No Rock awards for the Grammy telecast. Here’s what we didn’t get to see.

All music awards programs are first and foremost a mainstream primetime TV show. Everything else–including genuine honouring of art–is secondary.

This year, the Grammys are all about hip-hop, rap and R&B, a reflection of what the American public is streaming these days. That meant that something (actually, a lot of things) had to be clipped from the broadcast. Rock was one of the casualties.

Seventy awards (yes, 7-0) were handed out before the broadcast began. Here is who won what from the rock and rock(ish)-related categories.

Let’s start with a shocker. Leonard Cohen? WTF?

Best Rock Performance
You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen – WINNER
The Promise – Chris Cornell
Run – Foo Fighters
No Good – Kaleo
Go To War – Nothing More

Whoa! Did not see that coming, especially since Leonard Cohen isn’t what anyone would call “rock.” Nothing against Lenny–this is a very good song from a very good album–but picking him as a winner in this category is almost as dumb as Jethro Tull winning Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance.

Best Alternative Music Album:
Everything Now — Arcade Fire
Humanz — Gorillaz
American Dream — LCD Soundsystem
Pure Comedy — Father John Misty
Sleep Well Beast — The National — WINNER

Interesting. I guessed that Arcade Fire would win on name recognition alone but wished The National would win.

Best Metal Performance
Invisible Enemy – August Burns Red
Black Hoodie – Body Count
Forever – Code Orange
Sultan’s Curse – Mastodon – WINNER
Clockworks – Meshuggah

Called this one. Good pick.

Best rock song
Metallica – Atlas, Rise!
K.Flay – Blood in the Cut
Nothing More – Go to War
Foo Fighters – Run – WINNER
Avenge Sevenfold – The Stage

Yep. That works, although I would have preferred to see a woman win for a change.

Best Rock Album
Emperor Of Sand — Mastodon
Hardwired…To Self-Destruct — Metallica
The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Nothing More
Villains — Queens Of the Stone Age
A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs — WINNER

Huh? What? Over Metallica? Cool. Shocking, but cool.

Pop vocal album
Kaleidoscope EP – Coldplay
Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey
Evolve – Imagine Dragons
Rainbow – Kesha
Joanne – Lady Gaga
÷ (Divide) – Ed Sheeran – WINNER

Duh. Sheeran should have had a dozen nominations but was mostly snubbed. This is the least the Grammy could do.

Pop duo/group performance
Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber
Thunder – Imagine Dragons
Feel It Still – Portugal The Man – WINNER
Stay – Zedd & Alessia Cara

A huge upset. All the money was on the Bieber version of “Despacito.” Cool@

Best music video
Up All Night – Beck
Makeba – Jain
The Story of OJ – Jay-Z
Humble – Kendrick Lamar – WINNER
1-800-273-8255 – Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid

A semi-upset. The Logic/Alessia Cara/Khalid was favoured.

If you want to the whole list of nominees and winners, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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