Bruno Mars swept Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, winning six trophies and beating out heavyset contenders Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z for Album, Record and Song of the Year. Mars’ wins comes at a time when the Grammy Awards are the most diverse in its 60-year history, with 15 hip-hop or R&B artists represented.
While the Grammys may have shed its pop sensibilities, it still declined to recognize albums like Jay-Z’s 4:44, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN or the Spanish-language summer smash hit “Despacito,” which addressed race relations, police violence and came to represent immigration reform, respectively. This year’s winners are reminiscent of last year’s awards when Adele beat Beyonce juggernaut Lemonade for Album of the Year, or when in 2016 Taylor Swift’s 1989 usurped Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
This year, is it enough for these artists to simply have been nominated? Have the ideas they’ve raised in their music about equality, politics and oppression made an impact without an artist taking home a gramophone? To answer those questions and more, the NewsHour (@NewsHour) will be joined on Twitter at 1 p.m. EST Monday by Harold Shawn, program director of the Hip-Hop Archive and Research Institute (@hiphoparchive), Brionna Atkins, media and public relations coordinator for the Institute (@hiphoparchive), and Chris Richards, The Washington Post’s (@washingtonpost) pop music critic (@chris_richards.)
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