Responding to complaints about Grammy nominations made in secret, the Recording Academy today voted to eliminate the committees in charge of this process to create more transparency.
The changes will be in effect from the 64th annual Grammy Awards, to be held on January 31, 2022. These awards cover music broadcast for a 13-month period from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
Today’s decision means that the selection committees will be eliminated for the top four prizes and all gender categories. The committees for 11 categories of crafts in production, packaging, album notes and historical recordings will remain.
The nominees will now be chosen by the general electorate of the Academy. Along with today’s decision, the board will also reduce to 10 out of 15 the number of genre award categories that academy members can vote on, beyond the top four, and add two awards: the best world musical performance and the best urban music album. , a Latin category.
The secret expert committees that choose nominations have come under increasing criticism in recent years, with the Weeknd promising to boycott future Grammys after not being selected from the final group of nominees, even though he had an album the most sold, After hours.
Nominating committees made up of music professionals sit on the nominating committee for 61 of the 84 Grammys categories. They strive to reduce the large number of initial nominees to something more achievable. Their identity is kept a secret to avoid harassment from fans and any undue influence.
The process began in 1989 as a way to tackle strange earlier choices like Jethro Tull’s infamous placement in the heavy metals category. He was later criticized for limiting black artists to genre categories and not placing him in the top four awards, album, record and song of the year, and best new artist.
In a statement, Harvey Mason Jr., acting chief executive of the Recording Academy, said the move towards transparency was part of “a year of unprecedented transformational change” within the institution.