from my pal, the legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Webb:
Grammy snub or flub?
Jimmy Webb denied Grammy Nomination for
“Famous”:”Do What You Gotta Do”
Kanye West’s “Famous” is nominated for Grammys for Best Rap Song …and Best Rap/Sung Performance. More than 35% of “Famous” is rooted in my song “Do What You Gotta Do”. There are twelve writers on “Famous” nominated to win Grammys, each responsible for about 5% of the song. And I, Jimmy Webb, AM NOT a nominated songwriter for “Famous.”
So why am I being denied a nomination? Grammys “do not credit writers of sampled material or interpolated material in any of our song categories.” This is not a mere sample and it is more than “interpolated material.” “Do What You Gotta Do,” with a new recording of Rihanna singing, is the first thing the listener hears, and what draws them in on West’s “Famous” – it is the face of the song. The use of my chords and melody throughout becomes the backbone. And there it rests on the great Nina Simone singing “Do What You Gotta Do” at the end. “Do What You Gotta Do” is what the listener is left with, it is the foundation of “Famous.” “Famous” doesn’t stand without “Do What You Gotta Do.”
My three Grammy trophies are dear to me but are rendered meaningless if they represent surrendering the principle that the creator is first and foremost; The creator must always receive credit where credit is due.
In the event “Famous” wins a Grammy award, the Academy has graciously offered me a certificate. Does anyone else feel the injustice of this nomination process?
This would be a proud nomination and/or win for me – and one for the Grammy records books because of the rare combination of Grammy trophies I have earned: Best Song, Best Country Song, Best Orchestration – and then add to it Best Rap Song.
This rule devalues my legacy but on a larger scale it devalues the other “interpolated” artists. I will contest this ill-conceived rule for all songwriters and I call on my friends in the ranks to come together and overthrow this discriminatory and perverse ruling by the Grammy Awards & Nominations Committee.
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