This year’s Grammy nominees were announced just 24 hours after the organisation behind the awards decided to increase the number of top categories nominees from eight to ten. This was a last-minute decision that added stars such as Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Abba, and Lil Nas X to the already-crowded field of potential Grammy winners.
During a live webcast the next morning, Harvey Mason, Jr., the president and CEO of the Recording Academy, praised the unexpected move as a method “to create place for more music, more performers, and new genres, while embracing the spirit of inclusivity.”
However, some of pop’s greatest artists, as well as others who were previously on the ballot in other places, were among those who were added to the list.
The albums “Evermore” by Taylor Swift and “Donda” by Kanye West have been added to the list of contenders for album of the year, joining titles by Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, H.E.R., Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, and Jon Batiste as well as titles by Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Tony Bennett, and Tony Bennett.
Discovering which artists benefited from the expansion was possible because their names were absent from an early version of the “final nominations list,” which had been created several days before the announcement and included only eight names in those categories. This allowed for the discovery of which artists benefited from the expansion. The Recording Academy’s version of the letter had been circulating outside the organisation before the nominees were revealed on Tuesday morning, and a copy of it was acquired by The New York Times.
A new generation of sounds, genres, and faces have been introduced to the top categories, according to Mason, who justified the decision to expand the number of candidates as a sign of a more agile and responsive Recording Academy. “What we’re doing here is celebrating even more great musicians, even more amazing music, while also providing artists with a chance to shine and exhibit.”
To clarify, Mason said the musicians that have been added to the list are merely the ninth and tenth most popular artists as assessed by Deloitte, who has been working with the academy for many years on the collection and tabulation of votes.
There were just five places available in the top field of the Grammys as late as 2018. Mason said in an interview on Wednesday that the expansion has been discussed for many years, but that his recent trip to the Latin Grammys, where as many as 12 musicians competed in some of the most prestigious categories, was the inspiration for this year’s decision to go forward with it. He and his staff, he said, acted rapidly to propose and execute the modification in question.
A new twist has emerged in the Grammys’ turbulent recent history, which includes the dismissal of the academy’s previous chief after accusing the institution’s leadership of rampant conflicts of interest and covering up allegations of sexual harassment and rape. The Grammy nomination lists were expanded on the eve of their release, which was not disclosed to voters until the full ballot was announced, according to the academy’s latest chief.
The Academy stated that, in the absence of committees this year, the artists who appeared on the final ballot were those who received the greatest number of votes from their peers in the music industry, and that the decision to increase the number of nominees in the top four categories from eight to ten was made without knowing which artists would benefit.
The winners will be selected by the votes of the Recording Academy’s 11,000 members, all of whom must be active performing artists. The award presentation will take held on January 31 in Los Angeles, California.
Swift and West, both of whom are celebrities in their own right and whose rivalry is a recurring media spectacle, were included simply based on the votes they got, according to Mason, who also said that they were not chosen because of their popularity on the Grammys’ televised broadcast.