Music

Grammy Awards Ending ‘Secret Committees,’ They Remain In-Place For Latin Grammys

Following The Weeknd’s boycott of the Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy announced last Friday an end to the “secret committees” that determined the nominees. The Latin Recording Academy behind the Latin Grammy Awards said that it will keep the review committees in place for now.

The Weeknd spoke out against the “secret committees” this year.

After The Weeknd’s globally successful After Hours album was snubbed at this year’s Grammy Awards, the Canadian superstar said that he was boycotting the awards by withholding his music. In March, he told the New York Times, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.” Ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik echoed The Weeknd’s demands.

The Recording Academy voted to disband the nominations review committees on Friday.

By “secret committees,” The Weeknd was referring to the committees that were appointed by the Recording Academy to review the nominations. According to Billboard, the Recording Academy trustees voted to disband the nominations review committees, letting the Grammy voting body have more of a say in the nominations. The changes are effective immediately for the next Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2022.

“As we continue to build a more active and vibrant membership community, we are confident in the expertise of our voting members to recognize excellence in music each year,” Ruby Marchand, the Academy’s chief industry officer, said in a statement.

The Música Urbana category should finally break up the Latin genres into individual categories.

In a major move for Latin music, the Recording Academy trustees also voted to create a Best Música Urbana Album category. In past years, the Latin genres at the Grammys were clumped together in one category.

In 2012, the category was called Best Latin Pop, Rock, or Urban Album. Latin rock was liberated this year with its own category. The creation of the Best Música Urbana Album category should break up the Latin pop and Latin urban genres into two separate categories next year.

The Latin Grammy Awards will keep the nominations review committees in place for now.

To see if the Latin Recording Academy would also put an end to the “secret committees,” Billboard‘s Leila Cobo reached out to them. So far, the answer is no. In a statement, the folks behind the Latin Grammy Awards wrote they “did not anticipate” doing so.

“While the awards process for Latin Grammys mirrors the essence of the Grammy process, the Latin Recording Academy’s members have the ability to modify procedures respective to the needs and evolution of Latin music,” the Latin Recording Academy said in the statement. “Since we are mainly an international organization, our systems and procedures have some differences.”

As for a more direct reason why the nominations review committees will remain in place at the Latin Grammys, the Latin Recording Academy added, “Given the richness of Latin music and its diverse fields, we depend on the expertise of our members in order to best respect and honor excellence in the difference genres that compose our culture.”

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