Obama vs. Sanders contest cast eyes on the prize

Senator Bernie Sanders.
Associated Press / Charlie Neibergall, file

Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of five contenders for next year’s Best Audiobook, Narration and Storytelling Grammy Award. Announced recently as one of five finalists in the category by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the former presidential candidate is nominated for his audio recording of “It’s Okay To Be Angry About Capitalism.” The avowed Democratic Socialist who introduced his book in New York earlier this year with Prof. Cornell West at the Brooklyn Academy of Music packed the space with independent, liberal and conservative voters, reprising shared pleasantries as advocates of alternative political viewpoints.

Born in the borough, Senator Sanders is best recalled for his determined advocacy of opinions contrary to traditional campaign politics when he campaigned for the highest office in the United States.

During his bid more than a decade ago, an Illinois aspirant named Sen. Barack Obama sought the same position as commander-in-chief.

Sen. Sanders lost then but history was made when Sen. Obama emerged the first of his race to be nominated and elected to the top spot. Now the Vermont representative is up against former first lady Michelle Obama, for a coveted golden gramophone.

The trailblazing former White House resident championed last year winning a Grammy Award in the Spoken Word category with her “Becoming” memoir.

For a back-to-back win she also made the final five for “The Light We Carry: Overcoming Uncertain Times.”

Sen. Sanders is not a newcomer to the music industry’s campaign for most outstanding achiever, in 2018 he earned his first nomination for “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In,” a collaboration he engaged with actor Mark Ruffalo.

He lost that year to actress Carrie Fisher whose memoir “The Princess Diarist” bested his submission.

Along with the senior senator, Obama faces formidable challenge from a star-studded cast of competitors which includes actress Meryl Streep, Star Trek legend William Shatner and music specialist Rick Rubin.

Will he?

Can she?

Yes she can?

Music insiders will reveal the winning votes when total ballots are announced on Feb. 4


Music from the African continent debuts a new category to the Grammy lineup. Along with two entries, the board of trustees of NARAS added African Music Performance to an international roster of music achievers. Making their inaugural appearance are contenders for the Best Pop Dance Recording and Best Alternative Jazz Album.


According to music decision makers, Buju Banton – “Born For Greatness,” Beenie Man – “Simma,” Burning Spear – “No Destroyer,” Julian Marley & Antaeus – “Colors of Royal,” and Collie Buddz – “Cali Roots Riddim 2023” are the best reggae recordings of the year. The best of the five finalists will be announced in the Best Reggae Album category from Los Angeles, California on CBS-TV on Feb 4.


The music industry’s biggest advocates of the entertainment craft are already rolling out the red carpet to salute the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. Hell-bent on outshining all other entities representing diversity in vocal and instrumental recordings, NARAS added more than 20 game-changers to an already full roster for their television salute to the genre.

Slated for a live concert special to air on Dec. 2, they added superstars Arrested Development, Big Daddy Kane, Black Sheep, Cypress Hill, Digable Planets, DJ Quik, E-40, GloRilla, Gunna, Jeezy, Juvenile, Latto, Luniz, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shanté, Spinderella, Three 6 Mafia, Too $hort, T.I., 2 Chainz, Warren G, and YG for a stellar gala anniversary tribute.

The celebration of the golden milestone achievement already billed performers Black Thought, Bun B, Common, De La Soul, Jermaine Dupri, J.J. Fad, Talib Kweli, The Lady Of Rage, LL COOL J, MC Sha-Rock, Monie Love, The Pharcyde, Queen Latifah, Questlove, Rakim, Remy Ma, Uncle Luke and Yo-Yo.

A press release from NARAS stated that the two-hour, expanded version on CBS-TV will showcase “the genre’s profound history and monumental culture impact around the world” with a tribute collaborating Jesse Collins, Shawn Gee, Dionne Harmon, Claudine Joseph, LL COOL J, Fatima Robinson, Jeannae Rouzan-Clay, and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as executive producers.

Catch You On The Inside!