Backtracking: Carlos Santana Issues Apology To Beyonce+Recording Academy President Talks AOTY Backlash, Says It All Came Down To Votes “I Don’t Think There’s a Race Problem at All”

Posted February 16, 2017

Following a vicious swarming from the Beyhive this week after making statements regarding Beyonce and her Grammy loss to Adele, musician/singer Carlos Santana is now back tracking and has issued a formal apology to the ‘Lemonade’ singer.

Santana took to his official Facebook page to issue the below statement on the matter, and says his words were taken out of context. However, the hive and many Bey supporters were not going for it, and took to the comments in his apology statement, to further drag him.

Well Carlos is not the only one speaking out on the controversy. Following an outpour of backlash for the Grammys and fans suggesting that racism played a part in Bey losing out on ‘Album of the Year’ for the third time in a row, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow now says that racism did not play a part in her losing.

He also attempts to break down how winners are selected and voted on by their peers and basically says that they simply didn’t vote for Bey or think she had the best body of work.

Per Pitchfork:

No, I don’t think there’s a race problem at all. Remember, this is a peer-voted award. So when we say the Grammys, it’s not a corporate entity—it’s the 14,000 members of the Academy. They have to qualify in order to be members, which means they have to have recorded and released music, and so they are sort of the experts and the highest level of professionals in the industry. It’s always hard to create objectivity out of something that’s inherently subjective, which is what art and music is about. We do the best we can. We have 84 categories where we recognize all kinds of music, from across all spectrums.

We don’t, as musicians, in my humble opinion, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity. When you go to vote on a piece of music—at least the way that I approach it—is you almost put a blindfold on and you listen. It’s a matter of what you react to and what in your mind as a professional really rises to the highest level of excellence in any given year. And that is going to be very subjective. That’s what we ask our members to do, even in the ballots. We ask that they not pay attention to sales and marketing and popularity and charts. You have to listen to the music. So of the 14,000 voters, they listen, they make up their minds, and then they vote.

Now here’s the other interesting part of the process, and we stand 100 percent behind the process: It’s a democratic vote by majority. So somebody could either receive or not receive a Grammy based on one vote. It could be that tight.

What do you think?

The last black artist to win AOTY was over 10 years ago, and the total amount of black artists who have won it in the academy’s 59 years is also alarming.

Perhaps the academy might want to rethink their approach and diversify their members, or fans and artists might want to rethink supporting and putting stock in these award shows and their opinions altogether.


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