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With Two, You Get Eggroll

Congratulations. You won a Grammy. The Academy likes you. It really likes you. And this honor will score you roughly to the tune of – what? Anything?

What does winning a Grammy mean, and what is it good for? Is it that small because it best serves as a bookshelf knick-knack?

Pretty much, the trophy means an artist probably has already "made it." That little Victrola just gives extra-added value to success.

"You have to be established in the music industry by the time you win," says Tom O'Neil, author of the book, The Grammys – For The Record. "I mean, there are flukes, like Alanis Morissette winning in her first year. And that does happen. Or Christopher Cross winning in his breakout year. But for the most part, it's people like Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra."

Should you become one of the noteworthy winners, the first thing to do after your victory is to sit back and watch it work for you. Citing statistics compiled by Warner Music executives over 20 years, O'Neil says winning an award can increase record sales by 26 to 34 percent. And, winning may not even be necessary.

"Joan Osborne, a few years ago, had four nominations, performed on the show and didn't win a single award," says O'Neil. "But her sales increased the same amount – 26 to 34 percent. So it seems indistinguishable in the minds of the viewers whether you win or not. The important thing is whether you perform on the show."

There is no Grammy career security, though. Yes, Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles won. So did Starland Vocal Band, Christopher Cross, and Milli Vanilli. And Milli's Rob Pilatus last great claim to fame was being arrested and charged with battery and "auto trespassing."

Still, winning a Grammy makes it much easier to win more Grammys. "I think Babyface is a cinch for Album of the Year because he's a long-time Grammy favorite," says O'Neil. "And they love to keep heaving awards on you once they've already heaved a ton."



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Written by Rob Medich with graphic design by Yevgeny Simkin

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