Grammys CEO Suggests Brandi Carlile’s Rigged ‘SOTY’ Nom Snubbed Ariana Grande & Ed Sheeran

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These GRAMMY bombshells by Deborah Dugan are shaping up to be the tea-spill of the century. In a complaint filed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the ousted GRAMMYs CEO calls the Recording Academy a “boys’ club” and accuses the music org of a culture where racism and sexism run rampant. Among her very serious allegations are claims that artists like Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran had been snubbed for “Song of the Year” nominations in favor of another artist who was actually allowed to sit in on the committee meeting and was represented by a board member. This artist, who is unnamed in the complaint, ranked 18/20 when the committee initially pared down the songs submitted whereas Ed and Ari were higher.

Apparently, Ariana was set up for 2019’s Song of the Year nom, but when the final list of GRAMMY nods came out, it included “All The Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai, “God’s Plan” by Drake, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile, “The Middle” by Grey, Maren Morris and Zedd, “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and “This Is America” by Donald Glover.

The alleged corruption comes into play after submissions are voted for by the complete Academy, then a group of 20 nominations are apparently reviewed by a “secret committee” to make the final selections. Deborah says the committees often include board members with “relationships” with certain artists and they use these committees to push personal and professional agendas — including getting particular artists to perform during the award show’s broadcast.

In the complaint, Deborah claims, “The Board has selected artists who are under consideration for a nomination to sit on the committee that is voting for the category for which that have been nominated. As a result, one artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 ‘Song of the Year’ category ended up with a nomination. This artist was actually permitted to sit on the ‘Song of the Year’ nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board.”

You can read her full complaint on Jezebel.

Deborah doesn’t explicitly name the “aforementioned” artist is, but Brandi Carlile is represented by Richard Stumpf, a CEO/Partner of Atlas Music Publishing who sits on the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy. Not one but two GRAMMY trustees are wrapped up with Brandi Carlile. Tracy Gershon, who is the head of the Nashville office of One Riot Music, “a boutique independent publishing company who’s flagship artist is Brandi Carlile” also sits on the board of the Recording Academy. Brandi is also nominated for “Song of the Year” category this year for her track, “Bring My Flowers Now.”

Recording Academy



Of course, GRAMMY snubs aren’t as serious as the allegations of sexual harassment and systematic racism at the Recording Academy, but since there have been rumors that the GRAMMYs are “rigged” for years, this new complaint seems to confirm music fans’ suspicions. Now only time will tell if Ariana still performs on Sunday…

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