Sunday, January 13, 2008
Another Stellar Sweep Goes Wrong
Okay, I'm not a hater so don't get things twisted...but the Stellars seem to love honoring those that fit well in the popular category, because the Voting Committee of these awards are now only focusing on their T-Mobile 5 Favs instead of focusing on the big picture.
The announcement of Saturday's 23rd Annual Stellar Award results are finally out (sorry, didn't attend) and to my surprise, as usual, the bulk of the awards ended up going to the good ol' buddies of the industry. Donald Lawrence has taken home in a three year radius almost every award since the release of 2004's I Speak Life. Now he's being honored for two projects he's affiliated with: newcomer DeWayne Woods "Introducing DeWayne Woods & When Singers Meet" and the final chapter of the Clark Sisters "Live: One Last Time." Both albums, produced by D. Lawrence, stole the show and apparently stole the awards from the other nominees. Call it the ultimate black ghetto award fiasco gone wrong again. Why I call it a fiasco? Because even the big critics, such as myself, know that both of these albums lacked substance, strong material, and an evenness that great albums should possess - and better suited projects that were nominated failed to get the big endorsement from the voting squad of the Stellar Awards.
Check this out and tell me if this doesn't make sense.
Artist of the Year - Clark Sisters
Song of the Year - Let Go, Let God by DeWayne Woods
Male Vocalist of the Year - DeWayne Woods
Producer of the Year - Donald Lawrence
Group or Duo of the Year - Clark Sisters
New Artist of the Year - DeWayne Woods
CD of the Year - Live - One Last Time by the Clark Sisters
Traditional Group of the Year - Clark Sisters
Urban Inspirational Single/Performance of the Year - Let Go, Let God by DeWayne Woods
Almost look like the credits to a YouTube Do-It-Yourself-music video.
Don Johnson - you oughta be ashamed of yourself for hiring and soliciting a narrow-minded team of inexperienced voters to come up with this year's wins. Use some common sense here. Dreamgirls, the motion picture, was a great film and deserved at least one or two Oscars, but it didn't deserve a sweep...and it didn't. Sweeps usually take place when there's nothing else good in place. Personally if I were a Stellar nominee, I would have wanted a refund and probably would have wanted to call my lawyer - demanding to sue the entire event - for stealing my time.
What makes this situation even more frustrating is knowing that both projects were marinated by the gospel industry with circumstantial hype and overdone "reality-TV" glitz that most of the other albums couldn't compete. In the end, it really looks like the other candidates - even if they had perfect albums and performances - couldn't stand in the ring with the Clark Sisters' heartbreaking final album as a group and the buzz surrounding DeWayne Woods' popular search-engine bio announcing his deliverance from HIV. But when did music award shows become humanitarian awards?
Honestly, there's too many friendships and buddy systems in place at the Stellars. Thank God for real award shows like the GRAMMYs. At least they cover the entire spectrum of each genre and try to deliver a more eclectic and reasonable response to their voting process.
And I don't care who hates me after I post this - because I don't hate anyone. I just believe fair is fair. When I think of Best Album of the Year...I don't think my best friend should win it because I hung out with them at the mall last weekend and I took a picture with them at last year's church convocation. But I must get over this setback in gospel music history...I always thought R&B was my true calling.