Written by ModernMediaMix
Saturday, February 18th, 2012
Music fans from around the country and around the world were looking forward to the 54th annual Grammy music awards. The sudden death of legendary star Whitney Houston, one day before the airing of the Grammys, offered the show’s producers the chance to commemorate an iconic artist and performer.
Unfortunately, the Grammys forgot to pay due respect to several musical icons, and they served up a weak tribute to Whitney Houston.
The Grammys aired on Sunday February 12, 2012 on CBS. The show opened with a prayer and speech by rapper LL Cool J dedicated to Whitney Houston. So far, so good.
Later in the program Singer Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt performed a tribute to the late great Etta James. But then the producers failed to include Etta James in the slide show tribute!
The crowning moment in any awards show is always the moving slide show tribute, and the Grammy producers choreographed a series of pictures to celebrate those the music community had lost in the past year. Not only did the Grammy producers forgot to include Etta James, they also forgot to honor two other musical legends: singer Vesta Williams and music pioneer Don Cornelius.
Vesta Williams passed away on September 22, 2011. Williams was a top recording artist, recording songs like “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” which hit number nine on R&B charts, and “Congratulations” which hit number five.
Don Cornelius passed away on February 1, 2012. Cornelius was creator of the show “Soul Train,” which arguably changed the way the entire world viewed African American musical artists and dancers. Soul Train is the longest-running nationally syndicated show in history. The Grammys paid tribute to Steve Jobs, who also changed the way people listened to and viewed music, but they somehow forgot to show respect to another vital musical pioneer, Don Cornelius
And what about Whitney? You would think that a singer who has sold eight million copies of one single (I Will Always Love You), and an artist who has been nominated for twenty-six Grammys—winning six times—would be someone who deserves more than a three minute tribute. Even though the beautiful Jennifer Hudson did a splendid job—it was only three minutes out of two hours.
The 2012 Grammy awards show did not offer a proper tribute to great music pioneers this year. Musical legends Vesta Williams, Don Cornelius, Etta James, and Whitney Houston deserve better. The Grammy producers need help researching and properly honoring artists who have passed and who have contributed to the music community.
- Ukiya Henson