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Justin Bieber finds a fan in Steve Stoute after Grammys loss

Justin Bieber, with Rihanna at the NBA All-Star Game, is defended by Steve Stoute

Steve Stoute defends Justin Bieber, attacks the Grammys Nothing like taking out a full-page newspaper ad to declare yourself ... a Justin Bieber fan? In an open letter calling the Grammy Awards "a series of hypocrisies and contradictions," Steve Stoute has outed himself as yet another Belieber.

"How is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist," the former hip-hop manager and music industry exec asked in an open letter critical of the Grammys, NARAS and NARAS President Neil Portnow, published Sunday in the New York Times.

Stoute also questioned Eminem and Kanye West's losses in previous years in the album of the year category to Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock, respectively. He blamed the "Grammys fail" on an overzealous desire to produce a popular TV show, and a disrespect of cultural shifts. Stoute is president of Translation Advertising, which he founded in 2008 with Jay-Z.

"What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions," Stoute wrote in the letter that was also published on the Huffington Post. "As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed 'Month of May' -- only to ... surprise ... win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform 'Ready to Start.'"

Of Arcade Fire's two-song stint at the end of the Grammys, "Some in the audience thought that it was a punk-spirited coup of the microphone," The Times' Geoff Boucher wrote, "but Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said in recent days that he would let the band do an extra song if the show was running ahead of schedule."

Baby, baby, baby, oh -- but does Stoute have a point?


Justin Bieber, Usher -- so bromantic at the Grammys

Aretha Franklin promises to be at next year's Grammys

Justin Bieber shakes hands with the Situation; civilization crumbles

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Justin Bieber and Rihanna, top, at the NBA All-Star game at Staples Center on Feb. 20, 2011. Steve Stoute, left, in 1999, when he was managing Nas and allegedly assaulted by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs; Combs was later acquitted. Credits: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images, top; handout, left.


Comments () | Archives (17)

i love you

I agree totally - the Grammys are completely out of touch. Esperanza Spalding who?? Justin Bieber is the musical phenominon of this past year. I am a 70 year old 'coot' and even I went to see him in Albany, NY. The kid is not only talented but a good soul - a good role model. What century is the Grammy folks living in?

Christie D'Zurilla here from MOG with a gentle reminder that we don't publish comments that include profanity.

Thx to all for reading and commenting.


So I guess just screw all the hard work that Esparanza Spaulding did to make it to where she is, just b/c she doesn't have a camera following her into the bathroom and every other facet of here life, just b/c Usher is not backing her, and just because she didn't make Mr. Stout any money. NEWSFLASH Steve, the world is "a series of hypocrisies and contradictions," and with all that money you have turn your attention to more pressing matters.

Quite simply, no, he doesn't have a point. First, he's not a musician, singer, artist or producer; he's in marketing. Secondly, the artists that did win won on the basis of art, not music sales, and I don't think that anyone can argue the merit of either Esperanza Spalding or Arcade Fire. Third, since he's not in the business itself, and is obviously out to raise his profile on someone else's back without the credibility of being a musician to back it up, where is his criticism of other winners who aren't in hip-hop or R&B? It's all about Eminem and Beiber, but not about any pop or rock acts who won "unjustly"?

Bieber lost because he's not going to be around in 10 years as a hitmaker. Eminem lost because other Grammy voters thought Arcade Fire had a better musical statement---in other words, Arcade Fire won in a matter of preference. And I submit that if this had happened a decade ago, Lady Antebellum would have won Album of the Year for their good-but-completely-mainstream album. We should be thrilled the Grammys picked an indie band for the top honors.

Who is Steve Stoute again? Again, he's not a musician. And apparently he's upset because his hip-hop music didn't win. Too bad for him, but not so much for the rest of us. When he releases an album, and better yet, when he can complain that a pop or rock act got robbed at the expense of an act that is based in rap or R&B, then I might take his opinion more seriously instead of thinking it's biased whining.

The Grammys aren't based on sales,they're based on artistic excellence. To say just because something sells well that it should be rewarded is ridiculous! That's like saying crack dealers should be applauded because their product sells for more money then aspirin! Crack is popular. Should we recognize it as being good for you? Beiber's "music" is aural crack, it's just pop garbage!

Ah Mr. Stoute, you're the real reason the music business is going down the drain in the first place. Ms. Spalding or others that were nominated in the Best New Artists(Mumford & Sons, Florence) are more talented than Bieber. You're worst than those teenage girls that threw insults at Ms. Spalding's wikipedia. Yes Kanye's "Runaway" should had been nominated for Best song & Record Of The Year but his amazing album came out in November(your album have to be released before Sept. 2010 to be eligible to get a nomination). If you want people to take Bieber seriously, how about giving him a better producer & better songs to sing. And also stop making him out of a money maker and into a real artists. So sit your happy butt down Steve.

I agree with him. They have no hesitation in asking the biggest pop stars in the world to perform for the show, the ones everyone listens to and buy records of but then hand out the awards to obscure artists. If the Grammys are about artistic integreity, then why don't you ask people like Esperanza Spalding to perform. Oh right, no one would bother watching and ratings would take a dive. And I think Bieber should have definitely won. It is a misconception that he is some manufactured act. He was discovered on Youtube by ordinary kids before a manager noticed him. I don't know how much more grassroots you can get. He didn't have Disney or Nickolodeon backing him. I'm 40 and I love his music. And we don't need hateful comments about how he is gay or looks like a girl or his voice hasn't dropped. He is not gay and his voice is very much deeper than before. As for looking like a girl, all boys have somewhat feminine features when they were young. Go look at old photos of yourself.

The only thing sadder than an 11-year-old girl loving Bieber is a 40-year-old woman loving Bieber. Honey, check your estrogen, you're obviously in full-on cougar mode and a 17-year-old Usherrized white sextoy is right in your wheelhouse.

if he were gay, what is wrong with that?

Why is it a surprise that musicians who write their own music and play their own instruments live and in studio won Grammy awards? Arcade Fire is an amazing band, they've got everything from a string section to a hurdy gurdy.

Wow... sour grapes from a manager who represents the dominant forces in popular music -- the very people who make all the money and get all the recognition. Good for Arcade Fire and Esperanza What's Her Name for shaking things up for once. Eminem, Justin, Kanye... all over-rated, all spoiled silly, all corporate artists who have considerable talent, no doubt, but represent the mainstream and have zero to do with the cutting edge.

Funny. It used to be that the Grammies were slammed for being out of touch and handing out awards only to Top 40 pap. Now this guy is slamming the Grammies for daring to hand out awards to anything else.

Remember the R&B/disco group Taste of Honey and their late-70s hit Boogie Oogie Oogie? They beat out Elvis Costello for best new artist at the Grammys back in the day.

I wonder whatever happened to him.

Is this just another marketing play to get Bieber's name out there once again? Are we really supposed to see him as an underdog? Let's not be so greedy now.

Agreeing with Suzanne. This week alone I've seen him on csi, playing basketball (mvp of the allstar game), impersonating Jon Stewart, and countless other places. If this guy stepped out of his circle of influence in the music industry for just a second, he may realize how offensive it is to members of my generation to try and tell US that Kanye West other artists mentioned in his letter are even remotely 'the voice of a generation'.

Just because an artist has had a MARKETING impact doesn't make him artistically viable. What you Beiber lovers are saying is because a bunch of pre-teen airheads bought millions of his "product" that that somehow equates to artistic viability. Beiber is a commodity, just like shoes, or tires or oatmeal. If a twelve year old thinks Bieber is artistically superior to Esperanza, maybe that's why America's kids rank 32nd in scholastic aptitude. McDonald's low quality food has had an impact on American culture greater than ANY recording artist. Does that mean all the “SUPERSIZERS" that eat that cr*p are now qualified to run Le Cordon Bleue?

So artistry is the number one concern of the grammys? Huh, so the great artists of the 60's and 70's were the Manhattan Transfer, the 5th Dimension and Christopher Cross? Really? Just take a look at who the Grammys chose to honor over the years...it's a list of commercial hacks and one hit wonders. The great movements and artists of music have been ignored while the Milli Vanillis and Starland Vocal bands of the world were championed by the Academy.


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