‘Secret committees’ are out as Grammy organisers change the rules

Los Angeles: The organisers of Grammy Awards have announced an end to the so-called “secret committees” that have led to allegations that the highest honours in the music industry are open to rigging.

The US Recording Academy said that nominations for the next Grammy Awards in January 2022 will be selected by all of its more than 11,000 voting members, instead of by committees of 15-30 industry experts whose names were not revealed.

Swift with her award for Album of the Year for Folklore at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14. Credit:Invision/AP

The academy was slammed last year when Canadian artist The Weeknd got zero Grammy nominations, even though his critically acclaimed album After Hours was one of the biggest sellers of 2020.

The Weeknd, in a Twitter post last November, said “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.”

In a statement on Friday (Saturday AEST) the academy said the changes were significant and were made “to ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable”.

The Weeknd accused the Grammys of being “corrupt” after he failed to land any nominations.Credit:Invision

Allegations that the nominations process was tainted were made in a legal complaint filed in early 2019 by former academy chief executive, Deborah Dugan.

At the time, the academy dismissed as “categorically false, misleading and wrong” Dugan’s claims that its members pushed artists they have relationships with. Dugan was later fired.

American pop star Halsey, also shut out of the 2021 Grammys, last year called the nominations process “elusive” and said she was “hoping for more transparency or reform”.

Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik called in March for an end to “secret committees”.

“I’m keeping the pressure on & fighting for transparency & inclusion. We need to make sure we are honoring and celebrating ‘creative excellence’ of ALL,” Malik tweeted hours ahead of the 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony.

The academy also said it was adding two new Grammy categories – for best global music performance, and best Latin urban music album – bringing to 86 the total number of Grammy Awards each year.


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