The Grammys overhaul award nomination process following industry backlash
04.05.2021

The Grammys overhaul award nomination process following industry backlash

Words by Chloe Karis

The academy have also added a number of categories to next year's awards.

The Recording Academy has made changes to the nomination process and including new categories ahead of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, set to take place on January 31, 2022.

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Previously, nominations for the four major categories at the awards – known as the Big Four – were decided upon by a group of 15-30 music industry peers, who represent their respected genre communities.

Moving forward, however, almost all of the Grammy award nominees will be voted for by Academy voting members and decided on by a majority vote, with the change being made effective immediately.

The shift in voting processes follows a particularly controversial awards season for the Grammys after The Weeknd accused the Academy of being corrupt when his chart-topping 2020 LP After Hours and its record-breaking single ‘Blinding Lights’ was totally snubbed in all categories.

Other artists also took to social media to voice their frustrations with the Recording Academy, with Kanye West even urinating on one of his 22 Grammy Awards in a now-infamous Twitter post.

The Academy has used the committees since 1989, but the “Big Four” since 1995. The “general” categories, including the main four (Album, Song and Record of the Year and Best New Artist) and the “genre” categories will no longer involve the committee’s vote.

However, the “Craft” categories (producer, packaging, album notes and historical recordings) will be continue to be decided by a committee voting process.

For most of the categories, the nominees will be selected by a general electorate vote. The Recording Academy said 90% of their voting members will go through a requalification process by the end of the year. This will ensure the voting body are actively engaged in music creation.

The voters will only now vote in 10 specific genre field categories and out of the 10 categories have to be within three fields. Voters previously were able to vote in 15 specific genre field categories.

Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Intermin President/CEO of the Recording Academy said, “This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community. The Grammy Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music. We are honoured to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Award process.”

Additionally, the Recording Academy has also included two new awards for the next Grammys. The new categories are Global Music Performance and Música Urbana Album, which brings the total number of awards to 86.

These changes will be implied for the next Grammy Awards. The eligibility period for the next Grammys is already underway since September 1 2020 and finishes up on September 30 this year.

Head here to read our recap from the 63rd Grammy Awards.