Sunday, April 21, 2024

Grammys Were Good Biz for Some, But Janelle Monae, Lana Del Rey, Jon Batiste Got No Face Time and Little Reward in Way of Sales


It’s only a couple of years ago that Jon Batiste won Album of the Year at the Grammys. He was the toast of the town.

But on Sunday, Batiste — with a nomination for Album of the Year — was shown just playing Bill Withers songs in the In Memoriam section. A random viewer would have no idea he had the nomination for Album or for Song of the Year. His “World Music Radio” has only sold 46,000 copies. With no Grammy attention, the party is over.

At least Batiste is hanging around number 50 on the iTunes album chart. Janelle Monae’s “The Age of Pleasure” isn’t anywhere on the charts despite getting an Album of the Year nod. Monae, a great performer, didn’t even appear on the show even though she was in the audience. Her album has sold a mere 140,000 copies since it was released a year ago.

Then there’s Lana Del Rey. She spent trailing around in the Taylor swift posse all night. To think of her becoming part of Taylor Swift’s Swifties is really repellent. Her album, “Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard?” was nominated for Album of the Year, but Lana didn’t appear on stage or perform. She was as ignored as much as possible despite getting rave reviews, a song of the year nomination, and sales of 600,000 copies — half of which were physical CDs or downloads.

Also not on the telecast: most if not all of the Best New Artist nominees. There was no sign of Jelly Roll — who was amazing at Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy party, or ditto Victoria Monet, Noah Kahan, War and Treaty, or Gracie Abrams.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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