The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place tonight in Los Angeles at the Staples Center and will air live on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. There will be live performances by Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney. Lil Wayne, Carrie Underwood, the Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, and Coldplay
The Grammy Awards have been an American music institution for over a half a century. But what is a “Grammy” anyway?
“Grammy” is short for “Gramophone” and the actual Grammy Awards given out each year are modeled after this odd record player.
According to The Grammy’s Official Website, the actual trophy is manufactured exclusively by Billings Artworks. The trophies are all hand made and assembled. Years ago, the old smaller gramophone had to be revamped because the metals were too soft and there were many problems with the trophy breaking. The trophy was made bigger and grander. The Grammy is assembled in pieces and finally finished off in gold plating. The trophies used for the broadcast are called “stunt” Grammys.
The Grammy Awards are given by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., an organization that was formed in 1957.
According to the Grammy’s Official Website:
In the beginning The Recording Academy owed its survival to members who donated long hours to the emerging professional association. A labor of love, the young Academy may not have prevailed had it not been for the dedication of its charter members…The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.
The first Grammy Awards were held in 1959 in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton. The big winners that year were Domenico Modugno for “Nel Blue Dipinto di Blu (Volare)” which took home Record of the Year and Song of the Year and Henry Mancini for The Music from Peter Gunn which won Album of the Year.
Ella Fitzgerald won for Best Jazz Performance, Individual and The Kingston Trio won for “Tom Dooley” in the Best Country & Western Performance category.
The following are a few little known facts about the Grammys:
- Milli Vanilli were the only act to have a Grammy award (for Best New Artist) taken away, after the truth that they didn’t actually sing on their hits surfaced.
- Sinead O’Connor is the only artist to refuse a Grammy. She turned it down to protest what she called the “extreme commercialism” of the award.
- What do Clay Aiken, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, the Who, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Kinks, and Bob Marley have in common? Not one has won a competitive music Grammy award. Many of them have been given Grammy Lifetime Achievement awards
Personally, I look forward to the year that beautiful voices win Grammys and that Clay Aiken wins his first Grammy.
There was sad news for the music field on Saturday when The Associated Press announced the death of Whitney Houston. Houston, one of the most successful singers of all time had won 6 Grammys in her lifetime. Houston was only 48 years old.
The Recording Academy issued the following statement:
Six-time GRAMMY winner Whitney Houston was one of the world’s greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades. Her powerful voice graced many memorable and award-winning songs. A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice.
RIP Whitney Houston. The soundtrack of so many lives. I’m sure Heaven reverberates 2nite with the sound of ur voice. It always was angelic.
CANN sends the deepest condolences to her family and friends.