Much Religious Music Not Included in Grammy Awards

February 22, 2003

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On February 22, 2003 the Dallas Morning News reported that Linda Yelnick, "the music agent from San Monteo, Calif., has lobbied the Grammy people for two years to create a Jewish music category. Now, Muslims want consideration, too. But come Sunday, Grammys will be awarded for music of only one of the world's major religions: Christianity. And not just one, but six different categories... 'I understand that Christian music is a big genre and the majority of the people in this country are Christian,' said Malik Mujahid of Chicago, founder of Sound Vision, the country's first Muslim multimedia company. 'But there should be consideration of others, too.' He blames a lack of awareness-- not deliberate discrimination-- for the Grammy snub. Music industry insiders say it's because the Grammys are as much about commerce as art... Grammys are awarded in 104 categories, including new age, Native American and world music. Some of that music is spiritual, but much is cultural... Grammy people occasionally talk about rekindling a general religious music category. But that idea doesn't appeal to Rabbi Gabriel of Tikkun. 'The difficulty with lumping everyone together is who gets to listen to the music and pick the contenders,' he said. 'How much do people know about music other than their own?' That's why Jews need their own category, said Ms. Yelnick, who plans to continue her campaign."