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Hidden Messages Behind This Year's Grammy Nominations

Well, it’s that time of year again.  We’re just not quite sure what to look forward to.  Christmas is over...football season is over...what is there to be excited about? The answer is actually quite easy. MUSIC!  This Sunday it’s time to celebrate the best music has to offer with the 57th Annual Grammy Awards!  

The Grammy Awards are always entertaining, with usually at least one performance that will be talked about in the days and weeks to come.  However, the Grammys are more than just an entertaining show, it is also a platform for artists to express their thoughts and opinions regarding issues that matter to them.

Past Grammy winners continue to make their impact on the world.  Chris Martin, the frontman of seven-time Grammy winning band Coldplay, is a supporter of organizations such as Oxfam and Amnesty International.  And we all know Bono, frontman for 22-time Grammy winning band U2, who also holds the title - in my mind - for the most “politically effective celebrity” for his activism and philanthropic work.

Also, who could forget last year’s epic Grammy moment when rapper Macklemore, singers Mary Lambert and Madonna, musician Ryan Lewis and Queen Latifah turned the song “Same Love” into a giant wedding for 34 couples - both gay and straight.  

So what’s in store for this year? Well here’s a few 2015 Grammy nominations that have more meaning behind them than you may have originally thought.

1) Arcade Fire

One of my favourite Canadian bands, Arcade Fire is up for Best Alternative Music Album for Reflektor, as well as Best Music Video for the song We Exist. Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler told The Advocate that the inspiration for We Exist came from a trip to Jamaica. "We were in Kingston, and we … met some gay Jamaican kids and just kind of talked to them and realized that they were constantly under the threat of violence. For me, just meeting these kids in Jamaica and then imagining this conversation between a son and his father, that was the emotional kernel." (http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/music/2014/05/24/arcade-fire-interview-we-exist-sends-message-mainstream) The music video for this song highlights the journey of a transgender teen who ultimately triumphs in joining Arcade Fire onstage at Coachella to roaring approval.

2) Glen Campbell, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"

I’m not the biggest country fan but after learning about the message behind this song, I think I’ve become a Glen Campbell fan. Nominated for Best Country Song and Best Song Written For Visual Media, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is the final song Cambell says he will ever record, due to his battle with Alzheimer's disease. This song illustrates the heartbreaking experience of losing one's memory. "I'm still here but yet I'm gone," sings Campbell in the song's opening, as the music video highlights footage of his early career to his present-day life. If you know anyone who has to struggle with this disease, you know how devastating it is.  My heart goes out to Campbell and his family, and I really hope he wins this Grammy.

3) Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"

Maybe I should become a country fan. Young Hunter Hayes’ song “Invisible” is nominated as the Best Country Solo Performance. The song brings to light the bullying that Hayes experienced in high school. While the song opens on a bit of a heavier note, the anti-bullying anthem ends with lyrics that are full of hope: "There's so much more to life than what you're feeling now/And someday you'll look back on all these days/And all this pain is gonna be invisible.”

4) Lecrae, "All I Need Is You"

Listening to this song, you might not originally think it is a love song - but it is! All I Need is You is Lecrae’s positive take on healthy monogamous relationships which is not always a focal point in hip-hop songs or in the entertainment industry in general. "When you see Jay Z and Beyoncé, [you think], OK, marriage is cool now. They set a trend and I think that's healthy," said Lecrae to MTV News about the Best Rap Performance-nominated song.  

5) Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass"

Who hasn’t gotten this song stuck in their head?  I’ve heard it about a million times, and although I am beyond sick of it, I am definitely not sick of the message promoting a positive self-image -  flaunt your "bass" proudly, no matter your size. This is Meghan Trainor’s first Grammy nomination and she’s got my vote!

Bonus:

One last fun and completely awesome fact about this year’s Grammy Awards: Female education activist Malala Yousafzai is nominated for a Grammy Award for her audiobook version of I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World. Good luck Malala!  


Although these messages touch on a wide range of issues, they all share a common theme: living and appreciating a better life. And that’s the best way to be a global citizen.  These artists sing it, now we need to live it.  

Those should be enough reasons to convince you to watch the Grammy Awards this weekend, but here is one last one: It will just make you happy! 

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Alison Costa