51st GRAMMY Season Celebrates "Music That Makes Us"

March 09, 2009 -- 3:07 pm PDT

Highly successful telecast, GRAMMY Week events, and various programs and initiatives contribute to unprecedented success


The 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 8 showcased a wide variety of musical performances and tributes that led to CBS and "GRAMMY Sunday" dominating the ratings in key demographics with 19.05 million viewers, an 11 percent ratings increase over last year's telecast and 2 million additional viewers. Music's Biggest Night was the evening's No. 1 program in households, viewers, and demographics (adults 25-54, adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and teens), won every half-hour in these measures, and saw an increase of 23 percent in adults 18-34 and 28 percent in teens.

In addition to the telecast, The Recording Academy furthered its efforts to present a "greener" GRAMMY Awards by reducing the environmental impact of the 51st telecast and associated GRAMMY Week events. An aggressive cross-platform of social networking, marketing and advertising helped to increase traffic to GRAMMY.com, and the "GRAMMY Effect" the week following the show resulted in significantly increased CD sales and digital song downloads. Additionally, GRAMMY Week events — including the annual MusiCares Person of the Year gala, "Salute To" tributes, GRAMMY Career Day, and The Recording Academy and Clive Davis Pre-GRAMMY Gala, among others — highlighted education, philanthropy, advocacy, and diverse artists and musical genres, and surpassed expectations with record crowds and media attendance.

"With a telecast bursting with 24 performances that appealed to all ages across multiple genres, the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards and its surrounding GRAMMY Week events truly celebrated the music that makes us," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "We are honored to spotlight the best in music as well as highlight education, preservation, and human services. It's also gratifying to see consumers and fans engaged with our brand online through our social networking sites, clearly demonstrating the power, prestige and relevance of Music's Biggest Night."

"GRAMMY Moments" were featured throughout the telecast including performances by Adele, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Neil Diamond, Estelle, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Jamie Foxx, Al Green, Dave Grohl, Buddy Guy, Jennifer Hudson, Jay-Z, Jonas Brothers, Kid Rock, B.B. King, Alison Krauss, Lil Wayne, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, M.I.A., Ne-Yo, Katy Perry, Robert Plant, Radiohead, Smokey Robinson, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, T.I., Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Allen Toussaint, Carrie Underwood, U2, Keith Urban, Kanye West, and Stevie Wonder. Presenters included Simon Baker, Kate Beckinsale, Jack Black, Blink-182, Natalie Cole, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Sheryl Crow, Zooey Deschanel, Duffy, Morgan Freeman, Craig Ferguson, Green Day, Josh Groban, Charlie Haden, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Queen Latifah, Leona Lewis, LL Cool J, Jay Mohr, Jason Mraz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Procter, Leann Rimes, and will.i.am.

During the telecast, The Academy and CBS.com completed the third annual installment of My GRAMMY Moment with GRAMMY-nominated artist Perry. Music fans uploaded a 60-second video of themselves singing along to a portion of Perry's GRAMMY-nominated song "I Kissed A Girl" to CBS.com. Videos were voted on by the public-at-large, and the most popular videos were shown as part of Perry's GRAMMY performance, allowing paticipants to virtually share music's biggest stage with one of music's newest stars. This year's My GRAMMY Moment allowed numerous online fans to be an integral part of a performance, and reflected the way in which many music fans consume and engage in music today.

The GRAMMY Pre-Telecast  — during which awards for a majority of the 110 categories were presented — took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center prior to the telecast and enjoyed its largest attendance to date. For the second year, the ceremony was streamed live at GRAMMY.com and this year the stream was available on demand for 30 days following the event. More than 85,000 unique visitors streamed the Pre-Telecast, co-hosted by Wayne Brady and Tia Carrere with live performances from Lila Downs, Hilary Hahn, and Heavy D. GRAMMY Awards were presented by Yolanda Adams, Robert Aubry Davis, Lamont Dozier, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Alex Raymundo, and Blair Underwood. The Pre-Telecast was produced by John Cossette Productions, and Larry Batiste served as the musical director. Overall, GRAMMYs in 56 out of 110 categories this year were awarded to independent artists and/or music released on an independent label.

Furthering its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy built upon last year's first-ever greening initiative and continued to find ways to utilize alternative energy resources to power the telecast and promote recycling and reducing waste generated by the annual event. Through its ongoing partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council and working with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and Staples Center, 100 percent renewable power was used for the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards including 95 percent green power provided by the LADWP and 5 percent solar energy from panels on the roof of Staples Center — resulting in the reduction of 245 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this year The Academy established a new partnership with Waste Management and through its recycling efforts, 6.32 tons of waste from Staples Center and 1.8 tons of waste from the Los Angeles Convention Center were diverted from landfills.

Other greening achievements include: a red carpet made from 100 percent recycled materials (which will be reused for up to three years); recycled content paper used for nearly all paper products (including 100 percent recycled content tickets, with 50 percent post-consumer content, and invitations printed on FSC-certified paper with 50 percent recycled content, 25 percent post-consumer); recycling bins for aluminum, glass and plastic containers provided at both Staples Center and LACC; most set pieces and furniture were either rentals, stored for reuse or donated to Habitat for Humanity after the events; unused food from the GRAMMY Celebration after-party was donated to Angel Harvest and food scraps from the LACC kitchen were composted; Staples Center and LACC food vendors and caterers provided reusable, biodegradable or compostable food service ware (approximately 5,000 lbs. composted in total); Wolfgang Puck's GRAMMY Celebration after-party menu incorporated cage-free eggs, organic and crate-free pork, veal and poultry, and sustainable seafood; and an educational booth with information about the greening initiative was presented at the Staples Center concourse during the telecast, with representatives from the LADWP and the NRDC available to answer questions.

In addition to launching a new GRAMMY Awards micro-site at GRAMMY.com, The Recording Academy tapped into the popularity of social networking sites and utilized Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube to keep audiences updated on GRAMMY Week activities. Additional support of the telecast included a GRAMMY-branded micro-site on the iTunes homepage, a GRAMMY iPhone application that has drawn more than 100,000 downloads to date, a sweepstakes for T-Mobile Sidekick users, and a partnership with Evite.com to promote home-based GRAMMY telecast viewing parties. On average, GRAMMY.com saw a 100 percent increase in unique users and page views leading up to, during, and after the show. Additionally, certain performances on the show were made available for purchase on iTunes (audio and video) and through Nokia (audio only, internationally) including Coldplay and Jay-Z (No. 1 music video download on iTunes post-telecast) and Jennifer Hudson (No. 4 music video download on iTunes post-telecast).

This year, The Recording Academy teamed up with Rhino to release the 2009 GRAMMY Nominees CD, which made its debut at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. After the telecast, the compilation continued its success by remaining in the Top 10 and a portion of proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation. Additionally, numerous artists enjoyed the "GRAMMY Effect" following the telecast with significant increases in CD sales and digital song downloads. CD sales jumps include Plant & Krauss (715 percent), Coldplay (271 percent), Adele (218 percent), Radiohead (130 percent), and Hudson (112 percent), while increases on the Digital Songs chart included Hudson's "You Pulled Me Through" (827 percent), Coldplay's "Lost" (678 percent), Plant & Krauss' "Rich Woman" (372 percent), Lil Wayne's "Swagga Like Us" (160 percent), and Radiohead's "15 Step" (151 percent), among others.

The Recording Academy unleashed an aggressive cross-platform advertising campaign in support of the 51st GRAMMY Awards, with a heavy emphasis on extending the GRAMMY experience beyond the on-air telecast to make it more accessible to viewers and music lovers. The promotions helped yield impressive results and people across all demographics were engaged, reaching more people in a broader way than ever before. The Recording Academy partnered with world-renowned ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day on the unique and visually appealing ad campaign titled "Celebrate The Music That Makes Us," drawing from the insight that music influences and inspires everyone. Portraits of diverse musicians including Coldplay, Lenny Kravitz, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead were created using song titles that have inspired them in their careers and lives. The fully integrated campaign included TV, outdoor, print and interactive advertisements.

GRAMMY Week, a celebration of the recorded arts leading up to the GRAMMY Awards, spotlighted a variety of music genres and special events. Kicking off GRAMMY Week was the GRAMMY Salute To Classical Music paying homage to Sir Neville Marriner and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, hosted by Emmy Award winner John Lithgow. GRAMMY Salute To Jazz honored the legendary Blue Note Records and featuring performances by Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Joe Lovano, and Cassandra Wilson and was hosted by Natalie Cole. The Special Merit Awards Ceremony presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Gene Autry, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, the Four Tops, Hank Jones, Brenda Lee, Dean Martin, and Tom Paxton; Trustees Awards to George Avakian, Elliott Carter and Allen Toussaint; and Technical GRAMMY Awards to Clarence "Leo" Fender and Universal Audio. 

The official styling suite of the GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY Style Studio once again provided an exclusive opportunity for nominees, presenters and performers to be dressed by leading international designers and lifestyle brands. Artists such as Jack Black, Duffy, Estelle, and Katy Perry received red carpet looks from some of the top names in fashion including Halston, Donna Karan New York, Tommy Hilfiger, Roberto Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood, among many others. In its sixth year and with its highest attendance to date, this four-day event celebrates the intrinsic connection between music and fashion.

Political leaders and music professionals gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for GRAMMY Town Hall, a forum for members of Congress and music industry professionals to discuss important advocacy issues affecting the music industry. This year, Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) were joined by former Supreme Mary Wilson, artist manager Simon Renshaw, songwriter Lamont Dozier, recording artist Josh Groban and R&B vocalist Sam Moore for a lively discussion on the pending Performance Rights Act — the latest version of a bipartisan bill that aims to secure a royalty for vocalists and instrumentalists for terrestrial radio airplay.  

Additionally, this year’s star-studded 2009 GRAMMY Celebration continued the festivities immediately following the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards with live performances by DJ Mick Boogie, Peter Erskine & Friends, Robin Thicke, The Time, and the GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles. Chef Wolfgang Puck once again treated guests to various flavors including an all-American Bistro, Asian cuisine, Latin fare and delicious sweets. Produced by Along Came Mary productions, the soiree paid homage to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock with a 1960s flower-power and psychedelic theme and was the highest-attended event in the celebration's history.

Clive Davis and The Recording Academy teamed for the first time for the Pre-GRAMMY Gala. At the event, Davis was presented with the President's Merit Award at the GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. This exclusive, invitation-only party featured performances by Kelly Clarkson, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Faith Evans, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Kings Of Leon, Leona Lewis, Barry Manilow, and Rod Stewart and was hosted by Bill Maher. Attendees included Akon, Antonio Banderas, Sheryl Crow, Duffy, Missy Elliott, Estelle, Fantasia, Foo Fighters, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Prince, Russell Simmons, Slash, David Spade, Jazmine Sullivan, Chris Tucker, Jon Voight, Carrie Underwood, Kanye West, and will.i.am, among others. As part of the annual GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons, the Pre-GRAMMY Gala will continue the party that has been a Davis legacy for nearly 30 years.

This year's GRAMMY Foundation GRAMMY Week events took guests and GRAMMY nominees through unique educational and cultural experiences. The 11th Annual Music Preservation Project, Music In Focus, celebrated the creative intersections of music and photography in featuring the works of noted music photographers Danny Clinch, Herman Leonard and Robert Knight. The event also included performances by Sara Bareilles, Tyler Bryant, Daniel Lanois, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Lucinda Williams.

Guests at the annual Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation were treated to a keynote address by Tero Ojanperä, Nokia's executive vice president responsible for entertainment service, and David A. McGill from the University of Richmond School of Law was this year's $5,000 scholarship recipient and winner of the essay competition. Additionally, The GRAMMY Foundation, along with The Academy's Los Angeles Chapter, hosted 1,200 students from Los Angeles and Las Vegas at GRAMMY Career Day on the USC campus. High School students were given career close-ups and candid insight on the realities of the music business from an impressive lineup of artists and industry professionals including Eric Benét, Maureen Crowe, Tina Davis, Kenna, Mary Mary, Jesse McCartney, Rickey Minor, Ne-Yo, Carlos Peña, Big Jon Platt, Tony Rich, Andrew Scheps, Al Schmitt, and Tom Sturges.

The 18th Annual MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring music legend Neil Diamond was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Proceeds from the dinner and concert provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need. The gala featured performances by Adele, Coldplay, Jonas Brothers, Foo Fighters, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Tim McGraw and Kid Rock, and culminated in a medley of hits performed by the honoree himself. Serving as the evening's host was comedian and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel. The 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute grossed approximately $3.7 million, reflecting the special place MusiCares holds in the heart of the music community and its generous range of supporters.