Indies Reign At Grammys Taking Home Album of the Year & Best New Artist Awards
Independent artists and labels celebrated a huge year at the 53rd Grammy® Awards, taking home 46 awards in a wide variety of categories, including Album of the Year, Best New Artist as well as Best Album Awards in over a dozen categories.
Arcade Fire’s ‘The Suburbs’ win for Album of the Year marks the third consecutive win for Indies in the leading category, following 2010’s winner Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless’ (Big Machine), and 2009’s winner Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ ‘Raising Sand’ (Rounder).
This year also saw the first time, since A2IM started keeping track, independent labels and artists lead the nominations with over 50% of all awards; a true sign of the continued strength and importance of independent music. Altogether, independents held 273 of the 542 possible nomination spots.
Jim Mahoney, Vice President of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), congratulated this year’s winners, saying: “Tonight’s Independent presence at the Grammys not only demonstrates the continued growth and diversity of our labels across genres but also speaks to the quality of music that the Indies continue to create and support.”
Glen Barros, President and CEO of Concord Music Group (and A2IM board member) shared his excitement over tonight’s Indie successes and in particular Concord’s Esperanza Spalding taking the Best New Artist award: “I think I heard Cee Lo say ‘holy forgettin’ shhh’ when Esperanza won. Or maybe that was me. I’m so incredibly happy for Esperanza. She SO deserves this award, but I’m shocked that a jazz artist won against such tough competition. It’s incredible! She’s incredible! We’re so proud of our 4 other winners and all our nominees too!”
Jim Selby, CEO of Naxos USA, who co-led (with Concord Music Group) the independents party at this year’s Grammys both with five awards: “As the North American distributor for over 100 independent classical, jazz, performing arts DVD, bluegrass and American roots music labels, Naxos of America is honored to be the home for so many Grammy-winning recordings and artists this year. The diversity of our family of labels, their phenomenal artist rosters and extraordinary recordings and films remain clear evidence that independent record labels will continue to be a vital force in the recording industry for many years to come.”
George Fontaine, President of New West Records who grabbed two GRAMMYs for Crazy Heart: “We are honored to have received two Grammy Awards for Crazy Heart Original Motion Picture Soundtrack today. Congratulations to everyone who made this project such a success.”
Mike Carden, President of Operations North America for Eagle Vision who picked up the Best Long Form Video GRAMMY for “When Your Strange”: “It gives us a tremendous feeling of excitement and pride knowing that Eagle Rock Entertainment was able to bring the Doors “When You’re Strange,” to the marketplace. The feeling is further confirmed by The Recording Academy’s voting membership, that this is the best long from video release of 2010.”
Denny Stilwell, GM of Mack Avenue Records who picked up the GRAMMY for Best Gospel Song “It’s What I Do” by Kirk Whalum: “I can’t think of a more deserving Grammy winner this year than Kirk Whalum for Best Gospel Song. Congratulations, Kirk!”
Robert Williams, CEO of 335 Records whose artist Larry Carlton won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Instrumental Album: “The beauty of being involved in a GRAMMY nominated album, is that you have already won, before the results are in. Winning the award is just the icing on top.”
A2IM is a not-for-profit trade organization serving the Independent music community as a unified voice representing a sector that comprises over 30% of the music industry’s market share in the United States (and almost 40% of SoundScan digital sales). The organization represents the Independents’ interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. A2IM is headquartered in New York City.
The organization’s board of directors is composed of the following: Concord Music Group President Glen Barros; Sub Pop VP Business Affairs Eric Brown; tinyOGRE Entertainment COO Jim Cooperman; Epitaph General Manager Dave Hansen; Razor & Tie Executive Vice President Dan Hoffman; The Beggars Group CEO/Founder Martin Mills; Lookout Records co-owner Molly Neuman; Kill Rock Stars President Portia Sabin; Tommy Boy CEO/Founder Tom Silverman.
For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.A2IM.org.