This fall, nearly twice as many acts will celebrate Grammy Award nominations in the Big Four categories -- but the honor might not feel quite as special.
The Recording Academy's decision on June 26 to expand the record, song and album of the year and best new artist categories from five to eight nominees takes effect with the 61st annual Grammys in February 2019 and marks one of the most sweeping changes since the awards' introduction in 1959. Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow says the change "creates more opportunities for a wider range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters." That recognition will likely translate to upticks in sales and streaming for a larger number of artists, songwriters, labels and publishers.
But industry reaction has been mixed so far. While S-Curve Records president Steve Greenberg says that "it will presumably allow for a broader variety of genres to be represented in these categories," Glassnote Entertainment Group president Daniel Glass notes that he applauds the move if it results in more diversity, but fears "diluting the brand or the excellence level. I've always thought of the Grammys as the ultimate in excellence."