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Neither DISTURBED Nor BEYONCE Win Best Rock Performance GRAMMY, DAVID BOWIE Does

Posted by on February 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Moments after Megedeth won "Best Metal Performance" at the 59th annual Grammy Awards, the award for "Best Rock Performance" was given out. Just as a refresher, the nominees were:

Alabama Shakes – "Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)"
Beyoncé Featuring Jack White – "Don't Hurt Yourself"
David Bowie – "Blackstar"
Disturbed – "The Sound Of Silence (Live On Conan)"
Twenty One Pilots – "Heathens"

Prior to tonight's ceremony there was a controversy that Disturbed and Beyonce were up in the same category for "Best Rock Performance." Ultimately, neither of them won as David Bowie's "Blackstar" took home the phonograph.

Shortly after the nominees were announced, Disturbed frontman David Draiman spoke to Billboard about being nominated with the pop star in the same category, saying  "Is it strange [to be up against Beyonce]? I think the reason you asked the question is because it is. It definitely stands out — like, one of these things is not like the other, you know? But what are you going to do?" Draiman later added "When you can have, with all due respect, a Beyonce and a Disturbed in the same category, something has gone wrong. Not taking anything away from her whatsoever, we’re just very different from each other.”

When I asked The Recording Academy's Senior Vice President, Awards, Bill Freimuth how the two ended up in the same category, he responded about rock's wide range. "When you exclude metal, the rock category is one of our biggest umbrellas." Freimuth notes. "Not quite as broad as pop, but maybe the next up in terms of what constitutes rock – it can be blues rock, folk rock, ballads. All of that. I think what we found this year is that so many artists that were in rock or adjacent to rock were really taking more sonic risks this year than ever before, and it made for a really exciting dynamic landscape in that field."

He went on to defend the Beyonce performance as a rock performance: "That [Beyonce] recording has Jack White in it and it has Led Zeppelin samples in it and I think it's Beyonce really stretching. It's an artist at the height of her musical powers, really reaching in many different directions and we are all the better for it."

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