Last Friday, the Recording Academy announced it has eliminated the nomination review committees in general and genre fields, including the Big Four categories: Album, Record, and Song of the Year, as well as Best New Artist.
Variety reports the affected committees were primarily made up of music executives whose names were kept from the public. Although the Academy previously defended the anonymous process as a way to protect its members from outside influence, many raised concern that the lack of transparency could result in corruption. This criticism was frequently expressed in late 2020 after The Weeknd’s critically acclaimed After Hours album received zero nominations.
Although there will still be committees for "Craft" categories, the main Grammy nominations will be determined by the majority of Academy voting members, 90 percent of whom will have gone through a re-qualification process by the end of the year "to ensure that the voting body is actively engaged in music creation."
"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., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a press release. "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. We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Awards process."
The Academy trustees also voted to reduce the number of categories in which members may vote from 15 to 10. They’ve also added the Best Global Music Performance and Best Música Urbana Album categories, and consolidated the six craft fields into two fields: Presentation Field and Production Field.
The changes will go into effect for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, scheduled to take place January 31, 2022.