News / Arts & Entertainment

    For Young Artists at Grammys, Exposure Could Be the Award

    FILE - Hunter Hayes performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York, June 21, 2013.
    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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.