The Recording Academy has announced nine new changes to its Grammy Awards and nomination process including the removal of the term ‘Urban’ in all, but one category. It comes after online discourse surrounding the outdated and offensive term that followed the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The changes will take effect immediately and will be in place for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards.
Tyler, The Creator highlighted the offensive use of the term ‘Urban’ in his 2020 acceptance speech.
The changes to the rules include:
1. In the ‘best new artist’ category, the Academy has dropped the rule that an artist may have released no more than 30 tracks prior to the start of the current eligibility year
2. They have changed best urban contemporary album to best progressive R&B album.
3. Changed best rap/sung performance to best melodic rap performance.
4. Moved Latin “urban” recordings from one category to another: Latin “urban” recordings are moving from best Latin rock, urban or alternative album to join Latin pop albums in the newly renamed best Latin pop or urban album. The former category will be renamed best Latin rock or alternative album.
5. Tightening of rules in response to allegations of conflicts of interest on the nomination review committees. Previously members had to disclose conflicts and leave the room not vootte in respective categories, now, “The rule change makes it even more clear who should and should not be in the room,” according to CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason.
6. In an effort to trigger more turnover on nomination review committees, the rules have been changed. Committee members previously had to take two years off after five years of service. They will now have to take two years off after three years. Under the old rules, members could serve a maximum combined eight consecutive years (as either a member or a chairperson). They now can serve a maximum combined five consecutive years.
7. The Grammy Awards rulebook is now available on Grammy.com in order to provide greater transparency.
8. The number of “principal vocalists” who can win best musical theatre album has been capped at four.
9. There is now more added flexibility to the rule that it won’t consider a failed proposal again the following year, by adding the exception that, “Proposals viewed in a different light due to changes in industry or technology may be considered in consecutive years.”
PHOTO: KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY