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What Are the Grammys?

by Jason Lake
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Betting on the Grammy Awards at entertainment betting sites is a lot easier when you understand what the biggest night in music is all about.

Are you ready for this year’s Eddies? That’s the name the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was going to give their awards show – “Eddie” being short for Thomas Edison, the inventor of the phonograph. The Eddies were going to be right up there with the Oscars, the Emmys and the Tonys as the biggest prizes in American entertainment.

It might have worked out fine, who can say? But as we all know, the titans of the music industry chose a different name instead: the Gramophone Awards. Then they quickly shortened it to the Grammys (officially stylized as GRAMMYs) that we know and love to bet on today.

Every online sportsbook worth its salt will eventually post this year’s Grammys on its entertainment odds board; before you throw your money down on Best Song or Best Album, let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind the Grammy Awards.

Who Runs the Grammys?

As the story goes, the Recording Academy was formed in 1957 when music executives realized they weren’t going to get enough of their names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – stupid actors hogging all the spotlight. So they started their own “learned society” to promote the recording industry, and music as a whole, with the Grammy Awards as their chief weapon.

Among the founding Academy committee members were Doris Day, representing Columbia Records alongside arranger Axel Stordahl (who worked with Frank Sinatra) and musical polymath Paul Weston. Big Band leader Sonny Burke and producer Milt Gabler were on board for the Decca label; arranger Dennis Farnon was there from RCA, alongside Jesse Kaye at MGM, and both Lloyd Dunn and Richard Jones at Capitol.

Sinatra Grammys

Of these original members, Weston, Dunn, Kaye, Burke, and Farnon are typically credited as the Academy’s founding five, although Weston told the Ocala Star-Banner in 1959 that there were “six of us” at that first meeting with the Walk of Fame people.

Whatever the case, there are now well over 10,000 voting members in the Academy. You have to be one if you want to attend the Grammys in person.

What About the Latin Grammy Awards?

That’s an offshoot of the main Grammys.

The Latin Recording Academy was founded in 1997, and the first Latin Grammys were held in 2000.

To be eligible, a piece has to be recorded in Spanish or Portuguese, and released either in those two countries, the United States, or somewhere in the larger Ibero-American region. The Latin Grammys are usually held in November, and they’re a pretty big deal – but not as big as the Grammys themselves.

Who Can Win A Grammy?

There are nearly 100 Grammys up for grabs across many different styles of music, but the Big Four are considered “General Field” awards that aren’t restricted to genre:

  • Album of the Year
  • Record of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Best New Artist

As of 2024, there are two more categories in the General Field, although it’s a bit of a fudge:

  • Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
  • Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical

These are the Grammy Awards that will take up most of the attention at the televised ceremonies.

There will also be a few special awards handed out, like the Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Grammy Hall of Fame Award, where there’s no voting process –you just win the trophy.

To be eligible for the standard Grammy, a recording must be nominated by a member of the Academy. Entries are collected online, then the voting ballots are compiled and sent out to everyone in the Academy; members are asked to stick with their fields of expertise when voting, but this isn’t enforced.

The recording also has to have been released within a certain time frame, with the window closing about six months before the awards ceremony.

Who Has Won the Most Grammys?

Heading into the 2024 ceremony, Beyonce is the career record-holder with 32 Grammys, beating out Hungarian-British conductor Georg Solti (31). Quincy Jones is third on the list with 28 Grammys. The band with the most Grammys is U2 with 22, well ahead of the Foo Fighters (15) and Union Station (14).

As far as a single night of Grammys is concerned, the record haul is eight, shared by Michael Jackson in 1984 and Santana in 2000 – shout out to my cousin Tone for his work with the latter. Will anyone sweep this year’s awards? Now that you know how the night unfolds, check out the Grammy odds at your preferred sportsbooks, and may the best performers win.

author avatar
Jason Lake
Jason has been writing about sports betting since 2002. He earned his B.A. in Pacific and Asian Studies from the University of Victoria back in 1997. He has a passion for all things sports betting.

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