Independent record labels and artists hauled off some heavy hardware at the 56th Grammy awards last night, claiming the largest share of all awards since at least 2006, when the American Association of Independent music began tracking the ceremony. According to A2IM, independent labels and artists received 50% of the evening’s honors, including big wins for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Vampire Weekend.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who famously created their own label to produce debut album “The Heist,” took home the coveted award for Best New Artist, beating out major label hopefuls including Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and James Blake. The Seattle duo also dominated the rap categories with wins for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Taking the stage for the Best New Artist award, Macklemore touted the group’s alternative route to the hallowed podium.
In its count, A2IM defines an independent work as one whose master recording rights are owned by an independent label or artist. Independent labels and artists, in turn, are those not majority owned, or under contract with, any of the three major labels or their subsidiaries, namely Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. This doesn’t factor in partnerships between independents and majors, which can cover things like distribution, marketing, radio promo and more.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard