seven of his nominations. India Arie, the Grammy Award-winning singer who was shut out of all seven of her Grammy nominations in 2002, posted an open letter on her website blasting the Grammys and the voting procedures.

Arie wrote the letter and slammed the Recording Academy for saying the voting is based on the quality of the music when in all actuality, the voting is more indicative of a popularity contest. India Arie wrote:

 

@Kendricklamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed. Personally, I was pleased he was able to perform and they KILLED! IT! One of the FEW moving moments of the night for ME.

Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone – the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation.  Too much to go into here.

The American Music Awards is a show that awards sales and popularity – the #Grammys are SAID to be about the music.

If the hip hop community voted on hip hop –  r&b COMMUNITY the same –  same for each category – we’d see winners that reflect the MUSIC ITSELF. We all know that’s just not the way it goes.

NOW the BIGGER losers, are ALL of black music. Where was the black music community represented in last nights #Grammy show? Performers and Winners (or not) … Where were the black artists?

And this isn’t the first time the #Grammy’s has had a show all but excluding young black America and black artists in general, although we set the worlds musical trends. Why NOT televise the lifetime achievement awards of the Isley Brothers? SURELY they deserved to be on televised stage LAST NIGHT! While other artists were on stage TWICE?

The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme.  So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album. i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support.  It’s unfortunate.

I don’t even get surprised any more, but, it still hits my sense of fairness, because I KNOW many of the artists who are overlooked. I LIVE in that world. We keep showing up and subjecting ourselves to the game, hoping MAYBE we’ll win. I was so HAPPY to see @Kendricklamar take that stage – because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.

Speaking of diversity, congratulations to my PERSONAL favorite albums of the year –  @I_GregoryPorter #LiquidSpirit @Realsnarkypuppy and @lalahhathaway on your win and THANK YOU! @pharrell for acting RIGHT in the presence of the greatness that is @Nilerodgers and #StevieWonder

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide

@IndiaArie
P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL? … and THIS is why we NEED the Image Awards AND the BET awards.
Do you agree with what India Arie had to say? should the Grammy voting be compartmentalized the way she described in the letter? Sound off below.
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