The Grammy Pre-Tel: Why It's Bigger and Why You Should Care

Music's Biggest Night Gets Bigger
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Music's Biggest Night Gets Bigger

29 million people tune in to watch the Grammy Awards, but unless they’re paying close attention to the “previously awarded” titles sprinkled throughout the broadcast, most viewers are unaware that more than a dozen award categories exist.

Of course, anyone involved in music production knows that the awards handed out during the show represent just a fraction of the 83 total categories, the majority of which are announced during a pre-telecast ceremony.

Over the years, as the TV broadcast has focused more on entertainment, more award categories have moved into the pretelecast proceedings, which in turn have evolved from a somewhat humdrum afternoon to an elaborately produced, star-studded event, complete with celebrity hosts, musical performances, and appearances by top artists like Taylor Swift and the Foo Fighters. This year, the Recording Academy is further upping the ante, re-branding the telecast as “The Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony” and promoting a live webstream at

The Academy is sending a message that all Grammy awards are meaningful— not just the ones you see on TV.

To learn more about this year’s nominees, read our feature. And don’t miss our profile of Ray Kurzweil, recipient of this year’s Technical Grammy Award. Then write to to let us know what you think of this year’s Grammys.