The Recording Academy has announced it will no longer use anonymous review committees to finalise Grammy nominations from 2022, ending a process that has been in place since 1989.
Previously, Grammy nominations for 61 categories were trimmed down by a group of 15-30 industry figures, whose identities were kept secret. From now on, however, nominees for almost all awards will be chosen by majority vote across Academy voting members.
That will go for both “general” (including Album, Song and Record of the Year along with Best New Artist categories since 1995) and “genre” categories. However, the “craft” categories (such as producer and packaging awards) will still be decided by a group of industry professionals.
The Recording Academy has also confirmed that, due to nominees now being selected by its general voting body, 90% of its members will go through a “requalification process” this year, ensuring that they are “actively engaged in music creation.”
In a statement, Recording Academy interim chief executive Harvey Mason Jr said the decision followed “a year of unprecedented, transformational change” within the organisation. “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,” he commented.
Scrutiny around the Grammys’ anonymous committees reemerged last year, after the Weeknd publicly criticised the process following his nominations snub for the 2021 awards. In November 2020, the musician tweeted that the Grammys “remain corrupt” when he received zero nominations despite the success of album After Hours and hit single ‘Blinding Lights’.
“You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency,” he said. In March of this year, the Weeknd – real name Abel Tesfaye – told the New York Times that he would no longer allow his label to submit music for Grammys consideration, citing “the secret committees” for his decision.