Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Music awards shows falling by the wayside

By Dean Goodman
July 13, 2009

The indignity just keeps piling up for pop stars these days. Fans are either pirating their records, or just not bothering to listen to music anymore. The labels are cutting back wherever they can. And now there are fewer opportunities for pats on the back and shiny statuettes. 

janesSeveral key shows have quietly fallen by the wayside in recent years, including the Billboard Music Awards (last held in 2006) and the Soul Train Music Awards (last held in 2007). 

Others never really got going, such as British music newspaper NME’s attempt to export its popular show to America. The Stateside version of the NME Awards kicked off last year in Los Angeles with a Jane’s Addiction reunion (above), but 15 months later no plans have been announced for a sequel. 

A year ago, The Who were honored in Los Angeles during VH1′s 3rd annual “Rock Honors” tribute concert, a successor to sister network MTV’s “Icon” tributes, which ran for four years until 2004. VH1 says there will be no “Rock Honors” this year, but it is bringing back its “Divas” concert series in New York in September after a five-year hiatus. 

The three biggies are still a go: the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 13, the American Music Awards in November, and the Grammys on Jan. 31.


I have been writing music reviews professionally for several years now. Beyond my personal control is my nickname which is retrograbman. Specifically, that means that probably because I was born during the Truman Administration I have little knowledge of today’s rap, hip hop, 21 Century pop and dance music. I write about the music industry’s seminal and genius performers starting from Doris Day, Jo Stafford, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Dion, Waylon Jennings,Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith, The Who, Rolling Stones, Harry Chapin and on into perpetuity. The point? Not one contemporary band or singer can come close to these classic recording artists in vocals, song writing and instrumentally speaking. American Idol has not helped but injured the industry. The Electronic Age has a distracting effect. The big acts want too much green to show up. There will never be another Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell or a perfect album like Rumors or Tapestry.


I think that these “awards shows” are more about TV station profits, record company profits, advertising campaigns, and fashion shows rather than actual appreciation for musical artistic contributions. For now perhaps the “big three” are too big to fail! lol ! I am personally turned off by the intent. The cost of these shows I’m sure are astronomical and therefore stations have to deliver profits based upon what they think will get people to tune in. I think there are enough people who enjoy watching these awards programs to keep a few of the shows going.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

Why does this discussion see the great importance in Award Shows evaporating when the realproblem is what may be a desintigration over the years in the Music Industry. We have not developed from an A&R standpoint anyone even a country mile away considering musical ability from the singers of one decade, the 1970′s. Back then we had Dionne Warwick, Rita Coolidge, Karen Carpenter, James Taylor, War, Kool and the Gang and the lists goes on. Nicollete Larson who was a back up singer was a better vocalist than any singer out there today. We have become enveloped in the cheap night out of amatuer night and that is what has corrupted the industry. It is low cost TV entertainment with a huge profit but little quality. Put a Midnight Special hour against them and more pros, even oldies on the set and the Industry willone day again feature Smokey Robinsons and Sarah Vaughns making 15 track perfect blu rays all over the place.

Posted by JayAdlerMusic | Report as abusive

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