In a press release today, The Recording Academy announced rule amendments and dates to be applied to The 59th Annual Grammy Awards effective immediately.
- Streaming-only recordings are now eligible for an award. Previously, a recording had to be available through general distribution or digital download, precluding recordings released by streaming-only sources. Also under the banner of streaming-only, the recordings must have a quality comparable to at least 16-bit 44.1 kHz, and they must have been released between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016. Imports are not eligible.
- The number of categories in which voters may vote has decreased from 20 to 15.
- Best New Artist rules are amended to reflect the changing way that emerging artists release new music. They have removed the album barrier in determining eligibility. The new rule stipulates that artists must have released five singles/tracks or one album, but no more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums.
- Best Blues Album has now been split into two separate categories: Best Traditional and Best Contemporary Blues albums. It’s nice to see The Blues getting more recognition in the mainstream.
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration redefined as Best Rap/Sung Performance. The category has been expanded to include recordings by a solo artist who blurs the lines between rapping and singing. Where was this rule when Robin Thicke needed it?
Eligibility Period: Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016
Nominations Date: Dec. 6, 2016
Awards Date: Feb. 12, 2017
For more information, visit www.grammy.com