The Grammy Awards 2019 will have eight nominees in its top categories, instead of the present five.
Higher number of nominees “will better reflect the large number of entries in these categories and allow voters greater flexibility when selecting this year’s best recordings,” the Recording Academy told its members in a letter released on Tuesday.
Album of the year, song of the year, record of the year and best new artist are the categories that will have eight nominees instead of the present five.
This year, the Grammys were criticised for lack of women nominees. For years, the organisation has been called out for lack of diversity when it comes to winners in the top four categories, where awards tend to go to acts in the pop, rock or country music genres, instead of hip-hop or R&B stars, even in years where Kanye West, Eminem and Mariah Carey were predicted to win.
Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of The Recording Academy, was criticised at this year’s Grammys when he said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of female winners backstage. Only two female performers won awards.
Portnow, who has led the academy since 2002, will step down next year.
Bruno Mars won album, song and record of the year at this year’s show, while Alessia Cara was named best new artist.
Voting for the 2019 Grammys will take place in the fall and will include songs and albums released between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.
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