Posted on October 21st, 2010 No comments
Awards are supposed to be prestigious and much-sought after, no matter what field one is in. In music, awards serve as the validation for an artist’s talent. More than a hit song or a best selling album, an award proves that an artist (or just about anyone involved in the production of the music) has got what it takes to last in the business. Regardless if it has something to do with local talent, writing lyrics, creating music-awards are obviously important. But one award in the music industry is considered both a blessing and a curse: the Grammy Best New Artist Award. This category in the most prestigious award in the business is for artists (solo singers, groups, or bands) who attained public recognition for a particular year. The award cites general achievement-the talent of the artists and the quality of the music and the lyrics of their songs, among others. So whether an artist excels in one of these areas (music, talent, lyrics) or an artist excels generally, this category recognizes them.
Yet, in the history of this category, not all winners ended up being successful in the business, despite the fact that the winners of this category are arguably talented and exemplary. In fact, a quick look at the list of winners in this category would reveal that most of them are better than some of the popular artists today. While their local talent may be subjected to criticism, their music and their lyrics were impeccably created, and the production value of their albums almost always amazing.
Lauryn Hill, for instance, became a famed artist because of her first-and only-album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won the Grammy Best New Artist Award. A former member of The Fugees, her songs and lyrics are marked with unbelievable quality. Note, for example the lyrics of her most famed hit as a solo artist, “Doo Wop (That Thing)”: “Talking out your neck sayin’ you’re a Christian / A Muslim sleeping with the gin / Now that was the sin that did Jezebel in / Who you gon’ tell when the repercussions spin.” Although, she never followed her much acclaimed album, Hill’s songs and lyrics are still remembered until today.
On the other hand, Milli Vanilli is perhaps a textbook case of artists who experienced the curse of this award. To be fair, their songs and lyrics did show sparks of brilliance. The lyrics of their song “Blame It On The Rain” used simple metaphors in more unconventional but acceptable ways. Of course, their failure later on was probably caused by the fact that the two fronts of the group did not do the actual singing.
But not everyone received the awards experienced this curse. The artist who won the award after Milli Vanilli became the third best selling female artist of all time-no other than Mariah Carey. The recent recipients of the award were more privileged too, since most of them are currently having spectacular careers-Maroon 5, Norah Jones, Alicia Keyes, Carrie Underwood. These artists have great sounds and artistic lyrics for their songs. This goes to show that while an award may be important, talent (not to mention great lyrics and music) is what matters to the listening public.