Trinidad James Didn’t Win 2016 Grammy Award for “Uptown Funk” Due to Technicality
When Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' 2015 smash hit “Uptown Funk” scored two Grammys on Monday (Feb. 15) for "Record of the Year" and "Best Pop Duo/Group Performance,” song contributor Trinidad James thought he won his first gramophone too. Although a loop from his breakout hit “All Gold Everything” was sampled for the hook, according to the Recording Academy rules, the Atlanta rhymer did not leave with a trophy.
James, who was also in attendance on Monday night was snubbed based on a technicality. Complex chopped it up with the Recording Academy to clarify why the credited contributor went home empty-handed. The Grammy camp confirmed that since “Uptown Funk” won in the categories of "Record of the Year" and "Best Pop Duo/Group Performance,” only the performers and producers had rights to the awards. "Songwriters do not share in the nomination or win for a GRAMMY award in a record of the year," the Academy rep told Complex in an email.
Had “Uptown Funk” been nominated and won for another category such as Song of the Year, James would have earned a trophy, because anyone involved with creating the hit would have been recognized. Multiple reports praised James and he even did interviews describing the win as “a wonderful thing.” Elated at the idea that he won a Grammy, James also expressed his hunger for more to Hip Hop DX. "I promise you man, once you win one GRAMMY, you want to win more," he told DX. "That's what kind of mission I'm on.”
We can see how James and his fans could have been confused. Most do not know the specific requirements and rules surrounding each nomination. Nevertheless, the Gold One is one step closer to achieving gramophone bragging rights. He is still credited on “Uptown Funk” and is cashing out from the profits. Based on a Billboard report, Trinidad gets an eight percent cut from the profits of the song, and has earned close to $150,000 since the release.
James may be coming for that Grammy sooner than we think. He announced plans to heat up the summer and will be dropping the first single on his label soon.
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