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Why the Grammys Are Booze-Free

The traditionally dry event is hosted by MusiCares, an initiative to help recovering addicts in the music industry.

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Jay-Z came prepared. Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

02/11/13

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Awards ceremonies have a reputation for being boozy affairs, but the liquor wasn't flowing at last night’s Grammy Awards. Not that everyone was sober—rapper Jay-Z was seen drinking out of his own glass tumbler, and Best Pop Vocal Album winner Kelly Clarkson gave a shout out to alcohol during her acceptance speech. But overall, the event is traditionally dry, since it is hosted by MusiCares—the Recording Academy’s initiative to help musicians in need, particularly addicts. The initiative provides "Safe Harbor Rooms" at venues and events around the country, which offer safe spaces for artists, staff and crew to congregate and attend 12-step meetings. “It's our building, and our show, and since we have MusiCares Safe Harbor Room, it's a dry house,” a Recording Academy representative says of last night’s ceremony. MusiCares also provides addiction recovery services, as well as financial and medical assistance for those in recovery. “We help everyone—from roadies to engineers to songwriters to the musicians themselves,” Shirren Reid, manager of MusiCare’s Musicians Assistance Program (MAP), told The Fix. “And it can come in many ways: financial assistance can mean rent, utilities, car payments, insurance, burial, dental, or medical bills. Through the MAP Fund, we do everything from offer scholarships to treatment centers and sober living houses to helping music professionals who are already in recovery—through counseling, education, or ongoing needs in recovery.”

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