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Grammys: origin, meaning and where the name came from

The Grammy Awards this year will again be held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, but where did it all begin?

The Grammy Awards this year will again be held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, but where did it all begin?

Ears are pricking up as we strum our way towards the beat of the 66th Annual Grammy Awards which will take place on Sunday 4 February 2024 at at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. It promises to be a dazzling display of virtuosity and artistry, as the brightest stars of the industry gather to celebrate the year’s most outstanding achievements in melody, harmony, and rhythm. The night will feature electrifying performances by some of the genre’s biggest names, each bringing their unique voice and style to the stage.

From the soulful ballads of R&B to the explosive energy of rap and hip-hop, we can expect it to showcase the full spectrum of musical expression. With expertly crafted orchestrations, intricate arrangements, and breathtaking solos, this is an event that no music lover will want to miss. But how, I hear you ask, did we get to here?

Grammy chat

Grammys: origin, meaning and naming

The Grammys originated after the Hollywood Walk of Fame project began in the 1950s. With the understanding that not everyone would receive such recognition, and thanks to the renewed interest in music and the recording industry, the Grammy Awards were created as a way to honour the most talented songwriters, composers and musicians in the music industry.

At the time, the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards recognised the top artists in film and television, but there was no musical equivalent.

The Grammy Awards, which began as the Gramophone Awards, were first presented in Los Angeles in 1959 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), commonly called the Recording Academy, when 28 awards were handed out.

The overall number of categories each year has changed as some have been added and removed. Compare the first event to that in 2017, when the number of awards stabilised at 84.

Why are they called the Grammy Awards?

After deciding to go ahead with the awards, there was one major unknown: what to call them. One early idea was ‘Eddie’, after Thomas Edison, the inventor of the phonograph, but in the end ‘Grammy’, a shortened reference to gramophone, was chosen.

A mail-in contest was held to choose the name. Approximately 300 contestants submitted the name ‘Grammy’, but the name is credited to Rosejay “Jay” Elizabeth Danna, a secretary from New Orleans, as her letter was the first to be received in the mail, making her the winner of the contest.

Some handy information for the next music quiz you’re involved in.

Who’s hosting the 2024 Grammys?

Born on February 20, 1984, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Trevor Noah has overcome numerous obstacles to become one of the most recognisable faces in comedy today.

Comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, brilliant host of satirical news program The Daily Show, his charm, intelligence and empathy ooze out every time he takes to the screen or is involved in a project. And if you can make it to the end of any of his comedy gigs without tears in your eyes then you need to go see a doctor. Get the full story, and some very amusing footage, of our 2023 Grammy Awards host, Trevor Noah.