Social data suggests the 2018 Grammy Awards may have got it wrong

bruno mars twitter google 2018 grammy awards brothers le flickr

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.

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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.

#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.


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.

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.

Alessia Cara was the focus of Twitter’s second most popular conversation, with some celebrating her Best New Artist win…

…and others not.

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.

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.

Feature image: Brothers Le via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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