The 2021 Grammy Awards are coming up. However, there has been a lot of uncertainty since the entertainment industry was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the Grammys specifically have been in flux following multiple controversies around the recording academy’s treatment of women and people of color, not to mention alleged irregularities in voting. So there are a lot of questions about how the music industry’s highest-profile kudos will adapt. Here’s what we know so far.
When are the awards?
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards telecast is scheduled for January 31, 2021.
What music is eligible?
Songs and albums are eligible if they were released from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020.
When does voting for the nominations take place?
Recording academy members vote for the nominees from September 30, 2020, to October 12, 2020.
When does voting for the winners take place?
After nominations are announced, academy members pick the winners from December 7, 2020, to January 4, 2021.
The rules have changed for Best New Artist.
There had previously been an upper limit on the number of songs and albums an artist could have released to be considered eligible as a new artist, but that threshold is gone. Instead, screening committees will determine whether an entrant has truly achieved their breakthrough during the eligibility period. Though there is a minimum requirement for consideration: an artist must have released at least five singles/tracks or one full album. And an artist may not enter more than three times, including as a member of a previously established group.
Best Urban Contemporary Album is getting a new category name.
Modern trends in R&B have been considered under different names over the years. The category was previously known as Best Contemporary R&B Album, then Best Urban Contemporary Album, and now the category will be known as Best Progressive R&B Album.
Best Rap/Sung Performance is getting a new category name too.
This category has been subject to some controversy: Drake won it for “Hotline Bling,” but objected to the song being considered in the rap field in the first place. Now the category will be known as Best Melodic Rap Performance.
Two Latin awards are also being amended.
Best Latin Pop Album will now be known as Best Latin Pop or Urban Album. And Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album will now be Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
New rules to prevent conflicts of interests among voters.
After former academy CEO Deborah Dugan alleged vote-rigging during the nominations process, the academy will now provide a conflict of interest disclosure form for members of the nomination review committees that make final decisions on nominees in top categories. Failure to disclose a conflict of interest will result in a voter being barred from future committees.
Recording academy invites new members to diversify the Grammys.
In an effort to make the organization more inclusive, 2,300 individuals were invited to join in 2020: 48% are women, 21% are Black and 8% are Hispanic, among other underrepresented groups the academy hopes to increase membership for.
Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that record executives and top name stars can see how their music is faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until nominees are announced. And join in the fierce debate over the 2021 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.