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Lil’ Mirkk and the Future of the Grammys!
Very soon, on February 12th, the next ‘big stars’ of music will head up on the stage to collect the trophies that all singers, bands, and composers strive to acquire. It is the 54th Annual Grammy Awards and, oddly enough, all this writer can think about is the 55th where, in 2013 (if the voters have one brain between them), the name, Lil’ Mirkk, will be called. Perhaps it will be for best song, such as: Here’s the Truth, or 2012 Epic. Or, perhaps it will be for best album with his forthcoming, WTF. Whichever one, two, or three he may carry away with him, Lil’ Mirkk will be the talk of 2013 because his album, WTF, will arrive in stores this Spring.
As we’ve reported in the past, Lil’ Mirkk proved his wealth to the music industry when he began rhyming at the age of five, and recorded a CD when he was only fifteen-years-old. At this time he was known as Def Ice, and the amazing album was titled, “Seeing is Believing.” At that time, Lil’ Mirkk rose up the charts like a rocket ship, even appearing on the music show, Raw Talent. His beloved friend, Heavy D – God rest his soul – would’ve loved to see the future that’s about to begin for Lil’ Mirkk, because, like Heavy D, this is one man who instills inspiration, beauty and sheer ‘coolness’ in everything he sings.
Believe it or not, the 1st Annual Grammy Awards was held in 1959. It was so new that it wasn’t even televised; not until 1971. The list of Album of the Year nominees ranged from Ella Fitzgerald to Frank Sinatra (nominated for two albums: Come fly With Me and Only the Lonely. But it was the great Henry Mancini who took home the prize for The Music From Peter Gunn.
The papers, fans and the music community at large loved Mancini’s new style known as ‘cool’ jazz, and very early in the Grammy presentation this great composer actually began his wins that would total twenty by the end of the night. Like the great John Williams is today, Mancini would become the top film composer of his era, going on to create film music for the “Pink Panther” series.
Sinatra pretty much canceled his own chances for the win with his two albums being nominated at once, while the magnificent Ella Fitzgerald was nominated for a songbook album dedicated to the legendary, Irving Berlin. A pianist, Van Cliburn, was also nominated. He had just won at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and was hailed as the ‘best of the best,’ adding beauty to the incredibly depressing time of the Cold War.
The winner for Record of the Year AND Song of the Year was the only foreign language release to ever win the Grammy. Domenico Modugno won for his record, “Nel Blu Dipinto Blu (Volare),” up against American household names like Perry Como, Peggy Lee, Vic Damone, Sinatra (of course), and – believe it or not – David Seville And The Chipmunks who were nominated for “The Chipmunk Song.”
There was no Best New Artist until the Grammys came around once again in 1958, giving the brand new award to Bobby Darin. This singer, actor and musician ended up performing in a range of music genres that included pop, rock, jazz, folk and country, before he passed away at a very young age..
Unlike other awards given out to the ‘best of the best’ in their industry, the Grammy is actually seen as one of the most beautiful awards to own. Back then it was called a ‘Gramophone Award’ and given out by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The annual awards ceremony is one of the most watched because it features stellar performances by the most prominent artists of the year.
This particular award came about in an odd way – from the Hollywood Walk of fame project that was being done in the 1950’s in Los Angeles. Recording executives chosen for the ‘Walk of Fame’ committee worked diligently to put together a list of the important stars in the industry who were so popular that they would qualify for a Walk of Fame star. Of course, seeing as the film and T.V. industries were really the ones being looked at, music executives decided to create their own award like the Oscars and the Emmys.
Thankfully, they didn’t go with their first choice of “name” for the award which was supposed to be the ‘Eddie,’ in honor of the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison. Settling on his invention instead, the ‘Gramophone’ came into being. This gold-plated award is a gilded hand-made gramophone, which was revamped in 1990 using a stronger alloy so that they would not become damaged so quickly.
The Grammy Awards didn’t see much of a change over the past few decades until after last year’s ceremony, where the categories were overhauled for 2012. The changes to expect this year is the fact that the Grammys have eliminated thirty-one categories, with the biggest being the fact that ‘male’ and ‘female’ soloists will no longer be separate, and duo/groups in various genre fields (pop, rock, R&B, country and rap) will be combined. As will the Rock genre. Instead of separate categories for hard rock and metal they are now combined into one category: Best Rock Instrumental Performance. There will also be just one Best R&B Album, as well as Best Rap Performance – and not a rap solo versus a rap group.
Contemporary blues and folk will be combined, as well as the fact that the best classical album will now be placed into the Album of the Year category and not be separated from the others. Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) also become one with the Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Award.
Coming to television n 1971, the Grammys were held in various venues – from New York City to Los Angeles to Nashville. It wasn’t until 2004 that the Staples Center became the permanent home of the award ceremonies. The Grammy Museum was built across the street from the Staples Center to preserve the history of the awards, and embedded on the sidewalks are bronze disks that honor each year’s top winners of, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.
I can not wait to visit the Staples Center in 2013 and see Lil’ Mirkk’s name and the album WTF all over those sidewalks. THIS is the man of the future. And, mark my words everyone, when Lil’ Mirkk hit’s the airwaves and stages across America, every other artist will cease to exist!
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