India Arie On The GRAMMYs: “It’s A Popularity Contest”



Many people had a lot to say about the GRAMMYs that aired this Sunday. Not everyone agreed with the wins of the night. According to, India Arie was one of those people and she expressed her opinion about the GRAMMYs in an open letter. Check it out:


“When Kendrick Lamar and other rappers got shut out of the GRAMMYS on Sunday night…while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the rap categories…plenty of people were perturbed about it all.  And it wasn’t just the rap categories, it seemed that artists who deserved to win album, video & R&B categories were pushed to the side for white artists or those with more name recognition. 

@Kendricklamar WAS robbed, BUT he was not the only one who was robbed. Personally, I was pleased he was able to perform and they KILLED! IT! One of the FEW moving moments of the night for ME.

Though it’s called “Music industries biggest night” the #Grammys are NOT about the music, it’s a popularity contest. The voting process allows people, to vote on name recognition alone – the music industry politics is a whole NUTHER conversation. Too much to go into here.

The truth is in a perfect world diversity would matter, and respect would be rampant, but the TRUTH is, The #Grammys is a television show, and in THAT world ratings reign supreme. So, in general, bigger names take the stage, and sadly the biggest names often times ARE BIGGER drawn along racial lines from the release of an album. i.e. marketing dollars, and just general support. It’s unfortunate.

I don’t even get surprised any more, but, it still hits my sense of fairness, because I KNOW many of the artists who are overlooked. I LIVE in that world. We keep showing up and subjecting ourselves to the game, hoping MAYBE we’ll win. I was so HAPPY to see @Kendricklamar take that stage – because it is a FORM of winning, at LEAST, he was SEEN.

Love to all #SoulBirdsWorldWide


P.S. No mention of Nelson Mandela at ALL? … and THIS is why we NEED the Image Awards AND the BET awards.”

Click here to see the entire letter.


And she also tweeted this:

4 those who don’t know or R 2 young 2 know: I was nominated for 7 Grammys and took home 0 – I won 2 the following yr. untelevised.”


What do you guys think? Do you agree with the points she made in her letter? Are the GRAMMYs just a popularity contest?


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