COMMENTARY: Grammys or Scammys?

With historical and controversial wins, another glamorous Grammys has been completed. Celebrities dressed to impress as they strutted into the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, for the 65th Annual Grammy Award Ceremony. 

The show opened with an exciting and colorful performance from one of the biggest Latin Rap artists we know, Bad Bunny. However, fans and viewers became frustrated during his performance when the TV subtitles said “Speaking non-English” and “Singing in non-English” throughout the performance and later during his acceptance speech for Best Música Urbana Album. How can the Grammys spend millions of dollars on this event but can not seem to get appropriate subtitles for one of the biggest stars in music right now? 

While fans were upset that Bad Bunny did not win Album of the Year, viewers were even more frustrated that Harry Styles won the award over Beyoncé. During Styles’ acceptance speech, someone in the audience rudely screamed “Beyoncé should’ve won.” With both artists having very persistent and defensive fan bases, this argument seems to be everlasting. 

It was becoming more difficult to defend Styles’ win after his faulty performance. His hit song “As it Was” started off with an embarrassing voice crack, especially for someone who is known to be a great live performer. It only got worse as you could tell Styles seemed oddly nervous and uncomfortable, only making viewers feel the same way. 

One of the dancers revealed a few days later that the main stage piece, which is a giant spinning platform, was spinning the opposite way than what they had all been practicing on for the past two weeks. They had to completely re-block the entire performance in real time and on live TV. With the amount of pressure this put him and his performers under, it only makes sense that the performance was affected. 

While so much of the controversy this year has to do with Styles and Beyoncé, DePaul student Geoffrey Gitles enjoyed some of the more lighthearted moments. 

“I thought Adele and Lizzo were very entertaining the whole night,” Gitles said. “They were just so cute being fans of music and celebrating their friends and other artists. It reminded me they are just like us and aren’t these untouchable gods.” 

A controversial win was Samara Joy winning Best New Artist of the Year. People were shocked that a jazz artist “no one has heard of” won this award. Joy may not be the most popular nominee for this award, but that does not take away her talent.


As Joy accepted her well-deserved award, she said, “To be here by just being myself, by just being who I was born as, I am so thankful.” 

This year’s Grammys also presented Viola Davis with her first Grammy for Best Audiobook, now making her an EGOT winner, meaning she has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. 

Beyoncé took home four awards, putting her at 32 Grammys. She has now set the record for the most Grammys received by anyone ever. Sometimes it feels like she could win the whole show. 

Other surprising wins include Sam Smith and Kim Petras winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Bonnie Raitt winning Song of the Year. With many other talented musicians in these categories, both these wins have been being questioned by viewers all week.

Even with a 30.8% increase in viewership for the show, there are still people who do not feel the need to watch. Maybe it is due to a lack of cable, or maybe just a declining interest. 

“I just don’t think the Grammys reflect real artistry or innovation in music, most categories reward formulaic songwriting and artists who take the safe route,” DePaul sophomore James Matthews said. 

While there is always room for improvement within the recording academy, this year’s award ceremony seemed to be one of the more impressive ones from the past decade. With iconic performances from Lizzo, Mary J. Blige, a hip-hop tribute highlighting Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J, Black Thought, Queen Latifah, and Busta Rhymes, among many other eccentric musicians, the room was filled with life.