The Recording Academy announced Friday that it is canceling the committees to review controversial Grammy nominations, which are often reprimanded as “secret committees,” among the list of other changes.
The Academy revealed that the nominations will now be decided through a peer-to-peer vote by the entire voting membership body. Previously, nominations were set for the majority of Grammy categories, including genre and general fields (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist), by a group of 15 to 30 voters in the music industry, whose identities remained unknown.
The move comes after years of criticism over the renewed Grammy nomination process in March, when The Weeknd announced a pledge to boycott future award shows after not scoring a single nod to the 2021 concert. His song “Blinding Lights” made history this year, becoming the first song to serve All-year-old on the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 charts.
The singer, who has won three Grammy Awards from previous years, told the New York Times, “Because of the secret committees, I will not allow my music company to introduce my music to the Grammys.”
Zayn Malik aired similar grievances that month, inviting the Grammys for the Lack of transparency in the nomination process Amidst a series of tweets criticizing the academy.
The Grammy Awards have often faced criticism and accusations of racism, including accusations even among black artists Be They have been nominated, and have historically been excluded from the awards.
Last year, Nicki Minaj summoned the Grammys in private by reminding fans that she had not won the Best New Artist award in 2012 despite having had a string of successes. Beyoncé’s fans felt the same as she didn’t win an album of the year for “Lemonade” in 2017.
John Legend told Entertainment Weekly last year that he thinks it’s “almost impossible for a black artist to win Album of the Year”. The last black artist to do so was Herbie Hancock in 2007.
In addition to the abolition of the Nomination Review Committee, the Academy announced that more than 90% of its members will undergo a “rehab process” to ensure that the voting body is “actively involved in composing the music.” (Some nominating committees, called “craft committees,” will remain in place for the newly incorporated categories “Package, Notes, and Historical Field” and “Area of Production.”)
The Recording Academy announced other changes, including reducing the number of categories in which a voting member can vote, and adding two new categories: Best International Music Performance (World Music Field) and Best Musica Urbana (Latin Music Field).
“This is a new academy, a work-driven academy that has doubled down on commitment to meeting the needs of the music community,” Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy President and interim CEO said in a statement.
The new changes are effective immediately and will be reflected at the 2022 Grammy Awards next January.
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