2020 Grammy Awards: How are the winners decided

The 62nd Grammy Awards take place on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Winners will be revealed in a two-part ceremony with the majority of the 84 Grammys handed out in a non-televised event that afternoon. Only a dozen or so trophies are doled out on the CBS telecast that evening.

Nominations were announced on November 20, 2019. Who decided which artists, albums and songs get to contend for music’s highest honor?

By the end of the eligibility period (October 1 2018 to August 31, 2019), 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. 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

SEE 2020 Grammy Nominations List: All The Nominees for the 62nd Grammy Awards

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.

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What about the winners?

Only those members who joined the recording academy by the end of November were sent the final ballot on December 9. They had until January 3 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.

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