“USA Today” Shows Us How To Write A Grammy Story Without Using The Words “Amy” And “Winehouse”

Feb 8th, 2008 // 12 Comments

christopher-cross.jpgLook, we’re all weary of the Amy Winehouse saga, but there’s something kind of… off in this story about Grammy nominees who allegedly go against the “disposable pop” grain that doesn’t mention the six-time nominee once, yet takes time out to giggle about Christopher Freakin’ Cross, whose Album Of The Year/Song Of The Year/Record Of The Year/Best New Artist haul in 1980 can be matched by Winehouse on Sunday night. (For the record, the article’s “Five For The Future,” as picked by an expert panel that includes USA Today‘s critics: Miranda Lambert, Ne-Yo, Feist, Taylor Swift, and Fantasia.)

Perhaps I’m especially unnerved by the piece since it asks the question “But how many of today’s Grammy initiates will be back vying for awards at the diamond anniversary in 25 years?” The unspoken context being that, lol, like Winehouse will even be around in 25 years, right? Ugh. I mean, as Grammy “storylines” go, the troubles of the Back To Black singer are currently overshadowing pretty much everything else about the night (although to be fair, it’s not really hard to overshadow the current lineup of “a bunch of old people and Kid Rock”) and it’s probably good to look at other ones, but if you’re looking at breakout artists it’s almost like you’re drawing more attention to Winehouse to not mention her, seeing as she’s been more heavily feted than any other artist in the piece and has outsold four of the five. (Swift, whose Soundscans are at 2.4 million, is the anomaly there.)

These five Grammy hopefuls must defy pop’s ‘disposable mentality’ [USA Today; HT DHMBIB]

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  1. loudersoft

    Maybe Amy Winehouse and Christopher Cross can do a record together for their next trick.

  2. BigRicks

    It’s a shame Koko wasn’t there when Cross cleaned up back in ’80

  3. stix

    Wait, since when isn’t Amy Winehouse (very well produced) disposable pop? Or is the blogosphere backlash over already?

  4. Rob Murphy

    @femstix: (trying…hard…not…to…over-react…)

    After I saw this piece online this morning, I queued up the tracks released as part of the “deluxe” re-release of Back To Black recently. If you haven’t heard those, I would suggest you check out Amy’s version of “Cupid”. Sam Cooke would’ve been very proud.

  5. Chris N.

    Christopher Cross may be boring, but he’s made it past 50. Breathing has to count for something.

  6. Maura Johnston

    @femstix: in the amy winehouse vs. feist fite, it’s amy in a ballet-slippered walk.

  7. Marth

    @loudersoft: I will personally finance that recording session if that’s what it takes to make it a reality.

  8. Rob Murphy

    @loudersoft: @Marth: I’d pay $.99 to hear Amy cover “Sailing”, if that helps.

  9. Diglett

    Why is it that guys are expected to waltz through the drug thing like Keith Richards, despite plenty of counterexamples, but every woman in rehab is Janis Joplin waiting to happen? I’m just sayin.

  10. Chris Molanphy

    Reading the USA Today package, the thing I keep coming back to is that infographic with all the critics’ predictions. Here’s what’s shocking me: How is Kanye’s album such a prohibitive favorite?

    Yeah, yeah, I know the core theory: “It sold a lot, and Grammy likes big sellers,” but in the album category, that’s kind of bullshit — they like big sellers that make them comfortable, of the Celine Dion-Sheryl Crow-Natalie Cole-Ray Charles variety. Hip-hop albums generally don’t rally the voters. Even Lauryn Hill’s and OutKast’s wins over the last decade are explainable by their catchy, mostly-sung-and-not-rapped big hits.

    I’ll throw this open to the Idolator peanut gallery: Is Kanye a shoo-in? Make no mistake, I’d be happy for him (even over Winehouse; I ranked Graduation over Back to Black on my Idolator poll). But I just don’t see how the Recording Academy won’t find a way to screw him over again.

  11. Rob Murphy

    @Chris Molanphy: Amen, brother. Except — of course — I’ve got Amy taking this one.

    I was also a bit taken aback by the near unanimity of the critics. Especially in light of the fact that 4 out of 5 gave Graduation their “should win” votes as well as their “will win” votes. (For those who haven’t seen the graphic, one critic gave Herbie Hancock her “should win” vote.)

    Also, did you catch how out-of-touch these critics are with USAT’s readers? The readers’ poll went: 1) Vince Gill (!); 2) Foo Fighters; 3) Amy Winehouse; 4) Kanye West; and 5) Herbie Hancock. I guess the America’s-interstate-rest-stop-diner-patrons vote overwhelmed the America’s-business-travelers vote in this poll.

    I’ll flesh this out on my own blog on Saturday, but I’ve been contrarian on the whole “Amy’s such a mess Grammy doesn’t want to ‘enable’ her thing”. I think she’s gonna sweep. My two basic supporting points:

    1) Her nominations are almost completely interlocking. With the possible exception of ROTY and SOTY, how can she not be considered the overwhelming favorite in each category? And every voter who thinks Back To Black is the AOTY has to give her BNA, and one or two more, at least.

    2) Grammy has been falling all over itself to make sure Amy’s involved on Sunday nite. They plan to have her perform in a studio in London and “accept her awards via satellite”. Ahem.

    Someone behind the scenes obviously knows what the results are, but I think Grammy smells history on Sunday nite. And heaven knows the music industry could use some big positive press right about now.

    Here’s your leading indicator — “Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical”. If this award, which will go out in the early ceremony (methinks?), goes to Mark Ronson, it’s gonna be a big nite for Amy Winehouse.

  12. Chris Molanphy

    @DHMBIB: I’m with you on most of these predix. I loves me some Kanye, but it’s Amy FTW. Let’s come back Monday and see if we’re right.

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