The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramophone Awards)—or Grammys—are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the awards of more popular interest are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony. The current President of the Academy is Neil Portnow.
The awards were established in 1958. Prior to the first live Grammys telecast in 1971 on ABC, a series of taped annual specials in the 1960s called The Best on Record were broadcast on NBC. The first Grammy Award telecast took place on the night of November 29, 1959, as an episode of the NBC anthology series Sunday Showcase, which was normally devoted to plays, original TV dramas, and variety shows. Until 1971, awards ceremonies were held in both New York and Los Angeles, with winners accepting at one of the two. Pierre Cossette bought the rights to broadcast the ceremony from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and organized the first live telecast. CBS bought the rights in 1973 after moving the ceremony to Nashville, Tennessee; the American Music Awards were created for ABC as a result.
The award ceremony is generally held in February. The upcoming 51st Grammy Awards ceremony will be on February 8, 2009, and this will be the sixth consecutive year that the Grammys have been held at Los Angeles' Staples Center.