Grammys Drop Secret Nominations Committees After Backlash
Written by on April 30, 2021
The Grammys are making a major change.
The Recording Academy has voted to remove its controversial nominations review committees, reports The New York Times. These anonymous expert groups, which have been in place since 1989, review the initial nomination choices from voting members and ultimately decide who makes the cut in 61 of the Grammys’ 84 categories.
We made significant changes to our GRAMMY Awards process that reflect our ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the #GRAMMYs rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable.
More details. https://t.co/I8xM2wbjNT
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) April 30, 2021
In recent years, the “secret” committees have faced criticism from artists including The Weeknd, who famously blasted the Grammys after being shut out of the 2021 nominations despite the success of his latest album, After Hours.
“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…” he tweeted in November.
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Later, the “Blinding Lights” singer told The New York Times that he planned to boycott the show until the committees were eliminated. “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” he said.
On Friday, the Recording Academy’s board of trustees met and approved the change to cut the nominations review 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,” Harvey Mason Jr., the Academy’s interim president and CEO, said 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,” he continued. “We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the awards process.”
The committees are being eliminated for the four top prizes (Album, Song, Record, and Best New Artist) and all genre categories, but review panels will remain for 11 craft categories covering awards for production, packaging, album notes, and historical recordings.