Grammys removes secret nominating committees amid pushback

Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy said: "This is a new Academy"

The Recording Academy announced considerable changes to its nomination process for the Grammys on Friday, which include the elimination of the anonymous expert committees previously known to make final ballot decisions for nominees in major award categories, according to TheWrap.

The elimination of the secret committees is the most notable of the changes and will take effect in time for the 64th Grammys due to air Jan. 31, 2022. The final nomination process will now move from a small group of 15 to 30 music industry professionals to the Academy’s full membership, subjecting nominees to a simple majority vote.

63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards – Premiere Ceremony
Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images The Recording Academy)

Grammy Award-winner The Weeknd is reported to have threatened to boycott future Grammys ceremonies after being snubbed by the nominating committees and not receiving any nominations in 2021 despite having a hit single on the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart for 40 weeks and an album at the top of the chart in its first week, according to CBS News.

To ensure the new process is impartial, the Recording Academy will require that 90% of its members adhere to a “requalification process” by the end of the year to verify voters’ active engagement in music creation, according to TheWrap.

Read More: The Weeknd, Megan Thee Stallion lead 2021 Billboard Music Award nominations

The Academy has also reduced the number of categories in which a member can vote from 15 genre categories to 10, and those 10 categories may not exceed three fields. And all members will still be allowed to vote in the “Big 4” categories of Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist, per the report.

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 1
The Weeknd (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Also noted is the last of these noteworthy changes is the Grammys introduction of two new categories, Best Global Music Performance in the Global Music Field and Best Música Urbana Album in the Latin Music Field, bringing the total number of available awards to 86.

Read More: The Weeknd to boycott Grammy Awards due to ‘secret committees’

“It’s been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I’m immensely proud to be able to continue our journey of growth with these latest updates to our Awards process,” said Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, in a statement.

“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. While change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one thing will always remain — the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music. We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Awards process,” said Mason.

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