Grammys Adopt Rule Change for Music Samples

Recording Academy announces new nomination guidelines for Song of the Year and other categories. 

Posted: 06/13/2014 12:29 PM EDT
Filed Under Music News, Grammys

Robin Thicke

Big changes are coming to the Grammys voting rules, Yahoo Music reports. The Recording Academy announced Thursday (June 13) that music containing samples will now be eligible in all songwriting categories, including Song of the Year. 

The switch up is one of several different rule adjustments that the Academy will introduce for next year's ceremony. "This year's changes to our Awards process are thoughtful, inclusive, and reflective of the current musical landscape," Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement. 

Under the old rules, samples were only allowed in the Best Rap Song category. Jay Z's "Holy Grail" collaboration with Justin Timberlake for example, was a huge single that was shut out of the Song of the Year category because it samples Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." 

Additionally, four songs that earned Record of the Year nods over the years were ineligible for Song of the Year due to sampling. Kanye West's Gold Digger, which samples "I Got A Woman" by Ray Charles, and Coolio's "Gangstar's Paradise," featuring a sample of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise," are included on that list. 

"What I think the change is going to do, is eliminate a lot of the head-scratching as to why some very big, popular recordings, songs, were not showing up in the nominations," Freimuth added. "For something like Song of the Year or Best R&B, or Best Rock Song… our ballot will feel a little bit more complete because all of these will now be included." 

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