Grammy Awards to Expand Field for Top Prizes

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The Grammy Awards is expanding the number of nominees for its top awards to eight from five, a move meant to broaden the kinds of artists it recognizes and one that could result in more female, country and rock musicians up for high-profile prizes. The change will become immediate starting at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019, reports Billboard. The categories included in the major change are Top Album, Song, Record, and New Artist.

"Throughout the year, we team up with music people across all genres and disciplines to consider revisions and subsequently make amendments to our rules and entry guidelines to ensure we're keeping up with our ever-changing industry and meeting the needs of music creators", Portnow said. "We look forward to celebrating all of our nominees when they are announced later this year".

The Recording Academy's decision echoes an expansion undertaken by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in 2009 when it doubled the number of Best Picture nominees from five to up to 10.

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The Grammy Awards are extending the number of nominees in its top categories from five to eight. These are the biggest changes the Grammys has implemented since the award show was introduced in 1959.

Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow explained the decision behind the move.

The nominations were previously limited to five in each of the four General Field categories, except in the case of a tie.