According to the earliest numbers, the annual CBS music award show garnered a mere 7.88 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 across America.
Those stats will rise slightly once time-zone adjustments have been made, but it won’t save the 2021 Grammys from hitting its lowest rating ever. Previously, 2020 held a low Nielsen rating of 5.4 and 18.7 million viewers, and 2006 had a record-low overall audience of 16.999 million. This year’s Grammys is unlikely to reach even half the audience size of 2020. (Who knew 2020 could be better at something?)
Why the low numbers? There are probably numerous reasons. A combination of remote and on-location filming at a less glamorous venue (the LA Convention Center) and the lack of red carpet fashion lowers the quality of the viewing experience. Or maybe the average American feels a greater disconnect with celebrities and award shows following a pandemic, widespread unemployment, and lockdowns. Plus, people are probably fed up with the social hypocrisy of the celebs being applauded for the objectification and degeneracy paraded in songs like “W.A.P.” while childhood institutions like Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, and Pepe Le Pew are getting canceled.
Others are uninterested in the Grammys as they feel the awards are given based on agendas and not merit. Many viewers were upset the K-Pop group BTS didn’t win anything. Some viewers felt the band’s performance was used simply to attract viewers.
Winners from the Grammys include Beyoncé (Best R&B Performance for “Black Parade”), who became the most-awarded woman in Grammys history, overtaking bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, as well as Taylor Swift (Album of the Year for Folklore) who now holds the most AOTY Grammys of any woman. Billie Eilish won Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted,” and Megan Thee Stallion won Best New Artist. Harry Styles won his first-ever Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Watermelon Sugar.”