Six gospel music Grammys, but where are the Jewish and Muslim awards?
Some Christian music industry insiders and outsiders have long complained that having a "Christian music" industry ghettoizes Christian artists who might otherwise have more mainstream appeal.
Now some folks way outside the Christian music industry—as in folks who make music based in other religions—are complaining that the Christian music world gets too much attention. Especially in the Grammy Awards.
"I understand that Christian music is a big genre and the majority of people in this country are Christian," Malik Mujahid, founder of the Muslim company Sound Vision, told The Dallas Morning News in Saturday's edition (the story is being picked up by other papers). "But there should be consideration of others, too."
Likewise, Linda Yelnick is lobbying for a Jewish music Grammy. "It's time we got there, musically speaking," she said. "It took Native Americans seven years to get a Grammy category. Jewish music is more visible and every bit as distinct."
Gospel Music Association president John Styll defends the Grammys' six gospel categories. "Grammys recognize music that touches consumers in substantial ways," he said. "If you have categories for every possible permutation of religion, they'd have to give out 200 more Grammys."
Styll's predecessor, Frank Breeden, agrees. "My advice to Hindus, Jews, and Muslims is to get their act together," he said. "Make music that people want to buy."
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Christian music accounts for 6.7 percent of total CD sales. "No other music with religious lyrics comes close in terms of market recognition, in part due to evangelical radio stations in most major markets," the News notes. ...1
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