Beyonce is up for nine Grammys this year, more than any other artist.

Beyonce is up for nine Grammys this year, more than any other artist.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be held Sunday. Do people still care about the Grammys? What purpose do they serve in taste-making today? We’ll look at the modern relevance of one of the music industry’s grandest awards institutions, and preview the big attractions we can expect in this year’s show.


  • Simon Vozick-Levinson MTV news music editor
  • Ann Powers NPR Music's critic and correspondent
  • Kiana Fitzgerald NPR music contributor

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And our audience was split:

We’ll see. 😜

Record of the Year isn’t everyone’s category:

Recent awards shows have been a platform for winners to share their political statements, from Meryl Streep to the Stranger Things cast. Will we see that at the Grammys?

This year’s Grammys are also a sign of the changing way people listen to music, and Chance the Rapper’s nomination is proof.

You also let us know about a few of your favorites, whom NPR is quite familiar with.

Awards have long been more than a way to celebrate achievements. Viewers use them to find out what’s worth listening to. But is that the case anymore? We asked how our panelists, and you, find new music.

We had some breaking news during the show.

But our panel wasn’t too worried. They expect her to come back soon. “No retirement lasts forever,” they agreed. (Franklin has 18 Grammys, by the way.)

Another surprise (though maybe not a huge surprise) was just how much NPR listeners like European metal bands.

And we wrapped up with a quick rundown of favorite nominees.

There wouldn’t be awards without snubs. We asked our panel about artists they like, but who aren’t getting much attention. Kiana Fitzgerald likes the Chicago emcee No Name. Simon Vozick-Levinson says he’ll miss Frank Ocean, whose album isn’t eligible, at the Grammys, but he also mentioned another Chicago artist, Jamila Woods, as someone flying under the radar. And Ann Powers likes Americana artist Amanda Shires, who also isn’t up for a Grammy this year.

Apart from potential political speeches, are there any surprises we might expect watching the Grammys? Maybe…

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