Can The Brit Awards ever compare to The Grammys?

The Brit Awards has for many years been referred to as the British version of the American Grammy Awards, but how much do the two music award shows really have in common?

The Brits has almost always been held in the month of February since it became an annual event in 1982 and up until this year, the winners of the awards were voted for by the general public.

Allowing the public to vote seems like a good idea but the prestige of the event is lost when just about anyone can vote.

Essentially, an artist with the biggest fan base will win every time whilst making room for tactical voting as well.

Looking at the Grammys, academy members who are esteemed professionals vote on the most talented act, regardless of commercial success.

The categories are vastly different, with the Brit Awards being separated into ‘British’ and ‘International’, which might as well be ‘American/Canadian’, with no other country really getting a look in. Some critics suggest that it is very commercialised when it should be about talent within the industry.

Maybe US radio being organised by genre is the reason why the Grammys are categorised as such but it gives a whole range of artists a chance to shine on their own turf if they fail to make the broader fields such as ‘Song of the Year’, which are held in a higher regard.

The good thing about these awards shows is the massive exposure it gives to the nominated artists and performers. This is reflected in the weekly music charts.

Ben Howard and Mastercard British Album of the Year winner, Emeli Sandé experienced a 583% and 764% sales boost respectively whilst Album of the Year winners Mumford and Sons experienced a 242% sales boost after the Grammys.

Of course, the award shows aren’t all about the nominees and the winners; there are musical performances in abundance by various artists, which is a huge ratings grabber.

Callum Hurrell, lead singer of Life in a Glasshouse said of The Grammys: “I watch for both performances and the results. It’s interesting to see which artists have been the most successful but the award show performances are almost always unique and memorable.”

However, he isn’t a fan of The Brits: “I find it disappointingly bland. It just doesn’t compare to the diverse and grand appeal of the Grammys.

“The Brits focuses more on British culture whereas the focus of the Grammys is on being a larger than life experience.”

The viewing figures and audience share is a big indicator of how many of the nation is actually interested. This year, 28.4m total viewers – the most since 1993, watched the 55th Grammy Awards whereas 6.51m viewers – the most in ten years, watched the 2013 Brit Awards.

Ultimately, it would be unfair to say The Brit Awards is the British equivalent to The Grammy Awards. For an awards ceremony that also claims to be the “largest event in the pop calender”, then The Brits is definitely aware of what it represents but it can’t be like The Grammys at the same time.

Jerome Nichols

Filed Under: Entertainment

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