The competition at the 2012 Grammy Awards will be stiff. In a massive overhaul of the Recording Academy’s awards format, Grammy executives are moving forward with plans to drop more than 30 categories from the annual show. The cuts will take the category count from 109 to 78.
While the subtraction of obscure awards like Best Native-American Album and Best Spoken Word Album for Children will likely go unnoticed, the elimination of Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group will come as the biggest change to hip-hop fans.
Grammy execs plan to open up the remaining categories to fit broader types of music. Each category must now have 40 entries instead of 25, and categories that receive between 25 and 39 will have only three nominations instead of four or five. The Recording Academy will also drop the male and female sub-categories from fields like R&B, pop, and country, making the contest a virtual battle of the sexes.
The changes, the most extreme in the award show's 53-year history, are intended to make the challenge of winning a Grammy more intense.
"It ups the game in terms of what it takes to receive a Grammy and preserves the great esteem it has held in the creative community, which is the most important element," Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow told The Associated Press.
"That's appropriate. We are talking about the most prestigious, coveted award, and it should be a high bar in terms of the measurement of receiving that,” Portnow added.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will be held in February 2012.
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