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A Case for EDM: Do the American Music Awards Need More Electronic Music?

For 44 years, The American Music Awards have highlighted the US of A’s highest accomplishments in music. However, they were a bit different this year, and not just because they’re usually held next month. This year at the AMAs we saw some big wins for certain artists, across a variety of genres. Taylor Swift is one such artist to win big, to the surprise of no one.

For example, she took home four awards including “Favorite Artist and Album” for her genre and “Tour of the Year”. These awards give her close to the having the most AMAs, just beating Whitney Houston and tied with Alabama. With 23 awards under her belt she’s second only to Michael Jackson.

Camila Cabello is another artist to clean house. The former Fifth Harmony front woman took home “New Artist of the Year,” and her track Havana featuring Young Thug managed to snag her “Favorite Song” for her genre, “Video and Collaboration of the Year.”

Year after year the AMAs are a showcase of the hottest acts in music. That is to say, it shows the achievements of relatively mainstream artists. The variety of awards extends to best artists in their genres, for male and female categories. From Pop/Rock, to Soul/R&B, to Rap/Hip-Hop to Country, genres are awarded representation for two sexes, an album and a song.

Any raver worth their ridiculous outfit knows that EDM is an umbrella term. The different properties of pitches, tones, bass and BPM are all manipulated to produce distinct results. Even so, the victories of EDM are annual restricted to one award for it’s category to recognize a “Favorite Artist.” Does it deserve more from the AMAs?

We’ll start our own awards show, with blackjack…

On the other hand, EDM has it’s own awards. The Electronic Music Awards give EDM important and well deserved recognition. Though not as distinguished as the longstanding AMAs, the EMAs offer a range of awards for electronic artists to aspire. By the same token, wildly different but equally established genres have their own awards. BET hosts their annual Hip Hop Awards, and CMT their own awards show.

At the same time, both of these genres are much more recognized at the AMAs. Rap/Hip-Hop gets opportunity for favorite artist, album and song. Country also has those, even getting awards for favorite male and female artists, and favorite group or duo. Certainly, we can think of a few groundbreaking femme persons and electronic groups in the industry that deserve to be recognized.

Is EDM less influential than country and hip hop? The familiar sounds of EDM have escaped it’s typical lineup and entered employment in more mainstream music. One of Khalid’s biggest tracks is a collaboration with Marshmello, and just last year Calvin Harris worked with a plethora of artists. Rap, pop, rock, and other sub-genres all utilize electronic music from time to time.

Perhaps, in some of the nominees, EDM is already honored. It may not be a question of whether the AMAs should recognize EDM more, but how it will do that.

Do you think there should be more awards for electronic music? Lets us know on Twitter, @DanceMusicNW!