Grammys Show Jay-Z Isn't Wrong

Best new artist nominees were shut out of performances, reviewers point out
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2024 5:26 PM CST
Grammys Show Jay-Z Isn't Wrong
Beyonce, left, and Jay-Z kiss in the audience Sunday night during the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Jay-Z included a caveat in his criticism of the Grammy Awards for overlooking Black musical artists—including his wife, Beyonce—in his acceptance speech Sunday night. "Obviously, it's subjective because it's music," he said, per the Hollywood Reporter. "And it's opinion-based." But there was evidence apparent on the music industry's big night, Lorraine Ali writes in the Los Angeles Times. "No matter what you think of Beyonce's work, Jay-Z underscored how difficult it's been—historically and presently—for the Recording Academy to embrace the work of Black and female artists," Ali writes.

The academy inadvertently supported Jay-Z's argument by continuing "its love affair with the safe and familiar," writes Ali, who considered the fact that women, many of them women of color, dominated major award categories—which she says sparked an excitement that went unfulfilled. The best new artist category demonstrates the point. The eight nominees made up "as interesting and diverse a lineup as that category has seen in years," Chris Willman writes in Variety. Yet none of them was asked to perform during the show. The result, Ali writes, is that "the ceremony failed to communicate the same exhilarating picture of music's future as the varied crop of nominees." Ali's review of the Grammys can be found here and Willman's here. (More Jay-Z stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.