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Difference between Grammys and Oscars


A common question asked within the entertainment industry is “what is the difference between the Grammy’s and the Oscar’s?”  Let’s begin with the Grammy’s.

The first Grammy Awards were held May 4, 1959. There were 28 categories awarded that night. The Grammys were initially titled the Gramophone Awards. This explains the gold-plated trophy, a gramophone. Up until 1990 the Grammy was made of soft lead, it was changed for a stronger alloy that was more durable.  Furthermore, The Grammys is the second-most-watched awards show, after the Oscars.

If you love music, you may be one to watch the Grammy Awards every year, but for people who are less knowledgeable about the Grammy’s there needs to be a simple explanation as to what they are about, and what each sub-category for the particular awards given to the musicians.

There are four main categories within the Grammy’s and they are as follows:

Record of the Year:  Though it may seem like this is an award for the best whole album it is actually a subcategory for the best SINGLE recording of the year.  The point of releasing the “singles” is to promote the new album, increase airplay on the radio and thus increase the hype for the eventual release.

Everyone who played a part in producing the single is nominated. This can include the artist, producers, engineers and mixers.

Album of the Year: This is the biggest award during the Grammy’s ceremony.   This award is for the best entire ALBUM of the year as opposed to the most popular SINGLE of the year as we saw in the “Record of the Year” category.  Once again everyone that played a part in creating the album is nominated and awarded.  In order for an album to qualify to be nominated in this category it must have at least five tracks and contain over 50% of new material.

Song of the Year: You are probably seeing how the Grammy’s can be confusing by now, right?  This award is for songwriting skills, and not the finished commercial product.  The arrangement of instruments, tone, production, the arrangement of the song structure (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, etc) are all taken into account.  The nominees are obviously the people who wrote the song, but this does not include the people who recorded it or performed it.

Best New Artist:  The Grammy’s define a new artist as an artist or group that releases a song or album that brings the artistic identity of said artist into a new level of public awareness.  The group or artist cannot have been nominated in a previous performance category unless it was for being a guest artist on someone else’s track.

Now let’s move onto the Oscars.  This is an award that offers recognition to professionals in the film industry. This includes not only the actors, but the support staff like directors, writers and more. The award is granted by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The first awards were presented on May 16, 1929 to an audience of approximately 270 people with tickets costing $5. There were a total of 15 statues awarded and the ceremony lasted 15 minutes. The Oscars are now the most-watched award show, followed by the Grammys.

While the Oscars have many sub-categories just as the Grammy’s do the Oscars win out in ratings and popularity due to it being less confusing and more accessible to the public.

The Oscars most important categories are Best Actor, Best Actress and finally Best Picture.  The Best Picture award is what everyone is waiting to see.  The whole night builds up to this moment.  Winners of this award will recognize anyone that was involved in making the film from the actors, actresses, directors, producers, costume directors, etc.

For the winners of Best Actor and Best Actress, they will find that their career can take off after receiving such an award.  Winning an Oscar in this category can catapult their acting career to places they have only dreamed of.  Directors, writers and film makers of all kinds will be watching them more closely and will more likely contact them for work over a no-name actor, or over having to do a bunch of auditions that aren’t proving to be too fruitful.


  • They are both popular award shows, but the Oscars is the most viewed

  • The Grammy’s are for music and the Oscars are for film

  • The Oscars are less confusing to the public than the Grammy’s

  • The Grammy’s are filled with performances while the Oscars are not

  • There are more awards handed out at the Grammy’s than at the Oscars

  • The Oscars are more structured in their presentation than the Grammy’s


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