Words By Zoe Zorka

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While Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, Cardi B., Kesha, and other big names got their well-deserved airtime on Sunday night’s Grammy broadcast, only nine of the 84 winners were presented with their awards during the televised broadcast. However, many of these winners are every bit as relevant as the major category winners. Some of the top winners whose work had a major impact over the past year include:

Aimee Mann, Mental Illness, Best Folk Album:


With lyrics such as “Gotta keep it together when your friends come by/ Always checking the weather but they wanna know why/ Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly/ Always snatching defeat, it’s the devil I know,” this album showcases not only Mann’s amazing vocals, but also thematically weaves the struggles of the average person together in a semi-melodramatic, yet folksy chill-vibes-only mood.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Stony Hill, Best Reggae Album:

Being the son of one of the musical greats may have opened some doors for the young Marley, but this album demonstrates his own unique sound as well as his incredible talent. But like his father, he takes on social issues under a hypnotic beat, as evidenced in “Slave Mill” and “Looks are Deceiving.”

The Defiant Ones, Best Music Film:

The competition was tough for musical documentaries and film this year with The Defiant Ones, an HBO miniseries, beat out its competitors for their portrayal of Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, and their accomplices and protégés such as Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and others, as well as their trials, tribulations, and successes. it’s all truth.

Other culturally relevant nominees of note included newcomer Rapsody, who with three nominations, is sure to do even more in the coming years, documentary Long Strange Trip, a film that Variety references as a “sprawling four-hour documentary about the history of the Grateful Dead and its place in cultural history,” and India Arie’s album SongVersation: Medicine, a melodic album that both manages to speak to listeners on an individual level as well as reflect current cultural paradigms.