Grammy Awards axe anonymous voting committees following criticisms

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
The Weeknd had criticised the Grammy Awards voting process. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
The Weeknd had criticised the Grammy Awards voting process. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

The Recording Academy has announced that anonymous voting committees will no longer be part of the Grammy Awards nominations process following criticism from stars. 

Voting members will now select nominations and winners for the general and genre fields from next year.

The Recording Academy said: “With this change, the results of Grammy nominations and winners are placed back in the hands of the entire voting membership body, giving further validation to the peer-recognised process.”

Read more: The winners at the 2021 Grammys

Previously, for categories including record, album and song of the year, committees consisting of at least 20 members selected nominees by whittling down the wider membership’s original choices.

While some have argued it protected the integrity of voting, others have claimed the system lacked transparency. 

The Recording Academy said the change would place results 'back in the hands of the entire voting membership body'. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
The Recording Academy said the change would place results 'back in the hands of the entire voting membership body'. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Critics have included The Weeknd, who received no nominations at the 2021 despite releasing his best-selling and highly acclaimed album After Hours in the qualifying year. 

Prior to the 63rd ceremony, he said in a statement to the New York Times: "Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys."

The singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, also accused organisers of being "corrupt". 

Zayn Malik has also hit out at the awards, tweeting earlier this year: "Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there's no nomination considerations. Next year I'll send you a basket of confectionery."

Zayn Malik had also criticised the Grammy Awards and its processes. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS)
Zayn Malik had also criticised the Grammy Awards and its processes. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS)

In a follow-up tweet Malik, who had not released material in the qualifying year, clarified: "My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and netwokring politics to influence the voting process."

Read more: Sir Tom Jones makes history with album success

Other changes have been implemented by the Recording Academy, as it has reduced the number of genre field categories on which members can vote, in a move it hopes will ensure they will only have a say in their fields of expertise.

However, all voters are allowed to cast a ballot in the four general field categories – album, record, song of the year and best new artist.

Furthermore, two additional categories were announced in the form of best global music performance, in the global music field, and best musica urbana album in the Latin music field.

With additional reporting by PA.

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