GRAMMYs Announce Major Changes To Eligibility Rules

Published: Wednesday 26th May 2021 by Sam

The Recording Academy continues to roll out major changes in a bid to ensure the annual GRAMMY Awards are fair, inclusive and reflective of the modern music marketplace.

As reported, last month brought with it the announcement that exclusive panels have been dissolved for many key categories.

Now, broader changes have been implemented – including a huge amendment to the Album of the Year category, which will see additional contributors such as featured artists eligible to be part of the win of the banner act.

Head below for the full list of amendments that’ll be coming into effect from next year…


Album Of The Year Category: Nominee And Recipient Eligibility
Moving forward, all credited artists (including featured artists), songwriters of new material, producers, recording engineers, mixers, and mastering engineers are eligible to be GRAMMY nominees and recipients in the Album Of The Year category. Previously, the rule stated that all artists, songwriters, producers, recording engineers, mixers, and mastering engineers were required to be credited with at least 33 percent or more of playing time.

Dance Field: Renamed And Redefined Category
The category formerly known as “Best Dance Recording” has been renamed “Best Dance/Electronic Recording.” This category is intended for recordings with significant electronic-based instrumentation generally based around a rhythmic dance beat. The screening criteria includes established dance and electronic recording genres as well as related emerging genres, in order to accurately reflect the current trends in dance and/or electronic music.

Classical Field: Allow Singles In Five Classical Categories
To reflect trends in classical music consumption, singles that are not part of an album will now be eligible in five Classical categories including Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral Performance, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, Best Classical Instrumental Solo, and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Music For Visual Media Field: Compilation Category Limits And Updated Rules
Clearer limits to the number of participants who can be awarded in the Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media category have been set:

  • For albums consisting largely of pre-existing masters, up to two album producers and up to two music supervisors can be awarded.
  • For albums consisting largely of new recordings, principal artist(s) with significant contributing performance(s) (ensemble-driven casts in which performers have comparable musical and dramatic participation in the recording are not eligible); up to three producer(s) (in extraordinary circumstances an appeal for a possible fourth will be considered); and up to two music supervisors can be awarded. An engineer/mixer(s) who contributes greater than 50 percent playing time of newly recorded material can also be awarded.

Additionally, those entering albums and tracks that are released during the current eligibility period in the Music For Visual Media Field but are associated with a visual medium that will be released during the next eligibility period will now have two options:

  • Enter the albums or tracks during the current year in categories that are not in the Music For Visual Media Field. They will not be eligible the following year in the Music For Visual Media Field if this option is chosen.
  • Enter them the following year as long as they do not get entered in any category during the current year. Albums will only be eligible in their respective category: Compilation or Score. Songs will be eligible in Song Written For Visual Media. They will also be eligible in other song categories as long as they fulfill the “track from a previous year is eligible” rule.

Music Film Field: Eligibility Clarification
Music-related documentaries must contain a minimum of 51 percent of performance-based material or individual music videos that together create a visual album (if videos are packaged and entered together as one cohesive film). While dramatic feature films and biopics are not eligible, films with fictional elements are eligible.

Technical GRAMMY Award Addition
A second Technical GRAMMY Award has been added, specifically reserved for a company, organization or institution. This award would be optional, and at the yearly discretion of the Technical GRAMMY Committee. The Technical GRAMMY is awarded to those individuals who have dramatically pushed boundaries and made groundbreaking, important, outstanding, and influential contributions of technical excellence and innovation to the recording field throughout their lifetime.

Vote Trading And Manipulation
Academy members or their designated publicists are now restricted to FYC emails, social media posts and physical mailings that promote only their own recordings, prohibiting lobbying on behalf of other members.

Album Eligibility
To be eligible for GRAMMY Award consideration, an album must contain greater than 75 percent playing time of newly recorded (within five years of the release date), previously unreleased recordings*. The current eligibility rule is 50 percent. (Note: Best Compilation Soundtrack, Best Historical Album, Best Immersive Audio Album, Best Recording Package, Best Special Package, and Best Album Notes accept albums of recordings that are not newly recorded.)

*Note: The updated album eligibility rule goes into effect for the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards taking place in 2023.

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  1. Roberta FlackSabbath May 26, 2021

    So, basically, some fool can record a line or two for one song and will receive a Best Album Grammy along with the main “artist.”

    This is the “everyone gets a gold star” nonsense that makes awards not matter.

    So, this is how Nicki gets her best album Grammy, Piggybacking.

    “Hi, I’m rapper X and I have a Grammy for Best Album for talking about my wiener or vag on ONE SONG for Album X by random white pop singer (except for Adele, she don’t need “features” to sell millions)

  2. KeishaMeeshaLemonDeesha May 27, 2021

    Beyonce wins every year.

    Mariah Carey had one of the best RNB albums of 2018 yet scored no nominations, fail.

    Leona Lewis had one of the epic ballads of the century in 2008, no award.

    Grammys award the it people or those who buy them.

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