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NEAR TRUTHS: PAGING
SHERLOCK HOLMES

Plenty of ink has already been spilled, by us and other industry watchers, about how badly Grammy blew its nominations. The mystery of 2020: Who orchestrated the blackballing of The Weeknd, and how—and why? His total shutout was the most glaring and absurd of snubs, but essential players of 2020 like Summer Walker, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Lil Baby and Harry Styles were also either ignored outright or given short shrift.

It’s become increasingly clear that Recording Academy boss Harvey Mason Jr. has been unable to contain the corruption at the heart of the awards process. Insiders continue to point to Bill Freimuth as the primary agent of the status quo, which continues without the transparency or accountability we’ve long been promised. Beyond the Big Four, there’s considerable outrage over the politics driving certain Country, Rap and R&B categories. Can anyone fix it?

Meanwhile, in addition to the COVID challenges, how will Ben Winston, Jack Sussman and teams approach the telecast, given the controversies? They seem to have chosen, wisely, to give their show some distance from the Academy's nomination-related stumbles and other prior bullshit, and the TV teaser campaign for the show is showing some genuine sparkle. What surprises do they have in store?

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