After an especially rough year when it came to criticism, The Recording Academy is changing a number of things about the Grammys. They recently announced some changes, including the elimination of “secret committees” that decide on award nominees (The Weeknd is still boycotting regardless). Now, in the newly published rules and guidelines for next year’s 64th Annual Grammy Awards, the Academy has unveiled a number of other changes, including a significant one for the Album Of The Year category.
The “Rule Updates” section of the new rules and guidelines document notes that at this year’s 63rd Grammys, the “award credited artists, features artists, songwriters, producers, mixers, engineers with 33% playing time of the album.” Next year, though, the “33% playing time rule” has been removed, which means that more people who were involved in making an Album Of The Year winner will be recognized as Grammy winners.
For example, if these new rules had been in effect for the 2021 Grammys, Bon Iver would have won an Album Of The Year Grammy, as they were featured on “Exile” from Taylor Swift’s Folklore. Another historical example: In 2014, Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas, and Panda Bear also would have gotten Album Of The Year trophies for their work on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.
There are more changes than that for next year, including the establishment of two new categories: Best Global Music Performance and Best Música Urbana Album. Find the full revised rules and guidelines document here.