Music News

Ellie Goulding criticizes Grammy Awards in passionate essay: "What constitutes the worthiness of an award?"


Another artist weighed in on the controversy surrounding this year’s Grammy Awards. However, Ellie Goulding took her criticism a step further by penning a fiery essay on Wednesday about the issues she says are plaguing the music industry.

Goulding, writing for Medium, says the current state of the music world “saddens me” because “the industry stopped reflecting the impulses that drive us as musicians.” 

“I sit and wonder when factors such as industry relationships, internal politics, and magazine covers started being rewarded before the music itself,” the “Burn” singer expresses. 

Explaining that awarding medals to athletes or scientists is a “fairly black or white” process, she says the “waters muddy” when it comes to music awards — especially when “the most globally popular artists and most critically revered artists” are shut out.

“People are being awarded — in the form of both nominations and category wins — for reasons that are hard to decipher,” Goulding insists. “Would a runner start a race if they knew crossing the finish line first wouldn’t necessarily win them a gold medal?”

“So, my question to you, the music industry, is — and I ask this humbly to open a discussion — what constitutes the worthiness of an award,” the singer asks. “Who is it that decides this worthiness?”

Goulding concludes by making a call for more transparency in “our industries process of award nominations and voting” and for more effort to nominate artists based on their merit and not “social media presence.”

“It is time to have a bigger discussion about where we are going and how we acknowledge and reward those who are, frankly, the reason this industry exists in the first place,” she concludes.

In 2016, Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” was up for a Grammy, but lost to Ed Sheeran‘s “Thinking Out Loud.”

By Megan Stone
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