I love award shows. Or should I say, I *used* to love award shows. One thing that age has done is make these things a lot more boring. I’ve been predicting the Grammy winners for 5-6 years now, and the fact that I’m right more often than not speaks more to the predictability of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences than it does to my capabilities as a prognosticator.

Anyway an email exchange with my friends Sini and Robert led me to thinking about doing a weekly column focusing on great award show moments. Welcome to Part 1.

1981 was a pretty blah year for music, from the little I can remember. Hip-hop was still bubbling underground, new wave and punk were fading away, and the radio was as bland and whitebread as it had ever been before or since. That year’s crop of Best New Artist nominees was definitely not the greatest bunch of artists in the world (and the eventual winner would prove to be the wrong pick), but this clip is worth watching at the very least for the actual presentation of the award-sung by the Pointer Sisters.

The nominees were Adam & the Ants (Grammy’s courting of the “cool” vote…too bad Adam never had much of a career here in the States), Sheena Easton (who wound up being a fairly constant fixture on the singles charts throughout the Eighties, although she wound up being totally Greatest hits-able when all was said and done), The Go-Go’s (who made history by being the first female band to hit #1 on the Billboard album charts and have a place in rock history), James Ingram (see Sheena Easton), and Luther Vandross (who only wound up becoming the best male pop singer of his generation). Needless to say, neither Luther nor The Go-Go’s won. Can you think of anyone else who could have been nominated? Did the Grammy people make the right choice?

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