Rolling Out

John Legend calls out Grammys for snubbing Black artists for top accolades

John Legend calls out Grammys for snubbing Black artists for top accolades
Photo credit: Bang media

John Legend has called out the Grammys for snubbing Black artists in their shortlists for top accolades, including Album of the Year, which he claims in an “almost impossible” feat.

The 11-time Grammy-winner and EGOT holder — who was announced as a member of The Recording Academy’s board of trustees this year — has commented on Diddy’s comments earlier this year when he suggested The Academy should create an “even playing field” for rap artists, accusing the organization of “never” respecting Black music.

And the 41-year-old singer thinks the “I’ll Be Missing You” hitmaker was “right to complain about it” because they need to address the lack of diversity.

He told Entertainment Weekly magazine: “It’s almost impossible for a Black artist to win Album of the Year. How many years do we have to see Beyoncé snubbed? Kanye [West] has never won. It’s kind of insane … We’ve got to do something, because that’s a terrible record, and Diddy is right to complain about it.”

The Grammys have often been criticized for shutting out rappers from the major categories and Diddy criticized The Recording Academy as he accepted the Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Award at the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy Gala in January.

The 50-year-old star said: “I say this with love to the Grammys, because you really need to know this, every year y’all be killing us, man. Man, I’m talking about the pain. I’m speaking for all these artists here, the producers, the executives. In the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘We are artists and we are sensitive about our s***.’ For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope.

“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys. The amount of time it takes to make these records, to pour your heart into it, and you just want an even playing field.

“So right now, with this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on — not just in music, but in film, sports, around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us — and that stops right now.

“I’m officially starting the clock: you’ve got 365 days to get this s— together. We need the artists to take back control, we need transparency, we need diversity. This is the room that has the power to [force] the change that needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us: They’re a non-profit organization that is supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what is says on the mission statement: they work for us.

It’s going to take all of us to get this done. I’m here for the artists, so sign me up.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out