Steve Stoute Takes Issue With The Grammy Awards
February 21, 2011 at 9:01 AM (PT)
Longtime record exec STEVE STOUTE took out a full-page ad in SUNDAY's (2/20) NEW YORK TIMES, to take issue with this year's GRAMMY AWARDS -- and point out artists he felt were overlooked.
Wrote STOUTE, "Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the GRAMMY AWARDS have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture. My being a music fan has left me with an even greater and deeper sense of dismay -- so much so that I feel compelled to write this letter."
Continued STOUTE, "How is it possible that in 2001 The Marshall Mathers LP -- an album by EMINEM that ushered in the BOB DYLAN of our time -- was beaten out by STEELY DAN (no disrespect) for Album Of The Year?" STOUTE then points to Hip-Hop artists he feels were equally overlooked.
"Just so that I'm not showing partiality to hip-hop artists (although it would be an entirely different letter as to how hip-hop music has been totally diminished as an art form by this organization), how is it that JUSTIN BIEBER, an artist who defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? Again, his cultural impact and success are even more quantifiable if you factor in his YOUTUBE and VEVO viewership -- the fact that he was a talent born entirely of the digital age whose story was crafted in the most humble method of being 'discovered' purely for his singing ability (and it should be noted that JUSTIN BIEBER plays piano and guitar, as evidenced on his early viral videos)."
STOUTE also casts doubt on the Album Of The Year surprise, writing "What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions. As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band ARCADE FIRE performed 'Month of May' -- only to ... surprise ... win the category and in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform "Ready to Start."
Read his full letter here.