The Grammys Announce a List of Changes to Its Rules

The governing body of the Grammys announced a list of changes to the rules of the music awards show.

The Recording Academy said the updates are meant to “reflect its ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape” and “ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable.”

A notable change is the Academy’s decision to do away with Nomination Review Committees, which were groups of “15-30 highly skilled music peers who represented and voted within their genre communities for the final selection of nominees.”

Moving forward, artists won’t be selected for awards by the small committees, but instead will be voted on by a larger voting membership body.

The Recording Academy said in the statement that its body of voters already have or will complete a prequalification process by the end of 2021 to ensure they’re “actively engaged in music creation.”

The previous use of the secretive nomination committees drew criticism from The Weeknd when the Grammys released its nominees in fall 2020 ahead of the March 2021 awards show.

The Weeknd, who was born Abel Tesfaye, had successful hits in the past year and was considered a shoo-in for the Grammys, Insider’s Callie Ahlgrim wrote. Despite his highly anticipated and acclaimed 2020 album “After Hours,” he didn’t receive a single Grammy nomination. In a tweet, he called the awards show “corrupt” and demanded “transparency” from the Recording Academy.

The Weeknd later told The New York Times in a statement that he would boycott the awards show until further notice.

“Because of the secret committees,” The Weeknd told The New York Times, “I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

Drake echoed the artist’s calls for clarity about the Grammys’ nomination processes. The rapper wrote in an Instagram post that after The Weeknd was snubbed from awards in the past year, the Grammys “may no longer matter.”

Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement after The Weeknd’s criticism of the awards show that the Academy members “understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated.”

“I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration. We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the Grammy stage the weekend before,” Mason Jr. said.

The 2022 Grammys will also debut two new awards categories: best global musical performance and best música urbana album.

Academy members are now permitted to vote in a maximum of 10 awards categories instead of the previous 15, which the statement says is to “ensure music creators are voting in the categories in which they are most knowledgeable and qualified.”

According to the Academy, the changes take effect immediately for the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which is set to take place in January 2022.

The eligibility period started on September 1, 2020, and ends on September 30 of this year.         

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