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The Grammy Voting Process Explained

We all love watching the Grammys. Every year, we root for our favourite artists to win the awards. And while our happiness shoots through the roof when they do, the disappointment of them not winning is equally great. With every award, our feelings fluctuate more than an app for cricket betting in India does. It makes us wonder how on earth are the Grammy nominees and winners nominated after all. So here you go, a short guide on the entire process of Grammy nominations and selections.

The Voting Members

The Academy says that the members who vote for the Grammy awards are professionals from the music industry. They come a diverse set of backgrounds and could be working as vocalists, songwriters, producers, or even engineers. However, the voting members need to have creative or technical credits on at least six commercially released tracks on a physical music release or 12 on a digital album to be qualified for the membership. They should also have a good standing on their dues ($100/year).

An Academy source stated that 12,000 of the Academy’s total 21,000 members are eligible to cast ballots. But if a member doesn’t qualify, it’s not the end. They can get another shot at membership through an endorsement from at least two current Recording Academy voting members.

The Voting Process

The voting process for Grammys is made up of several stages. Several stages take place in order: submission, screening, nominating, special nominating committees, final voting, and results. The Academy’s voting members are all involved in the creative and technical recording fields. Thus, they participate in the nominations that decide the five finalists in each of the categories. They also participate in the final voting process to announce the Grammy winners. Here are the steps in order.

  1. Submission

This is the initial stage where recording Academy members and record companies submit music and music videos to the Recording Academy for their consideration. Only those titles are submissible which have been commercially released during that eligibility year via general distribution in the U.S. by a recording label or recognized independent distributor, through mail order, on the Internet or retail sales to a national market. It’s estimated that the Academy receives more than 20,000 entries per year.

  1. Screening

The submitted Grammys need to be ensured that they’re eligible, meet the qualifications and that they are grouped in the nomination category, that is jazz, pop, rap, etc. This is done by a star panel of 150 experts.

  1. Nomination

In this stage, the first-round voting ballots start. The voting members are required to make up to five selections in each category but with a few restrictions. They can only vote in their areas of expertise from the 20 or so categories given as options. There are currently 30 genre fields plus the four additional categories of the general fields: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist awards.

 Categories like the Album Notes, Historical, Package, Remixed Recording, and Immersive Audio are voted on by Craft Committees, while categories like Alternative, Comedy, Pop, Reggae, Spoken Word, Visual Media, and Musical Theater are voted on by members and directly go to the nominations. However, categories like composing, engineering, and Producer of the Year go through two stages before getting the nominations.

First, members vote on the first-round ballot followed by voting by the Craft Committees. Popular categories like Jazz, New Age, Rock, and others similarly go through two stages of voting for nominations: the first-round ballot by members, and then Nominations Review Committees.

Final Voting and Results

After all the nominations have been shortlisted, the final-round ballots begin. In this round, the Recording Academy members can again vote in up to 20 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the General Field as well as a limited number of sub-categories. An independent accounting firm then tabulates the votes.

The final results are presented in sealed enveloped by the accounting firm during the Grammys Awards Presentation. Fun Fact: Only 30 per cent of the awards are presented during the televised event. The remaining 70 per cent are given out in the afternoon before the live show.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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