Flume, Tame Impala and Hillsong are up for prizes. But like any awards show in 2021, this year’s Grammys are facing controversy.

It is strange to be alongside someone who has made such an impact on pop culture throughout the years, says the groups leader Laura Toggs. But were just grateful to be included at all.
I think Kanye is a masterful creative and I loved the album, Jesus Is King he was bold in his faith and I respect that.
But like any awards show in 2021, this years Grammys are facing controversy.
Fans and critics have lamented snubs around both acclaimed and popular releases (Fiona Apples critically-revered Fetch the Bolt Cutters is consigned to the rock and alternative categories, alongside Phoebe Bridgers impactful Punisher), and major nominations for minor fare (who even are Black Pumas, who are challenging for record and album of the year?).
And although Taylor Swifts viral Folklore, Dua Lipas pandemic-disco Dont Start Now, and Beyonces #BlackLivesMatter anthem Black Parade are tipped for the top awards, theres an overriding feeling the Grammys have once again defied the zeitgeist.
It feels like what 50-year-olds think popular music was like, quipped New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica while recently discussing the record of the year category.
Major musicians including Halsey and The Weeknd, whose 2020-dominating album After Hours somehow failed to land a single nomination have come out firing, slamming the lack of transparency in the Recording Academys membership and voting practices, even accusing it of being corrupt and open to bribes, the same sort of ethical concerns that rocked the Golden Globes Hollywood Foreign Press Association just last month.
On Friday, The Weeknd announced that hed be boycotting the Grammys going forward because of the secret committees that decided on the prizes.
Such critiques and questions over the Grammys decision-making and relevance have long plagued the awards.
In 2017, Adele whose 25 won album of the year over Beyonces Lemonade used her acceptance speech to essentially hand the award over to Beyonces monumental album, which she felt was more deserving. In 2018, Kendrick Lamars DAMN. was embarrassingly overlooked for the same award in favour of Bruno Mars 24K Magic, only to be awarded the actual Pulitzer Prize just weeks later.
Flume accepts the award for best dance/electronic album at the 2017 Grammys.
Dr Liz Giuffre, a senior lecturer in popular music at the University of Technology in Sydney, says musicians criticisms of the Grammys reflect wider cultural concerns around whos deciding who is celebrated in the arts.
We know these institutions have been skewed against women and against people of colour, which is where these concerns come from, she says.
We still dont know things like whos in the voting membership, and once youre in it do you leave? We might have people in there who are in their 80s and 90s, voting with their tastes. Good luck to them, but are they really the best judge of whats happening in current popular music?
Its why you end up with the Grammys constantly backtracking and playing catch-up, adds Dr Giuffre, handing out lifetime achievement awards to neglected artists like Diana Ross and Public Enemy or awarding artists for work that pales in comparison to their already overlooked best (a criticism that met Beyonces field-leading nine nominations last November).
Which all begs the question: If we recognise that their decisions are often confounding and wrong and so out of step with the zeitgeist, why do we still lend so much cultural weight to the Grammys?
Flume, who scored a Grammy in 2017 for best dance/electronic album for his breakthrough Skin, says the win opened a lot of doors.
I think for a lot of artists it feels a bit surreal and ridiculous and it was never that important to me, personally. But then I won and it was like, Alright, this is a real thing that just happened, and it really legitimised the whole project, he says.
Suddenly more people were just open to working with me, and I instantly had access to a lot of different people that I didnt prior.
Dr Giuffre agrees that, despite the organisations endless list of missteps, for Australians making their mark internationally, the Grammys do remain a really big deal because a nomination or win does serve as a wide-scale industry launch beyond our confined shores.
It is an important acknowledgement, and at this point its so iconic that the minute you say Grammy you are up there with all the great musicians whove won them before, she adds. Its like they say, first line of the obituarys already written.
The Grammys will air on Network 10 on Monday from 11am.