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The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramophone Awards)—or Grammys—are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony.
The awards were established in 1958. Prior to the first live Grammys telecast in 1971 on ABC, a series of taped annual specials in the 1960s called The Best on Record were broadcast on NBC. The first Grammy Award telecast took place on the night of November 29, 1959, as an episode of the NBC anthology series Sunday Showcase, which was normally devoted to plays, original TV dramas, and variety shows. Until 1971, awards ceremonies were held in both New York and Los Angeles, with winners accepting at one of the two. Pierre Cossette bought the rights to broadcast the ceremony from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and organized the first live telecast. CBS bought the rights in 1973 after moving the ceremony to Nashville, Tennessee; the American Music Awards were created for ABC as a result.
The 52nd Grammy Awards (2010) ceremony was held at the Los Angeles' Staples Center, broadcast live on the East Coast and on tape delay on the West Coast.
The actual trophy is manufactured exclusively by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado. The trophies are all hand made and assembled. In 1990, the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, and making the trophy bigger and grander. The Grammy is assembled in pieces and finally finished off in gold plating. The actual trophies, with the recipient's name engraved, are not available until after the award announcements, so a series of "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast.
As of 2007, 7,578 Grammy trophies have been awarded.
The "General Field" are four awards which are not restricted by genre.
- Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album.
- Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song.
- Song of the Year is awarded to the writer(s)/composer(s) of a single song.
- Best New Artist is awarded to a performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist (which may not necessarily be their first proper release).
Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are also given out for more long-lasting contributions to the music industry.
Record companies and individuals may submit recordings to be nominated. The entries are entered online and then a physical copy of the product must be sent to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Once a work is entered, reviewing sessions are held by over 150 experts from the recording industry. This is done only to determine whether or not a work is eligible or entered into the proper category for official nomination. They won't vote to nominate in the general field (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist) and in no more than nine out of 30 other fields on their ballots. Only five acts can be nominated for each category. Following this process the votes are tabulated. The five recordings that earn the most votes become the nominees. There may be more than five nominees if there is a tie in the nomination process. After the nominations are announced final voting ballots are sent to Recording Academy members. They may then vote in the general field and in no more than eight of the 30 fields. Ballots are tabulated secretly by the major independent accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Following the tabulation of votes the winners are announced at the Grammy Awards. The recording with the most votes in a category wins and it is possible to have a tie. Winners are presented with the Grammy Award and those who don't win are given a medal for their nomination. Academy members in the nomination process and final voting process are to vote based upon quality alone. They are not supposed to be influenced by sales, chart performance, personal friendships, regional preferences or company loyalty. The acceptance of gifts is prohibited. Members are urged to vote in a manner that preserves the integrity of the academy. The nomination and final voting processes requires that members vote only in their fields of expertise. The eligibility period for the 2010 Grammy awards was October 1st, 2008 to August 31st, 2009. 
With 31 Grammy Awards, Sir Georg Solti is the male artist with the most Grammy wins. Alison Krauss is the biggest winner among female artists with 26 awards. U2, with 22, holds the record among bands, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra holds the record for any musical group with 60 wins.
Certain musical artists have voiced personal issues with the nature of the Grammys. Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of progressive metal band Tool, did not attend the Grammy Awards ceremony to receive one of their awards. He explained his reasons:
||I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don't honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It's the music business celebrating itself. That's basically what it's all about.
Additionally, many have criticized the Grammys for distributing more awards than necessary and that a large portion of the ceremony is "filler" to result in a longer engagement. 
Bono (U2) was critical of the Grammys early in his career, but later  he began to appreciate their inclusiveness:
||It was all there: anger, love, forgiveness, family, community and the deepest sense of history... Here was the full power of American music challenging my arrogance. I watched the rest of the show with new eyes. The Grammys invited jazz, country, rock, soul and classical into the same hall. No regard for demographic studies of what would deliver ratings, no radio call-out research-- a mad amalgam of the profound and the absurd and the creeping realization that one man's Mozart is another man's Vegas.
Award ceremony locations
Notes and references
- ^ Ken Ehrlich, At The Grammys: Behind the Scenes at Music's Biggest Night. New York, Hal Leonard Books, 2007.
- ^ Making the Grammy
- ^ About Billings Artworks
- ^ GRAMMY.com
- ^ GRAMMY.com
- ^ Up for DiscussionPost Comment (2009-09-14). "Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Peas Lead Grammy Award Nominations". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/news/beyonce-taylor-swift-peas-lead-grammy-award-1004050379.story#/news/beyonce-taylor-swift-peas-lead-grammy-award-1004050379.story. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
- ^ MUSIC: THE GRAMMYS/CLASSICAL; Fewer Records, More Attention
- ^ Plant, Krauss rise with 'Raising Sand' at Grammys
- ^ a b For classical recordings, the future is online
- ^ Gabriella (July 2002). "Interview with Maynard James Keenan of Tool". NY Rock. http://www.nyrock.com/interviews/2002/tool_int.asp.
- ^ The Grammy Awards: Yours and Mine
- ^ Kym Kilgore (March 2008). "U2 signs on with Live Nation". http://www.livedaily.com/news/13932.html.
- ^ Bono, Foreword, in Ken Ehrlich, At The Grammys: Behind the Scenes at Music's Biggest Night". New York, Hal Leonard Books, 2007.