Arcade Fire Pulls Off Massive Upset; “Suburbs” Wins Album of Year Grammy

Leading into the final announcement of the 2011 Grammy Awards, that of the Album of the Year winner, three of the “big four” wins were reasonably-surprising. Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” won for both song and record of the year (beating out choices like “Love the Way You Lie” and “Empire State of Mind”), while Esperanza Spalding, a 30-1 underdog, pulled off the award for Best New Artist.

And sure enough, the upsets continued with the announcement for Album of the Year. Eminem’s “Recovery” was a massive frontrunner for the award, while Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” ranked as popular, fan-favorite choices. But none of those, nor Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” would be celebrated as the best album of the year.

Instead, the award went to acclaimed band Arcade Fire, which continues to enjoy a combined status of being trendy yet immensely popular. The group’s “The Suburbs,” a solid commercial performer and critical favorite, beat out the aforementioned albums to win the coveted Grammy.

The victory was reminiscent of the surprise “River: The Joni Letters” win in 2008. As with that year, despite the obvious critical acclaim behind the winner, industry observers were so caught up in name value (Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are all true mainstream superstars) that they ignored the impact artistry could have on the voting.

After accepting the prize, the group returned to the stage to perform “Ready to Start.”

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“Need You Now” Beats “Love the Way You Lie” For Record of the Year Grammy

Katharine McPhee Joins NBC’s “Glee”-Like Pilot “Smash”