Why Are Awards Shows Ignoring Rock ‘n’ Roll?


Once upon a time, a long time ago, a music channel called MTV launched and it was my favorite channel for years. I have always loved music, and my eyes were glued for hours watching videos of my favorite musicians while dancing to my favorite songs. Artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Duran Duran, and Bon Jovi were all in daily rotation. You could see pop, rock, and rap all on one channel (sorry, country). I loved them all.

Pop music is called pop for a reason. It’s popular music. I just attended a Taylor Swift concert with my daughter – a sold out show of 55,000 people. It was amazing and packed. Pop music definitely dominates the social media and awards shows. It’s the most popular genre of music, so why wouldn’t it? But why aren’t other genres showcased as well? I mostly attend rock concerts – about 6-8 a year. I see current rock bands like Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and Buckcherry sold out at large and small venues, but also bands like Motley Crue sold out in huge arenas. Foo Fighters is sold out at Soldier Field in August at the same venue that I just saw the Taylor Swift sold out concert. Rock is still relevant. But why isn’t real rock ‘n’ roll celebrated at big awards shows like the Grammy’s, Billboard Music Awards, and most recently the MTV  Video Music Awards?

Here are the nominees for Best Rock Video at the upcoming VMA’s.

Hozier – “Take Me To Church”

Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”

Florence + the Machine – “Ship To Wreck”

Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”

Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” (released in 2013, btw)

I do not hear ANY of these bands on my rock radio station. I hear them on my kids’ POP radio station (and possibly Fall Out Boy and Arctic Monkeys on the alternative rock station). Why are real rock bands being totally ignored at these awards shows? I get so frustrated watching these awards shows when all genres are not fairly represented.

Another example, Lorde – an amazing, talented pop singer- won best rock song for “Royals” at the last Billboard Music Awards. Even she was confused why she was in that category!

And don’t get me started on the Grammys. They don’t even televise who wins the Best Hard Rock Performance.

Can you feel my frustration? If you are a rocker like me, do something about it. When there is an awards show, and they are ignoring current rock bands again, tell them! Tweet them, email them, shout it on their facebook page. I do this, but I don’t think enough rock fans do. If they do show a current rock band, give them positive feedback, too. Foo Fighters seems to be the only current rock band awards shows celebrate (and they are awesome), but there is room to celebrate others. Help me bring real rock ‘n’ roll back to these awards shows and a mainstay in our music culture! Buy the rock music, attend shows, and tell the social media outlets and award shows that rock is here to stay. And while you are at it (shameless plug), buy future headbangers my ABC picture book of rock, ROCKABET, too! 😉

To quote my favorite Lovers Are Lunatics shirt, “Rock’s not dead! YOU ARE!” 😉

Enjoy a real rock video from 2015, “Bring It On Back” by Buckcherry from their upcoming album, Rock ‘n’ Roll.