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Grammy Awards

The Grammys Announce Changes For 2021, Including New Rules To Combat Conflict Of Interest In The Nominating Process

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — The Recording Academy has announced a round of changes for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, including new rules intended to reduce the potential for conflicts of interest.

The changes include the addition of a conflict of interest disclosure form for people who are invited to participate on a Nominations Review Committee.

Each potential committee member must disclose “to the best of their ability” if they would be in line to be nominated for a Grammy, or if they have any direct or indirect financial ties to the recordings or creators under consideration.

The required disclosures also include familial ties to any of the artists in the top voter selections, or any other conflicts of interest, either actual or perceived.

The discovery of failure to provide adequate disclosure will prevent a committee member from participating in the nominee process and failure to disclose will result in the person in question being barred from future nomination processes, Recording Academy said.

The specter of conflicts of interest was raised in a civil suit by Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan with California’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In the suit, she alleged a range of misconduct by members of the Academy, including widespread conflicts of interest in the nominating process.

Dugan, who replaced Neil Portnow, served as CEO of the Recording Academy for less than a year before her acrimonious exit.

Other changes focus on awards categories, and reflect the sensibilities of the George Floyd era.

Updated categories include Best Urban Contemporary Album, which has been renamed Best Progressive R&B Album, which the Academy says will provide a more accurate description of the music.

Best Rap/Sung Performance has been renamed Best Melodic Rap Performance, which the Academy says better represent the inclusivity of the growing hybrid performance trends within the rap genre.

Latin Pop Album has been recast as Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album, and Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album has been renamed Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album, to more accurately reflect changes in the Latin music world.

Additionally, the Recording Academy no longer requires a specified maximum number of releases prohibiting artists from entering the Best New Artist category. Instead, the screening committee will be tasked with determining if an artist has made the cut for inclusion in the category.

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