Goodbye to Grammy Committees: Breaking Down the New Academy Rules

The Weeknd
Courtesy Photo

"Blinding Lights (Chromatics Remix)"

When The Weeknd called for "transparency" in the Grammy voting process late last year, even he probably didn't expect the Recording Academy to respond this quickly.

On Friday, the trustees voted to disband the Academy's controversial nomination review committees and let Grammy voters have the final say in all non-craft categories, a move that comes after years of criticism over the mysterious backroom voting process. As Billboard awards editor Paul Grein reported last week, "The committee approach was adopted in the 'Big Four' categories in 1995, after controversy erupted over some of the 1994 Grammy nominations. Some argued that album of the year nods for Tony Bennett and The Three Tenors -- and none that year for alternative or hip-hop artists -- showed that the Grammys were out of touch." Now, the power is shifting back to the rank-and-file voters for a more populist approach.

So would The Weeknd have been completely shut out of the nominations for his After Hours album and its blockbuster single "Blinding Lights" last year if there were no committees? On the latest episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, we invited Grein to discuss the new rule changes, including what this could mean for the next round of nominations, who might have benefited from such a shift in recent years, and whether it's the right move.

Listen to the new episode below.

Also on the show, we’ve got chart news about The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears,” bolstered by a newly released remix with Ariana Grande, jumping to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Moneybagg Yo landing his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with A Gangsta’s Pain. Plus, the finalists were announced for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards last week, and we run down all the details about the big show, broadcasting live Sunday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC.

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's deputy editor, digital, Katie Atkinson and senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)