Grammy Awards To Allow Streaming-Only Nominees, Best New Artist Rules Amended

Robbie Daw | June 16, 2016 12:23 pm

The past four years of Grammy winners in the Best New Artist category have included Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and fun. — all acts that had albums out before they were nominated, per the Recording Academy’s rules. In the case of Macklemore, he’d already released a full length LP, an EP and a mixtape by the time he hooked up with Ryan Lewis. And fun., who won in 2013, had been active since 2008.

Fun. wins Best New Artist at the 2013 Grammys, Nate Ruess jokes, “We’re old!”

This will potentially change, given the academy’s announcement that rules in several categories have been reviewed and revised. Specifically, in the case of Best New Artist, acts no longer need to have a full album out to be nominated, but must have released at least five (and no more than 30) singles or tracks. As well, they cannot have released more than three albums. (See the case of Shelby Lynne, who released six studio albums between 1989 and 1999 before winning Best New Artist in 2001.)

Also changed: the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category has been renamed Best Rap/Sung Performance in a bid “to include recordings by a solo artist who blurs the lines between rapping and singing.” (Think Drake, Nicki Minaj, Fetty Wap, Bryson Tiller, etc.)

Additionally — and this is a big one — streaming-only recordings are now eligible to be nominated. No longer does a song or album have to be available for purchase either digitally or physically to be nominated for a Grammy.

If you’re eagerly awaiting the 59th Grammy Awards, you’re in luck, because the academy has now revealed the following dates: Music released between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 is eligible to be nominated; nominations will be announced on December 6, 2016; and the Grammy ceremony will take place on February 12, 2017.

Trust us — it’ll be here way before you know it.

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