Grammy Awards: How were the winners decided?

Oscar voters had to consider 336 films this year when deciding on the nominations while Emmy voters had 96 comedies and 151 dramas on the preliminary ballot last summer and the Tony nominating committee had to attend three dozen shows. All of those groups got off easy compared to the staggering task that faced Grammy voters. The recording academy received a record 21,719 submissions for consideration at the 59th annual Grammy Awards; that was up from 21,564 last year.

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Following the Aug. 24 deadline, those entries were vetted for eligibility and sorted into the 30 genre fields by a dedicated group of 350 artists and experts. First-round ballots were sent to approximately 13,000 voting members on Oct. 14 and were due back on Nov. 4. Academy members were asked to vote only in their areas of expertise and may weigh in on up to 15 categories in the genre fields plus the four General Field awards (Album, Record and Song of the Year, Best New Artist.)

In 12 fields — Alternative, Comedy, Contemporary Instrumental, Musical Theater, New Age, Pop, Rap, Reggae, Rock, Spoken Word, Visual Media and World Music — those first-round ballots were used to determine the nominees.

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In the General Field as well as 10 others — American Roots, Children, Classical, Country, Dance/Electronic, Gospel/CCM, Jazz, Latin, Music Video and R&B — nominations were determined by review committees comprised of voting members from all of the academy’s chapter cities who considered the first-round ballot results.

Nominations in two fields — Composing/Arranging and Engineering (as well as Producer of the Year, both classical and non-classical) —  were decided upon by craft committees of voting members who receive the results of the first-round ballots.

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And five fields — Album Notes, Historical, Package, Remixed Recording and Surround Sound — were not included on this first-round ballot. Rather, nominations came directly from craft committees of voting members.

Nominations were announced on Dec. 6. Members who joined by Nov. 15 were sent the final ballot on Dec. 14. They had until Jan. 13 to send in their picks, again with the limitation of voting in up to 15 categories in the genre fields plus the four General Field awards.

Winners will be revealed on Feb. 12 in a two-part ceremony with the majority of the 84 awards handed out in a non-televised event that afternoon while a dozen or so are doled out on the CBS awardscast that evening.


Make your Grammy predictions now; change them till Feb. 12

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts as often as you like before winner are announced on Feb. 12.  Just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the Grammy race in our music forum.


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