Dance music finally invited to Grammy's big party

Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:32pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dance music steps out of its niche and joins the Grammy party on Sunday, crowning its journey from the underground rave scene to the mainstream music industry.

Just as hip-hop was finally embraced by Grammy organizers in 1989, electronica comes of age this year with a DJ nominated for best new artist for the first time, and the first dance music tribute to be broadcast on the music industry's biggest night.

"It's exploding in the country now, if you look at the festivals where dance music is prevalent, if you look at the DJs in this community. So we thought, it's time, and it's never been done on television," Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy told Reuters.

Skrillex, 24, a dubstep-electronica DJ, has five Grammy nominations including one for best new artist -- the first time a DJ has been nominated in the category. He competes alongside rappers Nicki Minaj and J.Cole, country performers The Band Perry and indie rock band Bon Iver.

Sunday's awards ceremony in Los Angeles also features DJs David Guetta and Deadmau5 joined by rockers Foo Fighters and rappers Chris Brown and Lil Wayne in a dance and electronica special performance.

"I think it's nice that the Grammys have made an effort to include dance this year," Grammy-winning music producer and DJ Mark Ronson told Reuters.

"You can't really ignore that the charts are dominated by Calvin Harris and Guetta and kids want to go out and see Deadmau5 like it's a rock show," said Ronson, who is featured with Skrillex and others in the upcoming documentary film "Re:Generation," about the cutting edge genre.


<p>David Guetta performs at the 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2011 in Los Angeles December 3, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>