In 2011 The Recording Academy reduced the Grammy Award categories from 109 to 78, cutting R&B awards from eight to four. After protest and complaints from artist including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon and Bill Cosby, The Recording Academy has added three awards, raising the total number of honors to 81.
The new categories include Best Urban Contemporary Album – to honor R&B albums that include elements of pop and rock, Best Classical Compendium and Best Latin Jazz album.
“Every year we want to look at these objectively and make a good musical decision and not be influenced by politics and pressure,” Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said in an interview. “I will say it’s incredibly unfortunate that a very small group chose to voice their discontent with a lawsuit that had no basis.”