.

Music Mogul Steve Stoute Blasts Grammys in 'New York Times' Ad

Exec claims the Grammys are out of touch for snubbing Eminem and Justin Bieber

February 22, 2011 3:05 PM ET
Eminem performs at the 2011 Grammy awards
Eminem performs at the 2011 Grammy awards
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Media mogul Steve Stoute took out a $40,000 full-page ad in the New York Times' Sunday Styles section on Sunday that took the Grammy Awards to task for becoming out of step with popular culture, in part for failing to honor Eminem and Justin Bieber at this year's ceremony. (You can read the full ad here.) "The awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate," wrote Stoute, whose Translation agency specializes in music-oriented advertising for companies such as McDonalds and Hewlett-Packard.

Grammy Awards: Complete Coverage

According to Stoute, the Recording Academy has consistently snubbed rap performers and denied the massive cultural impact of artists such as Eminem and Kanye West. Acknowledging his hip-hop bias, Stoute made a point to stick up for Bieber, whom he says is "an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist" yet lost in the Best New Artist category to jazz vocalist Esperanza Spalding.

Photos: Backstage and in the Crowd at the 2011 Grammy Awards

Stoute claimed that this year's Grammy Awards was filled with performances by major artists as a way of drawing viewers, partly to compensate for relatively obscure artists winning in top categories. He was particularly skeptical about the Arcade Fire's readiness to perform a second song after their surprise win for Album of the Year, suggesting that the awards were rigged in some way.

Photos: The 2011 Grammy Awards Red Carpet

While Stoute's frustrations are understandable – particularly as a person who has spent much of his own career working with hip-hop artists such as Nas and Jay-Z – to some extent his rant is a bit misguided. Insisting that the Grammys become a popularity contest that privileges record sales above all other artistic considerations is at odds with the voting process of the Academy. In this sense, Stoute may have the function of the Grammy Awards confused with that of the Billboard and People's Choice Awards.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com