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To say not everyone is happy about the winners at the 2018 Grammy Awards would be an understatement. In fact, based on commentary from both sides of the fence, I’d say that this edition was among the most divisive in recent years.
Bruno Mars walked away with the big three honours: Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. But while the songs and album did sell like hotcakes in 2017, the awards handed out on the night deviated considerably from internet opinion and data provided by Google Search and Twitter.
Song of the Year winner “That’s What I Like” wasn’t even among the five most mentioned songs on the night, at least according to Twitter’s 2018 Grammy Awards report.
The 2018 Grammy Awards most popular songs
“Despacito” — a song that needs little introduction — was the biggest track on Twitter too.
Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”; Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” and “Joanne”; and “Finesse” which Bruno Mars and Cardi B performed on the night, rounded out the top five. Twitter wasn’t the only division of the internet where Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hit outweighed Bruno Mars’s.
Google Search trends, specifically looking at the United States in the lead up to the 2018 Grammy Awards, confirms that is was among the most queried track. However, “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars’s Song of the Year winner — was placed second.
Again, “24K Magic” — at least when looking at its search queries against its rivals — didn’t feature prominently on Google. “Despacito” though…
The 2018 Grammy Awards most mentioned stars
Although the Awards were dominated by male winners, the most talked about stars on the night were women, according to Twitter.
Cuban songstress Camila Cabello, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, SZA and Miley Cyrus featured prominently, this even after the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, and heaps of other celebrities, mentioned Bruno Mars on their respective timelines.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2018
#GrammysSoMale also began trending on Twitter Sunday, calling into question the abundance of male winners on the night.
Some Twitter users were also against the Bruno Mars sweep, especially in light of his contemporaries’ nominations.
“GAGA GOT ROBBED. KESHA GOT ROBBED. SZA GOT ROBBED. LORDE GOT ROBBED. ONLY ONE WOMAN WON IN THE MAJOR CATEGORIES — ALESSIA CARA,” one users tweeted, in all caps.
GAGA GOT ROBBED. KESHA GOT ROBBED. SZA GOT ROBBED. LORDE GOT ROBBED. ONLY ONE WOMAN WON IN THE MAJOR CATEGORIES — ALESSIA CARA.
— Dan (@theleonpaladin) January 29, 2018
4 pop goddesses nominated and the award goes to the generic pop stylings of Ed Sheeran. #GrammysSoMale
— Peter Martino (@peteramartino) January 29, 2018
Once again, #EdSheeran wins over much stronger female contenders, so instead of #kesha‘s song about overcoming sexual abuse, we reward another song by a man about a woman’s body. #GRAMMYs #metoo #timesup #grammyssomale
— Anya Silver (@AnyaSilverPoet) January 29, 2018
However, others didn’t agree with the hashtag’s narrative.
“I guess gender is more important then how much talent some has?” one user wrote in response.
“Women do better, stop acting like victims,” penned another.
I guess gender is more important then how much talent some has? #GrammysSoMale is seriously the most dumbest thing to have trend on Twitter.
— Nekeoh (@Nekeoh) January 29, 2018
#GrammysSoMale This hashtag proves how willful ignorance works when the two previous years women like Adele, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift SWEPT the grammys and women have dominated in the win categories historically… but, you know they have to find ways to go after Men Of Color.
— Ross Kennedy (@RossKennedys) January 29, 2018
Women do better, stop acting like victims..Whitney, Mariah, Christina, Taylor..all dominated the Grammys at one point..it’s not a conspiracy..the men just did better this time. #DealWithIt #GrammysSoMale
— ikr__ (@urasillylibby) January 29, 2018
Over on Google, Ed Sheeran was the king of the nominated pop artists, with Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga also featuring prominently. This is one notable instance where the data correlates perfectly with the Recording Academy’s choice.
The biggest talking points on Twitter at the 2018 Grammy Awards
As for the moments that really got Twitter’s’ tongue a-wagging…
Kesha’s performance was the most talked about moment on Grammy night, celebrated by the likes of Rose McGowan and Elizabeth Banks.
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) January 29, 2018
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) January 29, 2018
Kesha crushedddd the Grammys. A v powerful and inspiring performance. Plus it was really amazing to see so many influencial and brilliant women up there with her. Yesssss Kesha ❤️💕
— CHARLI XCX (@charli_xcx) January 29, 2018
Alessia Cara was the focus of Twitter’s second most popular conversation, with some celebrating her Best New Artist win…
@alessiacara congratulations on the Grammy beautiful ❤️💛💚💙💜 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 29, 2018
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) January 29, 2018
And this is not about @alessiacara she is an incredibly talented hardworking young woman who followed a dream to its fruition. Don’t direct your anger at her.
— h (@halsey) January 30, 2018
…and others not.
— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) January 29, 2018
I wasn’t over Alessia Cara tricking me into thinking she was an introvert w that “Here” song & then this Sza shit happens… I’m hurt.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) January 29, 2018
Surprisingly, Ja Rule may have a point.
Alessia Cara was only the fourth most searched for artist on Google. Lil Uzi Vert, SZA and Khalid all ranked above her. But, keeping true to the award, this is one instance where search results may be weighted in favour of lesser-known artists.
Bruno Mars’ album win, Ed Sheeran’s Best Pop Solo Performance win, and Elton John’s duet with Miley Cyrus were the other big conversation starters on the night.
Everything you do inspires me to keep workin hard and never giving up on all my dreams ! Love you dearly!
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) January 29, 2018
Of course, Google Search results or Twitter trends shouldn’t inform the winners of an award. While they’re useful as social barometers, users could be searching for or tweeting about artists, songs or albums for a number of reasons.
However, comparing the Recording Academy’s decisions with the expectations of the internet — arguably the base of the global zeitgeist — does suggest that the Academy will probably never appease everyone on social media or the internet.