Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bublé Pops Off at the Grammys

Pop crooner Michael Bublé has been back-pedaling like it’s an Olympic sport, after some of his off-the-cuff on the Grammy Awards. MacLeans reports his controversial statements:

"They give away our best traditional pop award at a dinner before the Grammys, so I just think that's bullshit. I think it's absolute crap," Buble, 31, said in an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press.

"Our category is now selling way too many records to be given away at a dinner before, so I'm just not going to show up."

He also took some heat for comments assuming he would lose to Tony Bennett:

"Why should I go to the Grammys?" he said. "Because I'll lose. ... They might as well have already scratched Tony Bennett's name into the damn thing. I'm not going."

That didn’t come out the way he intended. Bublé later clarified his remarks:

"I jokingly said that Tony Bennett is going to win anyway so why should I go? This is not sour grapes. I worship, love and respect Tony Bennett. He is my idol. I voted for him and he deserves to win.''

He also tried to make nice with the academy, saying he meant no disrespect to the Grammy Awards. He has a legit point though. Granted, instrumental jazz artists do not have much commercial clout these days, but traditional standards vocalists like Bublé, and particularly Bennett can claim some real sales heft.

The Grammys seem to have a preconceived notion of what the broadcast worthy awards are, but maybe they should revisit their assumptions more often. Tony Bennett is most likely a slam dunk in this award, and he is probably one of the most popular nominated artists this year. Who has sold more records, Tony Bennett or James Blunt? Who is more widely recognizable, Bennett or Daniel Powter? Which Grammy nominee had a prime time network special directed by an academy award winner? TB.

If the Grammys think Bennett’s sales only come from older generations, they obviously have not been in a Starbuck’s in the last year. Of the nominees, Bublé stands a better chance of getting into Starbuck’s music sales program (one of the greatest sales engines in the music industry) than nearly any other nominee. One can’t blame him for saying the Grammy treatment of his category is lame. It’s also short-sighted.