LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — In an effort to become more inclusive, the Grammy Awards announced plans to expand the number of nominees for top categories from five to eight.
The change, announced on Tuesday, will affect four of the music awards’ top categories: album, record and song of the year, and best new artist.
The new rules will go into effect immediately and bear on voting this fall for 61st annual Grammy Awards, which will take place early next year.
“This change will better reflect the large number of entries in these categories and allow voters greater flexibility when selecting this year’s best recordings,” the Recording Academy said in a note to its voting members.
News of the change follows the announcement last month that longtime Grammy boss Neil Portnow was exiting the organization at the end of the year. Portnow sparked controversy for the organization after he made offhanded remarks after the 60th Grammy Awards earlier this year that women needed to “step up” if they wanted to be nominated for the awards. Portnow later said his comments had been taken out of context.
The Grammys have been the subject of widespread criticism for its lack of representation of female artists. According to the New York Times, researchers at the University of Southern California published an analysis that made up just 9.3 percent of Grammy nominations in the top four categories over the past five years.