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What exactly are the Grammys, at this point? A ceremony that honors the best of popular music? Sometimes, but not often. A concert that explores the links between generations of styles and songs? On a good day, maybe. A party thrown by stars and backstage actors of yesteryear that young stars aren’t sure if they want to be invited to or kissed? Yes that’s it.
Which means this year, like every year, the Grammy Awards highlighted the tensions between a Recording Academy that insists it listens to young performers while handing out awards largely to those that follow old-fashioned ideas of musicality and song.
On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about the purpose of the Grammy Awards and the musicians — Silk Sonic, HER, Billie Eilish — who manage to thrive amid the ceremony’s spiritual tussle.
Jon Pareles, New York Times Chief Pop Music Critic
Wesley Morris, spokesperson for the New York Times
Lindsay Zoladz, who writes about pop music for The New York Times
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