The Grammys are making a big change.
For the first time since the inception of the awards in 1959, the number of nominees in four major categories—Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist—will expand from five to eight. The change will become immediate starting at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in 2019, reports Billboard.
Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow explained the decision behind the move. “Throughout the year, we team up with music people across all genres and disciplines to consider revisions and subsequently make amendments to our rules and entry guidelines to ensure we’re keeping up with our ever-changing industry and meeting the needs of music creators,” Portnow said in a statement. “This creates more opportunities for a wider-range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters when having to make the often challenging decisions about representing excellence and the best in music for the year.”
The nominations were previously limited to five in each of the four General Field categories, except in the case of a tie. The other 80 categories remain capped at five nominations each.
The Recording Academy recently initiated a task force, featuring Common, Sheryl Crow, Andra Day, and more, to deal with diversity and female inclusion in the music industry. It was assembled after only one female artist, Alessia Cara, won an award during the televised 2018 ceremony.
The nominations for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards will be announced later this year.