An award is given to a person, institution or a group of people to honor the contributions made by them in a particular field. An award could be in the form of money, a trophy, certificate, medal, badge, title or plaque.

The status of the awarder, be it an individual, government or an organization, and for which purpose it is being given are some of the deciding factors for the popularity of the award. Some of the popular awards across the world are Nobel Prize, Oscars, Pulitzer Prize, Booker Prize and Magsaysay awards.

Some of the awards are so popular that they become the identity of their recipients like those who have won Nobel Prize are known as Nobel laureates. Nobel Laureate is added before their name to signify their contribution and status in the society.

Awards are given in many fields be it literature, social service, science or entertainment. Some of the eminent entertainment awards are Oscars, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, MTV Music Awards, Country Music Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

Oscars or Academy Awards:

Instituted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929, the Academy Awards or Oscars, as it is commonly known as, honor the contributions made by professionals in the film industry in the United States like directors, actors and writers. The Academy awards is one of the oldest, most prestigious and most awaited film award ceremonies the world over. Oscar statuette, measuring 34 cm in length and weighing 3.85 kg, is made of gold-plated britannium and shows a knight holding a sword and standing on a film reel with five spokes.

The Academy has around 6,000 voting members, of which actors constitute the largest group, who elect the winners. These voting members represent 15 disciplines in motion pictures. The members can nominate only in their respective disciplines though they can submit nominees for the Best Picture. In the second round, all the members have to cast their vote in all categories. The nominee getting the most votes is declared the winner. The voting process is tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, an auditing firm.

Oscars, which was broadcast for the first time by NBC, has been telecast by ABC network since 1976 as it has got the broadcast rights for the awards till the year 2014. Initially, the venue of the Oscars kept changing from Hollywood to Los Angeles but now the permanent venue of the Award ceremony is the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, which is spread over 640,000 square feet and includes retail, restaurants, nightclubs, other establishments and a six-screen cinema.

Grammy Awards:

Instituted by the US-based National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) in 1958, the awards are given every year for outstanding contribution in the record industry. The awards were earlier known as the Gramophone Awards due to its statuette which was a small, gilded gramophone.

Interestingly, award ceremonies were held in New York and Los Angeles till 1971 and the winners could accept their awards at any of the two places. It was the year 1971 when the Grammy awards were telecast live for the first time by Pierre Cossette who had purchased the rights for broadcast of the ceremony. In the year 1973, CBS bought the telecast rights of the award ceremony, which is generally held in February.

An interesting fact about Grammy awards is that the trophies which are used at the time of award ceremony are ''stunt'' or dummy Grammies. The actual Gramophone trophies are kept in a studio until the recipients are announced. After the recipients of the award are announced, their name is engraved on the trophy and personally delivered at their doorstep of the recipients.

The Recording Academy and record companies send their nominations for various award categories, which are reviewed by over 150 experts from the industry. The review is done to ensure that all the entries meet specific requirements and are put in the proper categories. In the first round, voting members are sent the list of entries in all the fields, except those voted by special nominating committees. These ballot papers are then sent to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, an independent accounting firm, for tabulation. Members can vote only in the fields in which they have expertise. Also, members can nominate in the four general categories and nine of the 31 fields on their ballots.

In special categories, national nomination review committees, comprising of representatives from all of the Academy's Chapter cities, decide the final nominations. In the second stage, voting members are sent the lists of the finalists in all the categories, including special categories. The members can vote for the four general categories and eight of the 31 fields. The ballot papers are again sent to Deloitte for tabulation. The names of the recipients of the Grammy Awards are given by Deloitte in sealed envelopes and are not disclosed until the presentation ceremony.

Emmy Awards:

Instituted by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) in 1949, Emmy Awards are considered the Oscars for the television industry. These awards honor the contributions made by actors, producers, directors, writers and other technicians involved in the television industry, and recognize talent in different sectors of the television industry like entertainment programming, sports programming and news and documentaries.

The first-ever Emmy Awards, which were held on January 25, 1949, at Hollywood Athletic Club, concentrated on shows produced and aired in Los Angeles only. In the 1950s, Emmy awards were turned into a national event, which was telecast throughout the nation. In 1955, ATAS’ sister organization National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) was formed which concentrated on programming and shows in the East Coast. Regional chapters were opened by NATAS all over the United States, which started local Emmy Award shows for local programming.

Initially, only one Emmy award ceremony was held annually which was telecast throughout the United States. Later, Daytime Emmy Awards, which concentrated on just daytime programming, was introduced in 1974. Soon other area-specific Emmy Awards like Primetime Emmys, Sports Emmys, Regional Emmys and Student Emmys were introduced. International Emmy Awards, which are aimed at TV shows produced and aired outside the US, were started in the early 1970s.

Later, differences between ATAS and NATAS led to a split in 1977 but they decided to share the statuette and trademark and divided among themselves a specific set of award shows.

Golden Globe Awards:

Instituted by the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association in 1944, Golden Globe Awards honor the excellence of actors, technicians and professionals involved in film and television industry. In 1945 Golden Globes Statuette was introduced.

In 1950, differences among the members led to the formation of two groups – the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and Foreign Press Association of Hollywood – which gave away separate awards. However, the group reunited in 1955 under the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In the same year, the Golden Globes started honoring contributions in TV along with films. In 2007, the best animated feature film category was introduced in the Golden Globes. At present, Golden Globes give away awards in 25 categories – 14 in motion pictures and 11 in TV.

MTV Awards:

Instituted by the Music Television (MTV) in 1984 as an alternative to Grammy Awards, the MTV Video Music awards honor the contributions made by artists and technicians in all the genres of music, especially the pop genre. MTV award trophies depict an astronaut on the moon.

The first ever MTV Video Music Awards ceremony in 1984 was a huge hit with Madonna's power-packed performance of the song 'Like a Virgin'. There have been controversies galore during the MTV award functions. In 1991, differences between Poison's Bret Michaels and C C DeVille led to a scuffle after DeVille's ''inept'' performance.

Britney Spears attracted a lot of flak from PETA activists after her performance at the 2001 MTV awards, featuring a yellow snake. Madonna too created a huge controversy when she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera after their performance at the 2003 MTV awards.

MTV awards are given for Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Female video, Best Group Video, Best New Artist, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Editing, Monster Single of the Year, Quadruple Threat of the Year, Best Collaboration and MTV Video Vanguard award.