Politics Trump the True Purpose of The Grammy’s

Olivia King, Editor-In-Chief

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards took place on CBS Sunday January 28th. James Corden was the enthusiastic host from Madison Square Garden in New York City, this being the first time since 2003 that the awards were held outside of Los Angeles.

The atmosphere of the 2018 Grammy Awards were certainly different from that of the 1st Grammy Award that took place in 1958. Unfortunately from the very first performance, it was obvious that politics would be a overriding theme mixed into speeches and performances.  

Kendrick Lamar kicked off the Grammy’s with his performance featuring dancers dressed like American soldiers. Towards the end of the song the “soldiers” were displayed as being shot and killed.

After the first song, comedian Dave Chappelle took a brief moment to state, ‘Isn’t it hard to be an honest black man in America?”  before Kendrick went into his second song.

There have been some diverse stances with the army’s actions over the past year, but the insult of killing soldiers, even if it was meant to be lighthearted for a performance was not needed in the opening performance of an award show. Just like players of The NFL kneeling for the National Anthem, some actions don’t truly benefit either argument. People who risked his or her life to fight for this country gain nothing from watching themselves symbolically mocked on television.

Later on in the night Victor Cruz and Sarah Silverman struck a nerve when they both made a joke regarding elections.

“We came out here to talk about a very important issue. Voting…just kidding do whatever you want with voting because the world is basically over anyway.”

With Donald Trump winning the most recent presidential election there have been countless countless controversies regarding his demeanor and decisions. Regardless of people’s opinions on these factors, President Trump is trying to better our nation and making jokes about how the world is over will not change that fact. Expressing these feelings will not end Trump’s Presidency or cause any big changes. People may not have been okay with President Obama being our leader but the comments changed nothing; It’s at least a four year term for all.

Towards the end of the night Irish band U2 gave a powerful performance on the banks of the Hudson River. During the chorus of a song, Bono, the leader of U2 passionately spoke through a patriotic microphone implying multiple possible situations.

“The big bullies of America will one day have to stand up to themselves.”

The true intention of Bono’s statement is unknown. However his statement most likely fits into some piece of the political world. During a performance  I just do not see the point of a comment like this. What does it have to due with the song currently being sung? Is it expected that the world will stop for a minute and praise the singers deciding to speak his or her political opinion. Isn’t the Grammy’s supposed to be about the music?

In the last thirty minutes of the night, various celebrities and public figures took another stab at Donald Trump’s Presidency by reading from Fire and Fury, Inside the Trump White House. This novel takes various aspects of Trump’s looks and mannerisms, and turns them into crude jokes. The book intentionally rips the President apart and makes him look like a fool. The last person to read from the book was none other than Hillary Clinton herself.

The show ran for 2 hours and 35 minutes with a political opinion thrown into the mix every thirty minutes at least. Music and politics do not mix.  The purpose of the Grammy’s USED to be congratulating great musicians and great music and turning everything into a political game makes people want to stop watching it. It benefits no one and creates extra stress added onto the award show. People do not want to watch a show that ends up being more focused on expressing political opinions than the true purpose. If so, there’s the news to watch instead. The tension politics always brings ruined the atmosphere of what once was a wonderful ceremony.


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