I have been a Voting Member of the Recording Academy for 19 years and am an ardent supporter of the organization. Yesterday while on Facebook, I was made aware from a friend and former colleague’s post of this gesture from Beyonce at an after show party for the Grammys.
Perhaps Beyonce was disappointed that she did not win more than one Grammy last week – but talk about a slap-in the face to her friends and colleagues. You may be aware that voting members of the Grammy’s are musical creators themselves. In order to qualify to become a voting member of the Recording Academy, one must meet their stringent criteria, In essence one must have either performed, produced, engineered, mixed, or mastered a professionally released, commercially available sound recording. So in essence the Recording Academy Members are comprised of the recorded music industry that Beyonce requires in order to have created Lemonade, (Lemonade credits).
As a musician I found Lemonade to be highly creative in it’s production and integration of sampling. Bacharach & David as well as Led Zeppelin are credited as co-writers on two of the tracks and would of had to have previously approved the samples being included on the recording. After seeing this image dissing our industry and all the talented members of the Recording Academy, I would guess that both parties are having second thoughts about having done so. The Grammys are different from all other music awards shows, which typically recognize the most ‘popular’ recordings, (the ones having the most downloads, purchases and streams). In the voting instructions for the Grammys, it clearly states that we are to vote on artistic merit, not commercial success. Now I’m not a huge Adele fan, but as far as arranging, production and vocal performance, it’s clear that she turned in the better vocal recording of the two projects. Not too mention, the kind words of acknowledgement from Adele to Beyonce during her acceptance speech for Album of the Year from the stage.
To add insult to injury – Beyonce was captured in a second photo alongside her Mother who is also displaying the act of irreverence.
Can you imagine, Beyonce has a young child at home with twins on the way, all of whom will grow up to someday find these photos on the web. Talk about misguided inspiration and motivation for young women and aspiring recording artists. The age old additive, if you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything at all, would have been well advised to adhere to in this situation. I’m wondering if the Recording Academy will make any remarks to this obvious insult to our organization. What are your thoughts on this?