News / Arts & Entertainment

For Young Artists at Grammys, Exposure Could Be the Award

FILE - Hunter Hayes performs on NBC's
FILE - Hunter Hayes performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York, June 21, 2013.
Reuters
Winning a Grammy Award may be the goal on Sunday, but getting a chance to perform at the annual awards show in front of tens of millions of TV viewers worldwide could be the biggest career maker of the night for up-and-coming singers and musicians.

The Grammys, rated in a recent industry poll by Billboard magazine as the second-best promotional opportunity for an artist or group behind performing at football's Super Bowl halftime show, will offer that chance to several young singers like Country music's Kacey Musgraves, Hunter Hayes and New Zealand teen pop wunderkind Lorde.

"It is a humongous opportunity," said the 22-year-old Hayes, who is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance this year after earning three nods as a newcomer in 2013.

"It's a huge introduction and endorsement, not only to get to perform in front of these pioneers and musical masterminds but to get the endorsement from the Academy in that way," added Hayes, referring to Grammy organizer, the Recording Academy, which tapped him to perform last year too.

This year's top performances include pop stars Beyonce, Katy Perry, promising rappers Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, as well as former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Grammys can be notoriously difficult to predict and this year seems to be particularly vexing because there is no predominant genre or theme. The nominees for the top award, Album of the Year, represent five different sounds, from Country pop's Taylor Swift to French DJ duo Daft Punk.

"I'd have to say it is a bit of an odd year in music and not necessarily in a bad way," said producer Jeff Bhasker, nominated for three top awards this year including song of the year for "Just Give Me a Reason," by Pink and Nate Ruess.

He sees a "reshuffling of the deck as far as what listeners are hungry for," noting that popular music is becoming more intimate and slowing down from the up-tempo dance music of years past.

In the end, the awards could easily be eclipsed by performances and the kind of spontaneity that tends to make the Grammys one of the most surprise-filled nights in show business.

"The thing to remember with the Grammys is that it's not necessarily about who's going to be the biggest winner of the night," said Keith Caulfield, the associate director of charts at Billboard.

"It's going to be about those moments on TV that you won't see anywhere else that will resonate with the public and move them to go stream or buy a song or an album," he said.

Twerk and Soy Bomb

FILE - Kacey Musgraves performs onstage at The 47th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.FILE - Kacey Musgraves performs onstage at The 47th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
x
FILE - Kacey Musgraves performs onstage at The 47th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
FILE - Kacey Musgraves performs onstage at The 47th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, Nov. 6, 2013.
Caulfield tabbed Musgraves as a candidate to benefit greatly from the exposure. The critically acclaimed 25-year-old Country singer-songwriter has yet to break out commercially.

"That could change because suddenly people who don't know who she is will be seeing her perform, and it's on the music awards show that has the highest ratings of all music awards shows during the year," he said.

Another example is Canadian pop singer Robin Thicke, whose performance of his Grammy-nominated song "Blurred Lines" with pop singer Miley Cyrus "twerking" at MTV's Video Music Awards (VMA) in August overshadowed the ceremony and dominated television chatter the following week.

A performance or provocative stunt that generates water-cooler buzz is also likely to live on longer in public memory than whoever takes home top awards for Best Record, Best Album and Song of the Year, said Lyndsey Parker, managing editor for Yahoo Music.

"It seems like with any musical award show now, no one seems to pay that much attention, especially in the long term, to who won anything," Parker said.

She noted how the 1998 Grammys are best remembered not for Bob Dylan winning the Album of the Year award but for when artist Michael Portnoy, who was hired as a background dancer, tore off his shirt and started his own impromptu dance behind Dylan with the words "soy bomb" drawn on his torso.

Since Portnoy's stunt, the "soy bomb" moment and the phrase has been widely referenced and parodied, including by comedian Will Ferrell on "Saturday Night Live."

"When you talk about big Grammy moments and big VMA moments, you're always talking about great performances, surprise performances or 'train wrecks,' crazy performances," Parker said.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.