Celebrating music and artistry at the iHeartRadio Music Awards

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Karina Badey ’19

Ryan Seacrest will host the fourth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards March 5. The awards represent every aspect of music from the artists to the fans.  The show will take place at the Forum in Los Angeles, California and air live at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on TBS, TNT, and TruTV. Additionally, iHeartMedia and iHeartRadio stations will be simulcasting the show, according to people.com.
Since 2007, iHeartMedia Inc. has developed and expanded through music festivals, music parties with featured artists, and award shows. In 2016 alone, iHeart hosted 11 events. It has seasonal shows such as the Jingle Ball in December, and the Ultimate Summer Pool Party in May. Additionally, their festival genres range from Country, to 80s, Spanish, and modern day pop, allowing for a wide demographic.  
In addition, iHeart works to keep a contemporary platform. iHeartRadio has initiated a nationwide change in the way people receive music. The features of personalized radio stations make iHeart a unique and modern form of media. 
This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will exhibit the most popular music genres.  For the 2017 awards, iHeart has added 22 more categories to better reflect the past year in music.  These new categories include “Producer of the Year,” “Label of the Year,” and “Best Music Video,” according to billboard.com.  This event stands out from other award shows, since iHeart listeners nominate the music and artists in eight of the 22 categories, including “Best Lyrics,” “Best Collaboration,” and “Best Fan Army.”
“The awards were built to reflect the fans, not the critics. It gives the show a completely different feel—down to an award for the best fan army. Because it reflects the fans, the show evolves with the fans—making the future unknowable, but assuring that it will never be stale and out of touch,” Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia Inc Mr. Robert Pittman said.
The show’s trending nominees and popular performers reflect iHeartRadio’s fan-based approach. Holding the top nominee spots this year are Drake and the Chainsmokers, according to billboard.com.  Drake’s 12 nominations include: “Song of the Year” and “Hip-hop Song of the Year.”  Within the “Hip-hop Song of the Year” category, three out of five songs selected are Drake’s.  The Chainsmokers’ nominations include “Best Song of the Year,” “Best Duo/Group of the Year,” and “Best New Pop Artist.”

Karina Badey ’19

Additionally, eight popular artists are scheduled to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Awards this year, according to people.com. The first headlining performance will be Bruno Mars, followed by artists such as Shawn Mendes and Big Sean. In addition to the popular featured performers, rising artists will make an appearance. New artist Noah Cyrus is growing in popularity and will be making one of her first national performances at the show. Each of the nominees and performers will represent music in the 2016 to 2017 year.
“I think Sia, Chainsmokers, and Twenty One Pilots all represented new trends in music. Sia has brought performance art into the forefront, Chainsmokers bring a raw passion and enthusiasm, and Twenty One Pilots mark the rise of Alt,” Mr. Pittman said.
The distinctiveness of the iHeartRadio Music Awards stands out in the vast realm of the music industry.  As a result, long-time award shows, such as the American Music Awards, the Grammys, and the Billboard Music Awards, do not pose a threat to the success of the awards. 
“We really do not see any competition because we are so different from any other shows—and the iHeartRadio Music Awards are so tied to the favorite radio stations from months before the show,” Mr. Pittman said. “It is a journey that culminates in a show—as opposed to it just being a show.”
-Karina Badey, Staff Writer