The Recording Academy announced today that next year’s 54th annual Grammy Awards will have 78 categories, 31 fewer than the ceremony held in February. The Academy has consolidated several categories, most notably by doing away with gender-based categories in pop, R&B, country and rock. Several instrumental categories have also been eliminated.
The Recording Academy has also changed its eligibility requirements. From now on, each category much have at least 40 artist entries to move forward. If a category receives between 25 and 39 entries, only three recordings will receive nominations. Categories with fewer than 25 entries will be cut for the year, and if there are fewer than 25 for three consecutive years the category will be permanently removed. This is bad news for the recently added categories for Hawaiian, Native American and zydeco music, which consistently have very few entries.
“I think the positive side is we’ve taken a good, serious look at what we’re doing,” Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow told Billboard. “We contemporized it, we organized it and we visioned it in a way that will suit us going into the future. In other words, if you just continue business as usual, at some point, typically, you’re going to hit some sort of a pothole in the road.”