Entertainment & Arts

Grammy awards suffer seven-year TV audience low

Taylor Swift at the Grammys Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Taylor Swift won the coveted album of the year Grammy award for her release 1989

This year's Grammy awards US TV broadcast has recorded its lowest audience figure in seven years.

The Nielsen ratings company said the music event, shown on CBS, pulled in an average of 24.95 million viewers.

The figure was down 300,000 on 2015's event, which was then the smallest Grammys audience since 2009.

The 58th Grammy Awards - considered the year's biggest music event - were held on a Monday for the first time, which may have contributed to the dip.

Of the 24.95 million viewers who watched, 9.7 million were aged 18-49 - advertisers' most sought-after audience age-group - said broadcaster CBS.

But the overall audience dipped from last year's 25.3 million viewers, which was the smallest TV audience since 2009's 19.1 million.

The live awards show hosted by LL Cool J, was still the most watched entertainment show on US television so far this year, added CBS.

This does not count the Super Bowl - classed as a sports event - which drew in 112 million viewers on 7 February, making it the most-watched TV show of the year.

British star Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar dominated this years winners' list.

Swift's 1989 won the coveted album of the year and she also won best pop vocal album and best music video for her track Bad Blood.

Lamar won the most prizes on the night with five awards, while Sheeran won his first two Grammys for song of the year and best pop solo performance for his number one hit Thinking Out Loud.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Natalie Cole's family are upset that the singer, who died in December, did not receive a longer tribute during the Grammys show

CBS remained upbeat about this year's ratings, adding the live stream of the show on its digital subscription service CBS All Access, has pulled in its largest audience to date. But the network did not say what the actual number of viewers was.

During this year's TV show, technical issues caused some sound problems and prompted complaints from viewers. There were also reported glitches with the live stream.

The show has also caused upset with the family of the late singer Natalie Cole, who died on 31 December, aged 65. Cole was acknowledged within the annual montage of clips recalling the artists who had died in the previous year.

Cole's family have said she deserved a longer tribute and that just including her within the round-up was "disrespectful".

Cole's sisters Timolin and Casey, told ET Online: "Words cannot express the outrage and utter disappointment at the disrespectful tribute, or lack thereof, to a legendary artist such as our sister."

The singer's son, Robert Adam Yancy, called the brief tribute "shameless" when compared to the individual performances during the ceremony that were dedicated to David Bowie, the Eagles' Glenn Frey and BB King.

The Grammys' producers have defended the tribute.

"Frankly, I think it was appropriate," the show's producer, Ken Ehrlich told Billboard, adding it was the most "touching and emotional" tribute he could have presented to Cole, who had been his friend.

Cole was a multiple Grammy award-winner with her biggest achievement being widely acknowledged as her 1991 album, Unforgettable … With Love - a tribute to her singer father Nat King Cole - which won six Grammys.

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