Music

Recording Academy Ousts Controversial Grammy Nomination Review Committees

These “secret committees” have been criticized by major artists including The Weeknd.

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Recording Academy Ousts Controversial Grammy Nomination Review Committees

These “secret committees” have been criticized by major artists including The Weeknd.

The Recording Academy has voted to eliminate “secret committees” that determine Grammy nominations in key genres including rap, rock and dance music.

These committees, previously slammed by artists include The Weeknd, were brought to light in 2020, when former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a 44-page complaint against the association. According to Dugan’s complaint, the Academy uses unsupervised nominations review committees “as an opportunity to push forward artists with whom they have relationships.” The former executive also characterized the Grammys voting process as “ripe with corruption.”

Responding to the controversy, the Recording Academy announced on Friday that, going forward, Grammy nominations will be determined by the organization’s body of voting members. Voting membership is comprised solely of music creators including artists, engineers, producers and songwriters, who will now have the final say in choosing nominees across 59 categories. “Craft” categories (including producer, packaging, and liner notes) will continue to be decided by so-called “craft committees.”

In the lead-up to the 2021 Grammys, artists including Zayn Malik, Teyana Taylor and Justin Bieber criticized the awards show for its nominations process. The Weeknd, whose chart-topping album After Hours was majorly snubbed, told The New York Times: “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”

“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,” CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement to Billboard. “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.”

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