The 61st Grammy Awards nominations were announced on December 7. Winners will be revealed on Feb. 10, 2019 in a two-part ceremony with the majority of the 84 Grammys handed out in a non-televised event that afternoon while a dozen or so are doled out on the CBS awardscast that evening.
Who decides which artists, albums and songs get to contend for music’s highest honor?
By the end of the eligibility period (Oct. 1 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018), the recording academy had received upwards of 20,000 entries, which were then verified. First-round ballots were sent to approximately 13,000 voting members on Oct. 17. They could 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). They had two weeks to vote and were asked to do only in their areas of expertise
In eight fields — Alternative, Comedy, Musical Theater, Pop, Reggae, Spoken Word, Traditional Pop and Visual Media — these first-round ballots were used to determine the nominees.
In the General Field as well as 15 others — American Roots, Children, Classical, Contemporary Instrumental, Country, Dance/Electronic, Gospel/CCM, Jazz, Latin, Music Video, New Age, Rap, R&B, Rock and World Music — nominations were determined by review committees comprised of voting members from all of the academy’s chapter cities who also 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 these first-round ballots.
And five fields — Album Notes, Historical, Package, Immersive Music and Remixed Recording — were not included on this first-round ballot. Rather, nominations came directly from craft committees of voting members.
What about the winners?
Only those members who join the recording academy by the end of November will be sent the final ballot on Dec. 13. They will have until Jan. 9 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.