The Grammy Awards are becoming more inclusive.
Starting next year for the 61st annual ceremony, the Recording Academy has announced its plans to increase the number of nominees from five to eight in its four general fields of Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. The other 80 categories will not be affected and will remain at five nominees.
Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy, explained in a press release how the change will improve diversity and inclusion. “Throughout the year, we team up with music people across all genres and disciplines to consider revisions and subsequently make amendments to our rules and entry guidelines to ensure we’re keeping up with our ever-changing industry and meeting the needs of music creators,” he said in the statement.
“This creates more opportunities for a wider-range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters when having to make the often challenging decisions about representing excellence and the best in music for the year. We look forward to celebrating all of our nominees when they are announced later this year.”
The Grammy Academy has faced scrutiny after the University of Southern California published a report that showed a lack of women winners and nominees in recent years. The reports showed that women made up just 9.3 percent of Grammy nominees over the past five years in the top four categories, along with producer of the year. Soon after his comments, Portnow announced in May 2018 he will be stepping down as President and CEO of the Recording Academy.