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Grammy Awards eliminates anonymous review committees after years of call for transparency from music industry

Grammy Awards eliminates anonymous review committees after years of call for transparency from music industry
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Grammy Awards eliminates anonymous review committees after years of call for transparency from music industry

The Grammy Awards have modified its tune and voted to take away its anonymous nomination review committees — teams that decided the contenders for key awards on the coveted music present.

The Recording Academy made the announcement Friday after the board of trustees met and permitted the change. The choice got here hours after The Related Press reported that the academy was planning to debate its nomination review committees and whether or not it was time to get rid of them.

“It’s been a 12 months of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy, and I’m immensely proud to have the ability to proceed our journey of progress with these newest updates to our awards course of,” Harvey Mason Jr., the academy’s interim president and CEO, stated in a press release Friday.

“It is a new Academy, one that’s pushed to motion and that has doubled down on the dedication to assembly the wants of the music neighborhood. Whereas change and progress are key drivers of our actions, one factor will all the time stay — the Grammy Award is the one peer-driven and peer-voted recognition in music,” he continued. “We’re honoured to work alongside the music neighborhood year-round to additional refine and defend the integrity of the awards course of.”

The main change comes months after The Weeknd blasted the Grammys and known as them “corrupt” after he earned zero nominations for the 2021 present regardless of having the 12 months’s greatest single withBlinding Lights.’ Nominees will now be based mostly purely on votes made by the academy’s 11,000+ voting members, and the academy stated that “greater than 90 p.c of its members could have gone by the requalification course of by the tip of this 12 months, making certain that the voting physique is actively engaged in music creation.”

For the Grammys’ prime 4 awards — album, track and document of the 12 months, together with finest new artist — a nomination review committee of at the least 20 music generalists in previous years chosen the highest eight nominees from these voted into the highest 20.

The bulk of the 80-plus Grammy classes had been voted by nomination review committees, which had been supposed to safeguard a selected style’s integrity and to function extra checks and balances. Whereas nominees for some classes like finest pop vocal album and finest pop solo efficiency had been based mostly purely on votes, a quantity of style classes had nomination review committees. These included the rap, rock, R&B, nation, dance/digital music, American Roots, Latin, jazz and gospel/Christian music fields. Nomination review committees for these teams consisted of 13 to 17 voting members who chosen 5 nominees from the highest 15.

However questions have loomed for years across the nominations course of with music industry gamers calling for extra transparency as a result of the choice of finalists occurs behind closed doorways. Others have claimed that members of key nominating committees promote tasks they labored on or tasks they favour based mostly on private relationships.

Final 12 months the academy introduced that musicians invited to take part in a nomination review committee must conform to the phrases of a battle of curiosity disclosure kind and reveal if they might profit from an artist’s nomination for that class, whether or not the ties are monetary, familial or artistic.

That appeared like a response to former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan, who was fired solely months into her job and days earlier than the 2020 Grammys. Dugan had stated the awards present was rigged and muddled with conflicts of curiosity.

Doubts concerning the Grammys voting course of reached larger heights when The Weeknd — who topped the charts with “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” launched an uber-successful album with “After Hours” and even carried out on the Tremendous Bowl — was severely snubbed at this 12 months’s present, held final month. The Grammys contrasted most of the opposite music awards reveals, the place The Weeknd was a key nominee (he earned 16 Billboard Music Award nominations Thursday), and he vowed to boycott the present.

Change has been a centre of dialog on the Grammys for years. The organisation has been criticized over the shortage of range in its prime prizes, which hardly ever go to rap and modern R&B stars, together with heavyweights like Beyoncé, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Drake, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and John Legend. Whereas these acts have gained within the rap and R&B classes, on the subject of main prizes resembling album, track and document of the 12 months, the winners are typically within the pop, rock, jazz or nation genres. The organisation has additionally been focused for its lack of feminine winners within the prime classes.

Whereas there’s some negativity linked to nomination review committees, some members most well-liked them to allow them to defend who’s allowed to be half of a selected style. As an example, the rap area on the Grammys added a nomination review committee three years after Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gained three rap Grammys in 2014 over Kendrick Lamar, a choice that was closely criticised by the music neighborhood and public, and even Macklemore himself.

Different modifications introduced Friday embody limiting what number of style classes voters can vote in, which has been diminished from 15 to 10. The academy stated that “these 10 classes have to be inside not more than three (style) fields.” All voters can vote for the highest 4 awards.

The academy additionally launched two new awards, bringing its whole to 86: finest world music efficiency and finest música urbana album.

The sixty fourth annual Grammy Awards will air reside on 31 January, 2022. Nominees will likely be introduced later this 12 months, and eligible songs and albums have to be launched between 1 September 2020 and 30 September, 2021.

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