Photo: Rick Diamond/WireImage.com
Streaming-only recordings now GRAMMY eligible
Other Awards changes include voting limits and amended Best New Artist guidelines
The Recording Academy has completed its annual Awards review and established new amendments and key dates guiding the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards process. Among other changes, the updates allow previously ineligible streaming-only works to be considered and limit the number of categories in which members may vote. The new guidelines go into effect immediately in the current-year Awards cycle.
"The GRAMMYs aren't just peer-awarded, they're peer-driven," said Bill Freimuth, Senior Vice President of Awards for The Recording Academy. "Throughout the year, members of the music community come to us asking to make changes to the Awards process, and we work with them to figure out how those changes might work. I'm proud of this year's changes because they're a testament to the artists, producers and writers — the people who rolled up their sleeves to shape the proposals and, in turn, the future of the GRAMMYs. It's exactly what they should be doing. It's their award."
To encourage members to vote only in those categories in which they are most knowledgeable, passionate and qualified, the number of categories in which Academy members may vote has decreased from 20 to 15, plus the four General Field categories (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist).
Additional changes include amending the Best New Artist eligibility guidelines; branching the Best Blues Album category into two distinct categories: Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album; redefining and changing the name of the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category to Best Rap/Sung Performance; amending the number and type of music creators recognized in the categories of Best Choral Performance and Best Jazz Vocal Album; and procedural updates to the process of populating nominations committees.
For additional information regarding the changes approved by The Academy's Trustees, visit GRAMMY.org.
The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place live on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, at Staples Center in Los Angeles from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Visit grammy101.com for a complete timeline of awards eligibility and voting dates.
The Recording Academy Announces GRAMMY Awards Process Changes
Changes approved by Academy Trustees include allowing samples or interpolations of previously written songs in all songwriting categories and the addition of a new Best American Roots Performance category
At its annual spring meeting, The Recording Academy's Board of Trustees approved a number of changes to the GRAMMY Awards process, including allowing samples or interpolations of previously written songs in all songwriting categories, including Song Of The Year.
Additional changes include establishing a new category for Best American Roots Performance in the American Roots Music Field; changing the name of the Dance/Electronica Field and album category to Dance/Electronic Music Field and Best Dance/Electronic Album; restructuring the categories of the Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Field; renaming Best Pop Instrumental Album as Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, establishing a new Contemporary Instrumental Music Field, and moving Best Traditional Pop Album into the Pop Field; changing Best Classical Vocal Solo (album or tracks) to Best Classical Solo Vocal Album (albums only); renaming and remaking the Best Instrumental Arrangement and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals categories as Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella and Best Arrangement, Instruments And Vocals, respectively, such that vocal arrangers/arrangements are eligible to compete; and establishing a more official guideline for the Alternative Music Field.
The total number of GRAMMY categories that will be recognized at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 8, 2015, is 83.
"The Academy's Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its passionate commitment to keeping The Recording Academy a relevant and responsive organization in our dynamic music community," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This year's changes to our Awards process are thoughtful, inclusive, and reflective of the current musical landscape, and we look forward to implementing them for the upcoming 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards."
For additional information regarding the changes approved by The Academy's Trustees as recommended by the Awards & Nominations (A&N) Committee, visit GRAMMY.org.
2018 GRAMMYs: Nominations To Be Announced Nov. 28
General Field nominations to be announced by Andra Day on "CBS This Morning"; full 60th Awards nominations to be available at GRAMMY.com
Mark your calendars: The Recording Academy will announce nominees for the 60th GRAMMY Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
Singer/songwriter Andra Day will help kick off the nominations by revealing nominees in the four General Field categories (Best New Artist, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year) live on "CBS This Morning" at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.
Immediately following, at 8:40 a.m. ET/5:40 a.m. PT, the Recording Academy will announce nominations across all 84 categories via GRAMMY.com and social media platforms.
The milestone telecast will take place Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The eligibility window for the 60th GRAMMYs is Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017. The first-round ballot period took place Oct. 16–29, 2017, with the final-round ballot period set for Dec. 7–21, 2017.
This past spring, The Academy has completed its annual review of awards rules and regulations, and established a series of new amendments to guide the GRAMMY Awards process moving forward.
These amendments, effective for the 60th GRAMMYs, include implementing online voting for the GRAMMY Awards, recognizing songwriters in the Album Of The Year category and establishing Nominations Review Committees for the Rap, Contemporary Instrumental, and New Age Fields.
For the first time, all voting members will cast their GRAMMY Awards votes online rather than by paper ballot. This transition will provide the Recording Academy's more than 13,000 voting members greater access and flexibility than ever before, eliminate the possibility of invalid ballots and protect further against fraudulent voting.
Moving forward, all music creators (songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, mastering engineers, featured artists) credited with at least 33 percent or more playing time on the winning album will be eligible to receive a GRAMMY for Album Of The Year. Previously, songwriters were not recognized in this category.
Nominations Review Committees will be created and implemented for the Rap, Contemporary Instrumental, and New Age Fields. A Nominations Review process was established in 1989 as an additional round of checks and balances to eliminate the potential for a popularity bias that puts emerging artists, independent music, and late-year releases at a disadvantage. Since then, Nominations Review Committees have been established across 15 GRAMMY Awards Fields.
Photo (L-R): Ria Mort, Thanos Poulimenos
Global Spin: Katerine Duska And Leon Of Athens Premiere "Babel," A Bilingual Tale Of A Love Lost In Translation
Frequent songwriting partners Katerine Duska and Leon Of Athens grapple with a relationship full of miscommunication in this emotional duet, which they debut with a powerful Global Spin performance.
"Can I love you a little more clearly?" Katerine Duska and Leon of Athens sing in the emotional chorus of their new song, "Babel." "Can we get it right? Can we talk another night away?"
In this episode of Global Spin, the two pop singers — and frequent songwriting partners — effortlessly trade off between Greek and English in a compelling performance. But as beautiful as the bilingual, harmony-driven duet may be, "Babel" chronicles a fraught relationship where, ultimately, the love gets lost in translation.
"Babel" brings the two lovers back to where they started: Frustrated and failing to see eye to eye, but still invested in one another. That narrative pairs with an equally passionate, string-filled sonic backdrop in this song, which Duska and Leon of Athens premiere on Global Spin.
The song's visual component further underscores its message. Duska and Leon of Athens perform the song from a bed, surrounded by candles and rippling water. As they wrestle through their disagreements — both lyrically and physically — the two artists make an attempt to find tenderness, but their best efforts dissolve into frustration and disconnection.
The bilingual duo have co-written several times in the past, and they're no strangers to performing together, either. Their first duet, "ANEMOS," came out in 2019; a year later, the pair released another collaboration, "Communication."
Press play on the video above to get a first look at the latest collaboration between Katerine Duska and Leon of Athens, and keep checking GRAMMY.com every Tuesday for more new episodes of Global Spin.
Photo: Matteo Vincenzo (right)
Herbal Tea & White Sofas: Akon And Teemanay's Favorite Tour Meal Is So Iconic That It Has Its Own Festival
Over plates of Nigerian jollof rice, global superstar Akon and Afrobeats mainstay Teemanay explain the finer points of this staple West African dish — which is also their staple meal on the road.
When it comes to music, R&B giant Akon and rising Afrobeats star Teemanay (aka Young Icon) have a lot in common. Not only are they both from West Africa — Akon's family roots are in Senegal, while Teemanay hails from Nigeria – but the two teamed up on the four-song EP Konvict Kulture Presents Teemanay, which came out on Akon's label earlier this year.
The two acts have similar tastes when it comes to food, too — though they might disagree on the finer points. Jollof rice, a staple throughout West Africa, is a dish that both artists grew up loving, even though they hail from different countries within the region.
"For a meal, if they have jollof rice for me, I will give them an extra 15 minutes of free performance," Teemanay jokes in the newest episode of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.
"So the rice is actually smoked, almost like when you cook barbeque," Akon details, explaining what it is that makes this particular dish so special. "When you look at jollof, it ranks in the top five of those things you just can't forget. It's a part of the meal, every meal."
The dish is so essential that Akon hosts an annual Jollof, Music & Food Festival in Atlanta, which features a lineup of music and food trucks. But the pinnacle of the event is the jollof cook-off, in which recipes from different countries compete to see which region creates the best version of the dish.
"This year, Senegal won. But we kinda expect that, because Senegal is really the creators of jollof rice," Akon proudly explains, as Teemanay shakes his head in disagreement.
"I'm in a very aggressive, fighting mood right now," Teemanay shoots back with a smirk. "Nigerian jollof is the best jollof in the world."
Whichever regional version they prefer, Akon and Teemanay can agree on one thing: There's no better post-show meal or tour bus snack out there than jollof rice.
Press play on the video above to watch the two stars duke it out over their favorite jollof, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Herbal Tea & White Sofas.