Harry Styles deserved Album of the Year


@harrystyless.dailyy on IG

Ashley Nicole Rosado, Contributor

Having been held on Feb. 5 at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, the 2023 Grammys had a wide range of celebrities who gathered to cheer for one another on their success and reminisce on all the talent that the past year had to offer. The Grammys drew in supporters not only from all parts of the United States but from a multitude of countries internationally as well. While gathering celebrative remarks, there was yet again controversy leading to discussions over the legitimacy of The Grammys. Talks of nepotism and racial discrimination unfolded on various social media platforms, namely Twitter, causing vast outbursts of mixed emotions from the general public. 

When looking into the vast backgrounds of some celebrities attending the ceremony, there have been talks of how nepotism, privilege or simply “knowing the right people” can get an artist time in the spotlight, allowing them to potentially win a prestigious award at the end of the night. Nepotism, as defined by The Cambridge Dictionary, is the “distinct practice of having a family/friend with high power, authority or importance that helps put you at an unfair advantage to obtain jobs, awards or publicity.” At the Grammys specifically, there was outrage over one of the winners of Album of The Year, considered by some the most prestigious awards of the night, which was given to Harry Styles for “Harry’s House.”

While Beyoncé made history by becoming the most-awarded artist at the Grammys with 33 total awards since 1998, many believe that those who vote for the Grammys are not promoting inclusivity. Styles’ speech left the masses confused when he stated, “Things like this don’t happen to people like me very often.” For people like Styles, a conventionally attractive, cisgender, white man, history has proven time and time again that things like this, do in fact happen to people like him every day. While it can be acknowledged that Styles’ outward appearance and identity can make it easier for him to attain publicity, some argue the sentiment in his speech was not intended to cause harm. Having auditioned for “The X Factor” in 2010, Styles came from a single-mother working-class household, growing up in a small town in England where opportunities such as these rarely happen. It is also a widely known fact that this is a quote he often says at the end of every concert as a way to show gratitude to all his supporters who had helped him make it thus far. 

Twitter users who found the feud between fanbases overdone mocked the situation and attempted to draw the masses’ attention to the “Song of The Year” winner, Bonnie Raitt, which they felt was odder than the Styles situation. Gwen Welfeld, a freshman majoring in Communications, stated that “Harry [Styles] winning was so deserved, especially with the year he has had touring and ‘As It Was’ held number one for 15 plus weeks on the Billboard charts,” acknowledging Style’s tour, where he hosted 15 residencies in New York and Los Angeles respectively. Welfeld, having been to quite a few shows herself said, “every listen feels like I am listening again for the first time!” which is a sentiment that is felt amongst the fanbase and a very relatable feeling.

Welfeld admitted that “It felt like people had put a lot of the blame on him instead of the Grammys themselves.” It is important to address that the public does not decide Grammy winners, as they are voted for by a committee of industry experts. In this way, it can be fair to acknowledge that the backlash of the “Album of The Year” award was not in Styles’ control. It should also be noted that among the necessary requirements needed to become an “industry expert,” you must have won a Grammy. 

Perhaps, in the future, it would be fairer for the public to have a say in who wins which award or to let those in the room vote instead of just a select few. This could help even out the playing field, allowing more voices to be heard and potentially greater happiness among viewers.