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GRAMMY Revamp Announced in Santa Monica  

By Lookout Staff

April 7, 2011 -- The Recording Academy, the Santa Monica-based home of the GRAMMYs, announced it is retooling its annual awards Tuesday, reducing the number of eligible musical categories from 109 to 78.

Other changes that resulted from the Academy's first year-long, comprehensive restructuring of its awards since it was founded 54 years ago include increasing the number of artist entries required per category to 40, up from 25.

"Every year, we diligently examine our Awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process," said President/CEO Neil Portnow.

"After careful and extensive review and analysis of all Categories and Fields, it was objectively determined that our GRAMMY Categories be restructured to the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music,” Portnow said.

“Our Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its dedication to keeping The Recording Academy a pertinent and responsive organization in our dynamic music community," he said.

While General Field entries (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) won't change, some categories in Mainstream genres (Pop, R&B, Country, Rock and Rap) have been lumped together.

For example, male and female categories for Pop, R&B and Country were combined into one category for each genre, and the same was done with solo and duo/group performances in Rock, R&B and Rap.

Gospel has been renamed Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music, to reflect the two diverse styles.

And Latin, American Roots Music and World Music all had some of their categories consolidated, as did Classical Music.

Academy officials offered their assurances that the large-scale changes were the result of “diligent research, careful analysis, and thoughtful discussion,” and that “every submission continues to have a home.”

Further reductions may happen automatically, as new rules were instituted concerning the number of submissions each category needs to have.

If a category receives fewer than 25 submissions, it will go on hiatus for a year. And if it receives fewer than 25 submissions for three years, it will be dropped. In any of these cases, submissions would be entered in the next most appropriate category.

Changes have also been made in the voting procedures for the awards.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers.

As well as honoring musicians with the GRAMMY Awards, the Academy provides emergency health and human services and addiction recovery resources to artists or other industry professionals through its MusicCares program.

It also supports music education programs for high schools students through its Grammy in the Schools program and, in years past, Santa Monica schools have been the beneficiaries of the Academy's outreach to the local community.

For detailed information about the restructuring of the GRAMMY Awards, see The Recording Academy's website at


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