A former label exec joins fans tween fans in calling the Grammys out of touch

By Brad Wete
Updated February 25, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

This much is clear: Justin Bieber’s fevered fans do not take rejection well. First they launched nasty attacks on Esperanza Spalding, the little-known musician who beat out Bieber for Best New Artist. And then, on Feb. 20, former record exec Steve Stoute bought a full-page ad in The New York Times to blast the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for slighting the 16-year-old. Stoute, now CEO of the ad agency Translation, thinks it’s absurd that commercial stars — like Bieber, who, he claims, is a true ”modern artist” — are so often ”snubbed.” And his argument is mostly a solid one, citing previously overlooked Album of the Year contenders like Eminem (lost to Steely Dan in 2001) and Kanye West (lost to Herbie Hancock in 2008). But why should NARAS be a slave to statistical analyses? Not every hit album is a good one. Surely Stoute knows that. Besides, by his logic, Britney Spears should have several Album of the Year trophies. Now, that would be a real outrage.