The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has overhauled the Grammy Awards, reducing the number of categories by 31.
In its first overhaul in its 53-year history, NARAS trimmed the categories from 109 to 78. (Guess that makes our win last year for Best Contemporary Latin Tropical Jazz Album worthless.) The silver lining: Work that would've fallen under eradicated categories will be submitted elsewhere.
Check out our coverage of this year's Grammys
Most of the streamlining will be a result of eliminating male and female vocal categories in the genre fields. Men and women will now compete against each other in the genre fields, like they already do in the general four races — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
"Every year, we diligently examine our awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process," NARAS President Neil Portnow said. "After careful and extensive review and analysis of all Categories and Fields, it was objectively determined that our Grammy categories be restructured to the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music. Our Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its dedication to keeping The Recording Academy a pertinent and responsive organization in our dynamic music community."
Among the eliminated categories: Rap Performance by a Duo or Group; Traditional Gospel; Children's Spoken-Word Album; Zydeco or Cajun Music Album; Native American Album; Hawaiian Album; and Best Classical Crossover Album.
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NARAS also implemented various voting changes. Among them: Members can now vote in up to 20 categories in the genre fields in addition to the four general ones. Previously, voters were restricted to nine categories in the genre fields on the first ballot and eight on the second ballot.
The changes will be effective for the 54th ceremony next year.