It’s only been a few days since the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, and everyone is still buzzing about one of the night’s most talked about moment: Kanye West “fake” storming the stage when Beck won Album Of The Year, and his consequential tirade about the Grammys. While West’s actions and words have sparked a debate on artistry, it also reemphasized the influence of race on the awards. This is an issue the Grammys were dealing with before the show even started. The nominees for both Best New Artist and Record of the Year were all white, and even half the rap categories had predominately white artists as nominees. This coming after the 2014 Grammys, a year which saw Macklemore, a white artist, dominating the rap awards.
But a recent study done by Vocativ is showing that this unfortunately isn’t a new trend for the award show. The site found that Grammys, and pop music overall, is the whitest it has been since 1981. Below is a graph they created showing how nominations in the four major categories—record, album, song and best new artist of the year—break down historically by race:
The Grammys aren’t the only ones responsible for this though. Vocativ also looked at the Billboard charts and found similar results from their Hot 100 list: