The Grammy Awards
The Grammys are the premier awards ceremony for recording artists.
They began in 1959 and were the last of the big four entertainment awards in the United States. Emmys for television, Oscars for film, and Tonys for theatre. Fifteen people have won all four awards and are known as EGOTs. It is awarded by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
The idea originated in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project. They quickly realized that space for recording artists would be very limited and wanted a way to recognize the many talents in the industry. They soon settled on an awards ceremony that could also serve as a promotional tool. The next task was to choose a name for the award. It followed the trend of other major entertainment awards and a short nickname was chosen. Grammy is short for Emil Berliner’s gramophone invention. The statue still resembles a record player with a horn.
The first ceremony was held in 1959 and honored artists that worked in 1958 and was held in two different locations: on the east and west coasts of the US. The ceremony was recorded for television broadcast but was not live on air until the early 1970s.
The four most prominent awards are song, album, record, and new artist for the year.
Adele and Christopher Cross are the only artists to have won all four.
However, the audience rating has steadily declined in recent decades.
The award has faced criticism for rewarding commercial success, and not an artistic achievement, and having a too conservative taste.
The ceremony is preceded and followed by press conferences, red carpets, and a party all under the eye of the camera. Celebrities from in and out of the industry attend in their best attire.
One can see the changes in society reflected in the vintage images from the last sixty years.
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