News Mash-up: The Grammys

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. sideline / ˈsaɪdˌlaɪn / (v.) – to prevent someone from being able to participate or play an important role in something

    After the scandal, the band was sidelined and eventually dropped by their music agency.

  2. change (one's) tune / tʃeɪndʒ tun / (idiom) – to change one’s opinion or behavior

    The people have been protesting the government’s plans to increase taxes, but the president isn’t changing his tune.

  3. contender / kənˈtɛn dər / (n.) – someone who competes in a contest or competition

    There are six contenders for the national tennis title.

  4. blast / blæst / (v.) – to criticize someone or something strongly

    The environmental group blasted several major companies for testing their products on animals.

  5. loom / lum / (v.) – to be close to happening soon, especially something unpleasant  

    The directors are trying to prevent the company’s looming failure.


Read the text below.

Women win big at Grammy Awards, as musicians put on intimate performances

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards, and dozens of creators largely sidelined for a year due to the pandemic made music again.

The Grammys on March 14 turned out to be a surprisingly intimate evening that, at its best, felt like viewers were invited into a private club with their favorite musicians. Most performances took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Four different women won the four most prestigious Grammys. Swift’s quiet surprise, folklore, was album of the year; Eilish’s Everything I Wanted was her second consecutive record of the year winner; H.E.R.’s I Can’t Breathe won song of the year and Megan Thee Stallion was named best new artist.

Beyoncé’s four awards brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, Black Parade, released last Juneteenth (June 19), won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on Savage. (AP)

Grammys overhaul award nomination process after criticism and calls for transparency

The Grammy Awards has changed its tune and voted to remove its anonymous nomination review committees — groups that determined the contenders for key awards at the coveted music show.

The Recording Academy made the announcement April 30 after the board of trustees met and approved the change.

The major change comes months after The Weeknd blasted the Grammys and called it “corrupt” after he earned zero nominations for the 63rd Grammys held March 14, despite having 2020’s biggest single with Blinding Lights. Nominees will now be based purely on votes made by the academy’s 11,000-plus voting members. Questions have loomed for years around the nominations process with music industry players calling for more transparency. (AP)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The 2021 Grammys were watched on TV by 9.2 million people, the lowest number on record and a 51% drop from last year. Do you think the Grammys are still important? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Dozens of musicians largely sidelined for a year due to the pandemic made music again at the Grammys. Do you think the music industry will fully recover by the end of 2021? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The Weeknd called the Grammys corrupt after he earned zero nominations despite having 2020’s biggest single. Do you agree that the award show is corrupt? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • For years, music industry players have called for more transparency in the nomination process for the Grammys. Do you think other awards also need more transparency in their nomination process (ex. the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize)? Why or why not? Discuss.