×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grammys Expand Major Category Nominations From Five to Eight

UPDATED: The Recording Academy announced several changes to its awards process, most notably that the number of nominations for the “General Field” categories — record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best new artist — will increase from five to eight.

According to the announcement, sent to Academy members Tuesday morning, “This change will better reflect the large number of entries in these categories and allow voters greater flexibility when selecting this year’s best recordings.”

The decision is also likely a reflection of the uproar over the low number of female nominees and winners for the 2018 awards, although with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino, Khalid, SZA and Jay-Z producer No I.D. leading, those nominations were otherwise possibly the most musically and racially diverse in the Academy’s history. However, the winners’ list did not reflect the wider variety of nominees — Mars swept Best Album, Song and Record — and in some categories it seems likely that votes were split between Jay-Z and Lamar, arguably the world’s two most popular rappers.

Contacted by Variety, Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman Martin Bandier said, “I think the expansion of the nominations is a great thing. There is such a wide diversity of music today and narrowing it down to only five in a major category is not inclusive enough. This is much better for the industry and I’m happy to see this change. It gives more talented people a shot and gives voters a bigger spectrum to choose from. I predict there will be some very interesting events as a result.”

At press time, heads of the three major-label groups, the American Association of Independent Labels and the RIAA had either declined or not responded to Variety‘s requests for comment.

In other changes, music supervisors will be considered nominees in the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album category (although they will no longer be eligible for consideration as album producers, unless they produced at least 51 percent of the album in question), and nominations for the World Music Field will now be determined through its own Nominations Review Committee. A number of category definition updates and clarifications were also announced and can be found in full here.

Unlike a similar nominee expansion by the Academy Awards, which in 2009 grew its best picture nominees from five to 10, the Grammy move seems less motivated by ratings. It also lessens the chances that all eight nominees will perform during the show; earlier this year the sole female Best Album nominee, Lorde, did not perform on the show after a disagreement with Grammy producers, which increased the criticism directed at the Academy for low female representation. In the weeks following the show, the Academy and its chief Neil Portnow, who told a Variety reporter that female artists and executives needed to “step up” in order to receive greater recognition, underwent a firestorm of criticism that resulted in three open letters calling for change in the organization and the formation of a task force for greater diversity headed by former Obama administration chief of staff Tina Tchen. The controversy also may have contributed to Portnow’s decision to step down from his post next year.

More Music

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Huey Lewis

    BMG Signs Huey Lewis and the News

    Huey Lewis and the News, the band that soundtracked much of the 1980s, will return with a new album in 2019. The group has signed with BMG, the company announced today (Jan. 18), setting the stage for the tenth studio album and the first time they’re releasing original music in 18 years. Formed by Lewis [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • mike-posner

    Album Review: Mike Posner's 'A Real Good Kid'

    From the tone of such hits as his 2010 debut “Cooler Than Me” and 2015’s  “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” singing, songwriting pop-hop beardo Mike Posner had a seemingly breezy take on life, love and responsibility. If you could have squeezed together the two Justins — Timberlake and Bieber (Posner has written for the latter) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content