Despite great performances by Kendrick Lamar, Kesha and many more, this year’s Grammys ceremony made almost no one happy. From the bizarre choice to forego a Lorde performance even as every male Album of the Year nominee played, to Neil Portnow’s post-event remarks to Variety about women purportedly needing to “step up” in the music industry, it sparked social-media outrage that still hasn’t died down.
In the latest episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, Contributing Editor Rob Sheffield and Staff Writer Brittany Spanos join the show’s host, Senior Writer Brian Hiatt, to dive deep on what went wrong and how to fix it. They also trace the oft-bizarre history of the awards (including the ’80s and ’90s, when Eric Clapton won Best Rock Song for a rearrangement of the already-ancient “Layla,” Jethro Tull won best Heavy Metal Album and Natalie Cole swept at the height of grunge). They also point out that the Grammys rarely got rock right, let alone hip-hop – Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and many other legends never even got nominated in the ’60s. To hear the entire discussion, see above or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.
In the episode, Spanos argues that younger fans simply won’t settle for what they see as an out-of-touch institution, unlike Gen-Xers years ago, who were willing to laugh it off and watch the MTV VMAs instead. And as for how to save the Grammys, Sheffield lobbies passionately for one very specific solution: Bring back LL Cool J to host!
Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now on iTunes or Spotify, and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.
Watch below: A recap of the best and worst moments of the 2018 Grammy Awards.