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IDS staff responds to the winners, losers from the 61st Annual Grammy Awards



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Kacey Musgraves stands backstage Feb. 10 during the 61st Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Whenever an awards show such as the Grammys takes place, there are always arguments for days in its wake. Every win is someone else’s loss, and a loss for your artist of choice can be quite the ego-bruiser. Here are some takes on last night’s winners and losers from the staff of the IDS.

Matt Begala, creative director: Kacey Musgraves winning Album of the Year is a travesty. The honor should have gone to Janelle Monáe’s “Dirty Computer.” Its rich, introspective analysis of both the artist and audience, as well as the society in which it was created, is everything a truly exceptional, award-winning album should be. There is no explanation for why Musgraves came away with the award. Monàe was robbed, and, in a way, so were all of us.

Grace Ybarra, IU Auditorium reporter: I didn’t really disagree with any of the winners. I’m just not a huge country person so I had no idea who the heck Kacey Musgraves was and sort of didn’t agree with her as Album of the Year, just because I’ve literally never heard of her. Maybe I’m just uncultured. But I loved that Childish Gambino won for “This is America,” and I’m so happy Ariana Grande won for “Sweetener."

Joe Schroeder, arts editor: Childish Gambino won the night with his politically-charged anthem “This Is America” taking home Grammys for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Music Video. This win shows how far the rap genre has evolved and helps legitimize rappers as respectable artists to both the public and to critics. “This is America” proves rap songs can include biting political commentary just as effectively as a politician's speech. 

Tristan Jackson, design chief: Mac Miller should have won Best Rap Album. I have nothing but respect for Cardi B and what she’s done, but "Swimming" was a much better album. I think the idea of people complaining he only won because he’s dead scared voters away from him, and in turn missed the chance to give him the tribute he deserved as well as award the best album on the list.

Peter Talbot, enterprise and police reporter: Lucy Dacus’ album “Historian” should have at least been nominated for Best Rock Album. Ignoring lesser known indie artists is part of the reason why the Grammys are so boring. I’ll pass on three hours of satellite radio hits.

Haley Klezmer, video editor: Greta Van Fleet is a popular band whose sole purpose is to be Led Zeppelin. Its lead singer perfectly rips off Robert Plant’s vocals, and its instrumentals are indistinguishable from those of Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones. I don’t believe that any band is completely original, but come on. The fact that the band actually won Best Rock Album is unbelievably disappointing.

Abby Malala, local music reporter and columnist: Dua Lipa definitely should not have won Best New Artist. I would have been satisfied with a win for either Chloe X Halle or H.E.R., but we all know the Recording Academy isn’t keen on awarding too many black artists. Dua Lipa has maybe one OK song and little to no prowess as an artist or performer. 

Annie Aguiar, arts editor: Strangely enough, the only category this year that I actually cared about was for Best Recording Package. This was the only category that my eternal queen singer-songwriter Mitski was nominated in, for the design of her stand out indie rock album “Be the Cowboy.” Mitski's album didn’t actually win the award, with it going to St. Vincent's team for the design on “Masseduction” instead, but she did win my heart. 

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