GRAMMYs Change Award Nomination Process After The Weeknd Calls It 'Corrupt'
By Caitlin Yilek, CBS News
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The GRAMMY Awards will no longer use anonymous review committees to determine its nominees, the Recording Academy announced Friday. The decision comes after the awards show faced harsh criticism and calls for increased transparency from Canadian pop star The Weeknd, who was snubbed for last year's awards despite a record-breaking run at the top of the charts.
The Academy also said it has changed the number of categories in which Academy members can vote and added two new awards, to "reflect its ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the GRAMMY Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable."
Previously, a review committee of at least 20 people picked the top eight nominees out of the artists who had been voted into the top 20 in four of the biggest categories: Best album, song and record of the year, and best new artist, according to The Associated Press. The majority of nominees for other awards were also chosen by review committees of varying sizes.
Now, all nominees will now be based solely on thousands of votes from the academy's voting members, the Academy said.
"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," Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy's interim president and CEO, said in a statement.
"We are honored to work alongside the music community year-round to further refine and protect the integrity of the Awards process," he added.
The announcement follows criticism from The Weeknd, whose songs dominated the charts in 2020. Despite having a hit single spend 40 weeks on the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 Chart and an album top the chart in its first week, he received zero nominations for the 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards.
"The GRAMMYs remain corrupt," he tweeted in November. "You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency."
The Weeknd, whose given name is Abel Tesfaye, later said in a statement to the New York Times that he would boycott the awards and no longer allow his label to submit his music to them. He has not commented publicly since the new process was announced Friday night.
This story was originally published by CBS News on May 1, 2021 at 7:13 a.m. ET.