The Recording Academy has once again made some changes to the annual Grammy Awards; and this time there’s a big one.
Recording Academy Senior Vice President of Awards Bill Freimuth said that the Grammys are more than peer awarded, they are peer driven; adding that throughout the year Academy members make suggestions and requests for changes.
For the first time in Grammy Award history streaming music may be counted. In the past works that were available in a hard copy format – LP, CD, etc – or as a digital download were eligible for inclusion as Grammy Award nominees; beginning this year works available only through streaming will also be allowed – as long as they are available to the public and nationwide. Import recordings will not be eligible. All works must be original with no copyright infringement.
The Academy has also limited the number of categories each member may cast their votes. In years past the number has been 20; beginning this year that number drops to 15. The numbers do not count in the big four of Record, Album, Song, and New Artist of the Year. The Academy is hoping to encourage its members to vote only in those categories where they possess the most knowledge.
Other changes in the Grammy Awards will increase the number of categories by one when the Blues Album category is divided into Traditional and Contemporary Albums.
Changes have also been made to the New Artist category. When Meghan Trainor was listed under the New Artist category, music fans questioned how such a thing could happen when the singer had charted a number of hits singles. The Recording Academy based the nomination on the number of songs and albums released. They have made some changes to those requirements beginning this year. To be listed in the New Artists category a performer must release at least five singles or a single full length album but may not exceed 30 singles or three full length albums. The artist must also have made an impact on the music listening public and musical landscape over the past year.
The Best Rap/Sung Collaboration is now the Best Rap/Sung Performance in recognition of collaborations that go beyond rap.
The Best Choral Performance and Best Jazz Vocal Album categories also have some changes in how participants are recognized.
Nominees for the 59th annual Grammy Awards will be revealed on December 6 with the awards gala itself taking place on February 12 – making its return to Sunday night after a Monday airing in 2016.
One thing that is not changing is the network that will air the annual music awards show. CBS has inked a deal with the Recording Academy to keep the Grammys at least until 2026.
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