While last night’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards seemed to make an effort to deservedly highlight the many wonderful female artists and artists of color in today’s music world, perhaps the most pervading storyline to emerge from the ceremony seemed to highlight the ceremony’s continued representational shortcomings.In the leadup to the event, one of the dominating narratives had been the many high-profile artists who declined to participate. As widely reported, several of hip-hop’s biggest names—including Drake, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar—turned down invitations to perform at “music’s biggest night.” Each of those three artists was nominated for multiple awards. Kendrick wound up taking home a statue for “Best Rap Performance” for “King’s Dead”. Gambino would end up winning for “Best Rap/Sung Performance”, “Best Music Video”, “Song of the Year”, and “Record of the Year” for his Internet-breaking track, “This Is America“, though neither artist was in the building to accept the awards themselves.It was widely reported that Drake would also not be in attendance, but when his name was called as the winner of the “Best Rap Song” category for “God’s Plan”, the Toronto native surprised those watching by emerging from backstage—rather than from musicians’ customary place in the audience—to accept the award. Though noticeably a little surprised to hear his name called, Drake quickly used his acceptance speech platform to reinforce many artists’ views of the Grammys.“I definitely did not think I was winning anything… I want to take this opportunity while I’m up here to just talk to the kids that are watching this that are aspiring to do music, all my peers that make music from their heart, that do things pure and tell the truth: I wanna let you know we play an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport. So it’s not the NBA where at the end of the year you’re holding a trophy because you made the right decisions and won the games. This is a business where, sometimes, it’s up to a bunch of people who may not understand, you know, what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say, or a fly Spanish girl from New York (Cardi B), or a brother from Houston (Travis Scott). … You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown. If there is people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you. You already won.”The show went to commercial quickly from there, seemingly cutting Drake off from the rest of his speech after downplaying the significance of the award. While the Recording Academy has since clarified that cutting off the end of the speech was a mistake—they say it seemed he had reached a “natural pause”—it seemed to drive home Drake’s sentiments even harder.Drake – 2019 “Best Rap Song” Grammy Acceptance Speech[Video: Boogiedownfinest]As the show’s longtime producer, Ken Ehrlich, told The New York Times in an interview last week, “The fact of the matter is, we continue to have a problem in the hip-hop world. When they don’t take home the big prize, the regard of the academy, and what the Grammys represent, continues to be less meaningful to the hip-hop community, which is sad.”This issue has become more polarizing as hip-hop continues to take over as one of popular music’s most successful genres. As The Guardian notes, “The last 12 months have seen hip-hop continue a commercial domination of music that began in 2017 when Nielsen Soundscan figures from the US suggested eight of the 10 most listened to artists in the world were rappers.”The Grammy Awards have long had issues with the hip-hop world. The tensions date back all the way to 1989, when several high-profile hip-hop acts boycotted the ceremony after learning that the newly added “Best Rap Performance” category would be among those not televised during the broadcast. The Academy has continually come under fire for perceived mishandlings of the hip-hop world’s recognition in the years since. In 2016, commercial darling Macklemore took home the award for “Best Rap Album”, but quickly publicized his views that Kendrick Lamar was more deserving of the award for his critically-acclaimed album, good kid, M.A.A.D. city. Just last year, Jay-Z, one of the biggest names in the hip-hop world, was nominated for 8 awards for 4:44, but wound up going home winless. He also elected not to attend in 2019.While the continued disparity between the Grammys’ award choices and the opinions of listeners was once again highlighted this year, the hip-hop community did score some notable cross-genre wins. Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” became the first rap track to ever take home “Song of the Year” honors—despite somewhat inexplicably not being nominated for “Best Rap Song”.
The Martin County Board of County Commissioners has voted to restrict beach access to Martin County residents only.The Board voted for the change recently saying that it was to protect the health and safety of county residents.These changes will affect access to county co-owned and managed beaches and will stay in place until further notice.It is unclear how authorities plan to enforce the new regulation.
Tags: Bel Wardle, Champion of Champions, Women’s county, Woodhall Spa 9 Sep 2019 Bel Wardle becomes Women’s Champion of Champions with convincing performance Bel Wardle consolidated her reputation as one of England’s finest emerging talents as she dominates the field at the English Women’s County Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa.The 2017 English Women’s Open Stroke Play champion from Cheshire carded rounds of 72 and 71 which was enough to give her an eight-shot victory on three under par 143.But, it was no easy trip for the youngster on a challenging course. She explained: “I felt confident coming into the event. I knew that if I played well I would have a great chance of winning. I tried to stay positive during the two rounds. Woodhall Spa Golf Club is a course where you are going to make mistakes but it’s how you bounce back. I stayed patient and knew that there are birdie chances out there. My iron play was also very good, I set up makeable birdie chances that I took advantage of. If I got in trouble, I limited the damage and took my medicine. This kept double bogeys off the card.”Wardle’s nearest challengers were Surrey champion Lottie Woad and Bethany Garton from Lancashire. Woad represented England while finishing sixth at this year’s European Young Masters in the Czech Republic and she maintained her fine recent run of form by recovering from an opening 78 to post a 73 and finish on five-over par 151. Garton from Royal Lytham and St Annes carded rounds of 76 and 75 to complete the tournament on the same total.Although Wardle felt pressure from the field, she was always able to stay in control and ahead to secure the tournament victory. She said: “Obviously there is always going to be pressure when you have the lead. But I just tried to concentrate on my game and try to get under par. I knew that if I shot under par again I would have a great chance of winning.“I was really happy to get the win! This year I’ve had many top 10 finishes in events but not a win. So very pleased to finally come through to win. I’m very proud to have represented Cheshire at the event and even happier to bring the trophy back!”After emerging victorious, Wardle is now looking forward to a winter of development ahead of the Curtis Cup: “My next target is to make it into the Curtis Cup team next year – the season is coming to an end now so the winter work begins.”View the full table of results here.
In this June 29, 2013 file photo, Connecticut Sun’s Kalana Greene, left, and Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner eye a rebound during the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Amid a surge of public opinion in favor of gay rights in the U.S., the WNBA is launching a campaign to market the league to the LGBT community, becoming the first pro sports league to specifically recruit gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender fans to its games.With the marketing campaign, the WNBA is capitalizing on what it has known for years: The community makes up a significant portion of its fan base. The difference now is that the league is talking about it publicly and making it a deliberate part of its marketing strategy.The launch of the effort coincides with a surge of political and legal advances for the gay-rights movement in the U.S., and shifting public opinion behind many of those advances.The campaign, which begins with the debut of a website Wednesday, includes having teams participate in local pride festivals and parades, working with advocacy groups to raise awareness of inclusion through grassroots events and advertising with lesbian media. A nationally televised pride game will take place between Tulsa and Chicago on Sunday, June 22. All 12 teams will also have some sort of pride initiative over the course of the season.“For us it’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion and recognition of an audience that has been with us very passionately,” WNBA President Laurel Richie said. This image provided by the WNBA shows a t-shirt that is part of a campaign the WNBA is lauching to market specifically to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. It’s the first league to design such a campaign. The marketing push begins with the launch of a website on Thursday, May 22, 2014, and the signature event will be a nationally televised “pride” game between Tulsa and Chicago on Sunday, June 22. (AP Photo/WNBA)It’s taken the league 18 years to take the step, though it had discussions about the possibility previously. Teams have done some promotion locally, sponsoring booths at gay pride events and hosting groups at games.“We embrace all our fans and it’s a group that we know has been very, very supportive. I won’t characterize it as ‘Why did it take so long?’ For me it’s been we’ve been doing a lot of terrific initiatives. The piece that’s different this year is unifying it,” Richie said.Before launching the campaign, the league took a close look at its fan base. It commissioned a study in 2012 that found that 25 percent of lesbians watch the league’s games on TV while 21 percent have attended a game.Rick Welts, who was the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the NBA when the WNBA first started in 1997, said that when the league began executives figured the fan base would be a carryover from the NBA.“We guessed very wrong on that,” said Welts, who is the president and COO of the Golden State Warriors and became the highest-ranking executive in men’s sports to publicly acknowledge he’s gay in 2011. “Maybe we should have known better. I think from its outset, the WNBA attracted a fan with different interests than our profile of an NBA fan.“I remember sitting in a few meetings where we had really interesting thoughtful discussions of: Should we be proactive marketing to the LGBT community? What does that say if we do? We certainly didn’t want to position the league of being exclusionary to anyone. What were we saying if we did it more proactively? Society and sports culture is very different today than it was back then. Teams were trying to figure out the right thing to do.”Brittney Griner, who is one of a handful of WNBA athletes who have publicly identified themselves as lesbian, was happy the league was embracing the community. Griner, who was the No. 1 pick by the Phoenix Mercury in the draft in 2013, plans on wearing rainbow-colored shoes during the month of June in support of the initiative.“We’ll pave the way and show its fine and there’s nothing wrong with it. More sports need to do it. It’s 2014, it’s about time,” said Griner, who served as grand marshal of the Phoenix Pride parade last season.The league’s campaign comes after a wave of recent announcements from players who are identifying themselves publicly as gay. NBA player Jason Collins became the first player in men’s professional basketball to come out and played with the Nets. Former Missouri football player Michael Sam, who came out in print and televised interviews earlier this year, was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. And Derrick Gordon, a UMass basketball player, recently described his experience as a gay Division I player.It also comes amid changes in the political and legal landscape. Just this week, federal judges in Pennsylvania and Oregon struck down state bans on gay marriage, extending a series of such rulings since December. If the latest rulings stand, there will be 19 states — with more than 43 percent of the U.S. population — that allow same-sex marriage.That helps make the timing for the WNBA’s decision right, said Robert Boland, academic chair of the sports management program at NYU’s Tisch Center.“This is a group where there is a natural affinity and marketing affinity,” he said. “It’s a recognition of where the world is today. I’d be shocked if there was any backlash.”Rebecca Lobo, who played in the league for six seasons and has been a broadcaster for the last decade, has seen a change from when the league began in 1997.“It’s culturally more acceptable now than it was when it first started,” she said. “The league has been around for so many years they can do these sort of things without worrying about what some people might think.”It wasn’t always that way.“For a long time they were happy to have those lesbians fill those seats in the stands, but not willing for a long time to embrace the fan base,” said Pat Griffin, professor emeritus in the social justice education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “I attribute that to the homophobia, fear that somehow acknowledging the fan base would encourage other fans not to go to games. What they’ve learned is that the fan doesn’t keep other people from going to games.”___Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg