Awards Process Updates

Category, Field and Definition Updates

  • Rename the category “Best Urban Contemporary Album” to “Best Progressive R&B Album”

Revised category definition:  For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded progressive vocal tracks derivative of R&B. This category is intended for artists whose music includes the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music. It may also incorporate production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk and alternative.

  • Change the name of “Best Rap/Sung Performance” to “Best Melodic Rap Performance”

Revised category definition: This category is intended for performances that use the delivery of rap and melody over modern production. This performance requires a strong and clear presence of melody combined with rap cadence, and is inclusive of dialects, lyrics or performance elements from non-rap genres including R&B, rock, country, electronic or more. The production may include traditional elements of rap or elements characteristic of the aforementioned non-rap genres. Both the song and melody should be considered to fit these criteria to be accepted in this category.

  • Migration of the “Latin Urban” genre into the “Latin Pop” category, resulting in the following new category designations: “Best Latin Pop or Urban Album” and “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album”

The Recording Academy membership representatives from the Latin field recommended that the Latin urban genre, both aesthetically and musically, is much more closely related to the current state of Latin pop.  They proposed to change the “Latin Pop” category to “Best Latin Pop or Urban Album.”  Furthermore, change the “Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative” category to “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.”

  • Musical Theater Field - Revise the Eligibility and Recipient Criteria

Revised criteria: Award to Album Producer(s) and the Lyricist(s) and Composer(s), if they have written and/or composed a new score, which comprises 51% or more playing time of the album. 


Recognition to: Album Vocalists, as per those submitting the album for consideration:

1- Award to as many as four (4) Principal Vocalist(s) with significant contributing performance(s), defined as a lead performance by a featured vocalist.


2- Winner Certificates to all vocalists on the recording of an “ensemble-driven piece,” defined as one in which performers have comparable musical and dramatic participation in the recording (in contrast to a musical theater work with principals and a chorus).

  • Best New Artist Field - Eligibility Changes

Remove the upper limit rule and rely on the expertise of the Core and Genre Screening Committees to make the determination as to whether or not an artist had attained prominence in a prior year.

Updated criteria excerpt (change in italics and underlined): An artist will be considered for Best New Artist if their eligibility-year release/s achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.

  • Minimum releases to meet eligibility:  five singles/tracks or one album
  • While there will be no specified maximum number of releases, the screening committees will be charged with determining whether the artist had attained a breakthrough or prominence prior to the eligibility year. Such a determination would result in disqualification.
  • An artist may not enter into this category more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group.

See complete rules for Best New Artist at

  • Best Engineered Album Categories – Allow Hi-Res Audio

To allow High Resolution (greater than rebook audio - 44 khz/16bit) audio to be considered in submissions for both Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and Best Engineered Album, Classical.

Nominations Review Committee Update

  • Further Limit the Term of Nominations Review Committee Chairs and Members

New Term Limits:

•         Three years on/one year off for Committee Members

•         Three years on/two years off for Chairpersons

Committee members may serve a maximum five consecutive years, if they served on the committee first and were then elected to be chair.  Two years off would still apply in these cases.

  • Potential Conflicts of Interest

At the time of invitation to participate on a Nominations Review Committee, a conflict of interest disclosure form will be provided. Each person invited to be a member of such a committee must disclose to the best of their knowledge whether, in connection with any recording that may be entered in the current year’s GRAMMY Awards process, (a) the person would be in line to receive a GRAMMY nomination or win for any recordings being considered in a particular category, (b) the person would have any direct or indirect financial ties to the recordings or creators under consideration, (c) the person has immediate familial ties to any of the artists in the top voter selections, and/or (d) any other conflict of interest, actual or perceived.

If a recording listed by the invitee presents a conflict of interest, the Academy will notify the committee member that they cannot participate on the committee that year.

If, in the unlikely event that, despite these pro-active efforts a conflict is discovered during the committee meeting, that person will be notified and recused from the meeting.

Failure to voluntarily disclose any conflict of interest will result in the person being barred from future Nominations Review Committee participation.