Breaking The Grammys: Understanding the world's most complicated awards ceremony

About to enter its 59th year, the Grammys have become an American institution, aimed at awarding those who have produced the best music of the year (so long as it sold over a million copies). But over the years, the awards have been accused of complicating the process by awarding too many different areas of a song's likability, while at the same time giving little to no attention to other massive areas of the industry. In this feature, we aim to break down the awards into easy-to-understand chunks, so that come the 12th February, you too can get your head round this seriously messed up excuse for an awards show.

Song Of The Year / Record Of The Year: What's The Difference?

The main issue people have with the Grammys is trying to understand the difference between two of its most important awards; Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year. The main difference is that Record Of The Year takes into account the input the artist performing the track had in its success, whereas Song Of The Year goes the songwriters who actually wrote the song. This is basically an ideal chance for the Grammys nominations board to have a subtle dig at artists they don't particularly like by claiming that their songs would have been better if they hadn't performed on it. This year, three of the five nominees are included in both lists, which means that both Justin Bieber and Mike Posner had great songs that were made worse by them singing on them.

Why Is The Only Metal Award For 'Best Metal Performance'?

The Grammys do love to look eclectic. This is why you'll find nominations for things like Best Bluegrass album or Best New Age album nestled amongst the 84 different categories. However, the rock sub-genre known as metal has only one accolade in the form of Best Metal Performance. While nearly all other genres, have at least a Best Song or Best Album attached to them, metal seems to find itself all alone in the performance category. The reason being is that while metal music is dark, scary and unlistenable, the shows are usually very fun to watch. They have fireworks, explosions and the occasional inflatable devil to make the whole experience far more palatable. So really this award is for the pyrotechnics operators of these bands live shows.

Why Are Their Three Awards For Packaging?

Some may say that having more awards for an album's packaging than for the entire dance music genre would be ridiculous, but those people would be wrong. How many times have you seen people go out to a record shop and pick up a vinyl copy of 'Unknown Pleasures', because they saw the design on Tumblr, only to never play the album but still display it proudly on their mantlepiece for all their friends to see? Exactly, everyone does it. An iconic album cover accounts for more than half the reason why people still buy vinyl. It's keeping things like the Grammys alive, so we need to be nice to these artists or they could start doing movie posters instead and bring the whole music industry to a standstill.

How Come 'BJ & The Chicago Kid' Are Nominated For Both Contemporary And Traditional RnB?

Because just like all legendary musicians, the rules simply don't apply to them. By being old enough, BJ & The Chicago Kid have created a glitch in the Grammys nominating system. The music industry is predesigned to refer to anything more than five years old as nostalgic, so any musician lucky enough to have a career that lasts more than half a decade needs to be treated like a rare bloodstone. As a result, the nominations board became confused at the idea that this artist could be both traditional and contemporary at the same time, so to spare the embarrassment of their ignorance, they simply nominated them for both but with different songs in the hope that no-one would notice.

Was The 'Best Music Film' Category Only Invented To Give Beyonce Another Nomination?

Yes. Next.

What's The Deal With The 'Best Improvised Jazz Solo' Award?

What you need to understand is that jazz music is really long. Like so long, most people don't even pay attention to a whole song. So after plenty of focus groups, they have found that the most appeasing part of any jazz song is the improvised solo within it. It usually starts around the eight minute mark and lasts from anywhere between 30 seconds and an hour. Of course the latter is never considered but those brief enough to hold our attention throughout need to be awarded for their understanding of our incredibly short attention spans. Think of it as a Best Riff award, but puffier cheeks.

Can't We Just Get Rid Of All These Pointless Awards?

By heavens, no. Think of the advertising revenues all these extra awards bring in when the show is televised. In fact, with the way things are going and the way music is evolving, we can probably see many more accolades being added to the proceedings in the coming years. Think of all the overlooked areas that need to be addressed. In fact, I've had a quick whip around and come up with a number of new awards that should probably be implemented for next year's event.

Best Autotune
Best Intake Of Breath Before Singing
Best Album By An Artist Better Known For Being An Actor
Best Song That Comes With Its Own Dance Routine
Best Celebrity Meltdown
Best Feud That Broke Out As A Result Of Last Year's Grammys
Best Song That Captures America In A Good Light
Best Album That Used The Parental Advisory Sticker To Cover Up Boobs and/or Penises
Best Realisation That The Grammys Are In Fact Nothing More Than A Self-Serving Pat-On-The-Back Circle-Jerk For Millionaires Whose Fragile Egos Need Validation In The Form Of A Gold Plated Gramophone In Order To Feel Like Their Lives Have Some Meaning

The 2017 Grammy Awards will be live from Los Angeles on the 12th February 2017. Kanye West isn't going to be there so it probably won't be worth watching.