After accusations of being biased have plagued them for years, the Grammys are cleaning themselves up with new changes.
After RnB superstar, The Weeknd called out the Recording Academy for being “corrupt” when he was unjustly snubbed from this year’s Grammys, the music organisation is working to undo some of their wrongs.
According to the Academy, changes to the nomination process are being implemented that are designed to “reflect … [an] ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape.” Not only that, but it’s hoped that the changes will allow the award show’s “rules and guidelines … [to be] transparent and equitable.”
One of the recent announcements is the disbandment of its Nominations Review Committees. These are groups within the Recording Academy made up of 15-30 members who choose the nominated artists in the music genre that the group specialises in.
The problem with this is that deserving artists were finding themselves shunned because of biases. From now on, nominations will be considered by members (who will need to undergo a “requalification process” to prove their legitimacy) across the board.
The Weeknd, who was snubbed in Grammy nominations, says he will boycott the awards going forward. “Because of the secret committees,” the singer said, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.” https://t.co/0h0HqnJPBH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 12, 2021
It was also revealed that the number of categories that voters vote in will be reduced. “To ensure music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified, the number of specific genre field categories in which GRAMMY Award Voters may vote has been reduced from 15 to 10,” reads the announcement from the Recording Academy.
All voters will retain the right to vote for the four major categories (Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year). In this way, only voters who are knowledgeable in a category can have a say.
Moreover, voters will also be allowed to categorise themselves based on their expertise. Divided into Presentation Field and Production Field, it appears that the Recording Academy is finally seeing that artists are also producers and vice versa.
Also, two new categories are being added. Best Global Music Performance (Global Music Field) and Best Música Urbana Album (Latin Music Field) bring the total number of categories to 86.
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The Chief Industry Officer at the Recording Academy, Ruby Marchand, had this to say regarding the new changes: “The latest changes to the GRAMMY Awards process are prime examples of the Recording Academy’s commitment to authentically represent all music creators and ensure our practices are in lock-step with the ever-changing musical environment.”
“As we continue to build a more active and vibrant membership community, we are confident in the expertise of our voting members to recognize excellence in music each year.”