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Grammys ratings plummet past nine-year low, set all-time record low in key demographic

Ratings for the Grammys dropped to a 9-year low on Sunday, even setting an all-time record low in music's key demographic. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)

Ratings for the 60th annual Grammys award show plummeted Sunday night as the show once again got political.

How bad was it?

According to Deadline, ratings for the music awards show plummeted 24 percent from last year’s ratings. On Sunday, 19.81 million people tuned in, the lowest number in nine years.

Last year, 26.1 million viewers tuned into music’s supposed biggest night.

The news was even worse for the 18-49 demographic, the audience music advertisers are most concerned with. On Sunday, it earned a 5.9 rating — down nearly two points from last year’s 7.8 rating — which is the lowest ever.

According to the New York Times, ratings for the Grammys over the past five years have fluctuated between 26 million and 28 million, which made it the second-most watched awards program behind the Academy Awards.

As the Times noted, TV ratings are declining for everyone, from award shows to news — even sports programing is taking a hit. But for the awards shows, could it be something more?

One possibility is the hyper-politicization of the shows in recent years, especially since Donald Trump’s rise to political prominence and the White House.

What was political about Sunday’s show?

Most prominently was the comedy sketch done by Grammys host James Corden. In the skit, some of music’s most influential artists “auditioned” to read the controversial book “Fire and Fury” for next year’s Grammy for best spoken word album. At the end of the skit, Hillary Clinton read an excerpt for the book. Corden stated that Clinton had the Grammy "in the bag." The segment became the most talked about of the night.

Then there was Camila Cabello, one of pop music's most popular artists. She introduced the band U2, but used the opportunity to make a statement about DACA.

The Washington Post highlighted all of the other political moments in this exhaustive list.

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