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Music Industry Veteran Blasts Grammys for ‘Losing Touch’

Music industry entrepreneur Steve Stoute isn’t too pleased with how the Grammy Awards turned out earlier this month. The former record executive took out a page in yesterday’s edition of the New York Times, publishing an open letter to the Grammy Board, NARAS and Neil Portnow that criticized them for “[losing] touch with contemporary popular culture” and passing over certain artists who deserve accolades.

Stoute, who accuses the Grammys of exhibiting “fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts” and “over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting,” refers to specific instances where artists were overlooked. Stoute names Eminem‘s 2001 album ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ and Kanye West‘s ‘Graduation’ as releases that should have won Album of the Year, but were beaten out by less successful LPs from Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock.

He references Esperanza Spalding‘s win this year for Best New Artist, claiming that the fact that Justin Bieber didn’t take home the trophy is a telltale sign that the Grammys have become obsolete.

“Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation?” he wrote, asking musicians to refuse invitations from henceforth. “Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves.”

Read Stoute’s entire letter at

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