Grammy Awards
61st Annual Grammy Awards
Grammy Award 2002.jpg
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in the music industry
Country United States
Presented byThe Recording Academy
First awardedMay 4, 1959; 59 years ago (1959-05-04) (as Gramophone Award)
Websitegrammy.com
Television/radio coverage
NetworkNBC (1959–1970)
ABC (1971–1972)
CBS (1973–present)
Most recent Grammy Award winners
← 2015-16 Best in 2016-17 2017-18 →
  BrunoMars24KMagicWorldTourLive.jpg BrunoMars24KMagicWorldTourLive.jpg
Award Album of the Year Record of the Year
Winner Bruno Mars
(24K Magic)
Bruno Mars
("24K Magic")
  BrunoMars24KMagicWorldTourLive.jpg Alessia Cara press photo 2015.png
Award Song of the Year Best New Artist
Winner Bruno Mars
("That's What I Like")
Alessia Cara

Previous Record of the Year

"Hello"

Record of the Year

"24K Magic"

A Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards (film), the Emmy Awards (television), and the Tony Awards (theater).

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012.

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, will be held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

History

The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s.[1][2] As the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard. The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of what to call it; one working title was the Eddie, to honor the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison. They finally settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958.[3][4][5]

The first award ceremony was held simultaneously in two locations on May 4, 1959 - Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, and Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City,[6] and 28 Grammys were awarded. The number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100.[7] The second Grammy Awards, also held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised,[8] but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971.[9]

Gramophone trophy

The gold-plated trophies, each depicting a gilded gramophone, are made and assembled by hand by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado. In 1990 the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and grander.[10] Billings developed a zinc alloy named grammium, which is trademarked.[11] The trophies with the recipient's name engraved on them are not available until after the award announcements, so "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast.[12][13]

By February 2009, a total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded.[14]

Categories

The "General Field" are four awards which are not restricted by genre.

  • Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song if other than the performer.
  • Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album if other than the performer.
  • Song of the Year is awarded to the writer(s)/composer(s) of a single song.
  • Best New Artist is awarded to a promising breakthrough performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording that establishes the public identity of that artist (which is not necessarily their first proper release).

The only two artists to win all four of these awards are Christopher Cross, who won all four in 1980, and Adele, who won the Best New Artist award in 2009 and the other three in 2012 and 2017.

Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are given for longer-lasting contributions to the music industry.

Because of the large number of award categories (78 in 2012, 81 in 2013 and 82 in 2014), and the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest - typically about 10 to 12, including the four General Field categories and one or two categories in the most popular music genres (i.e. pop, rock, country, rap) - are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. The many other Grammy trophies are presented in a pre-telecast 'Premiere Ceremony' earlier in the afternoon before the Grammy Awards telecast.

2012 category restructuring

On April 6, 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012.[15] The number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. The most important change was the elimination of the distinction between male and female soloists and between collaborations and duo/groups in various genre fields (pop, rock, R&B, country, and rap). Also, several categories for instrumental soloists were discontinued. Recordings in these categories now fall under the general categories for best solo performances.

In the rock field, the separate categories for hard rock and metal albums were combined and the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category was eliminated due to a waning number of entries.

In R&B, the distinction between best contemporary R&B album and other R&B albums has been eliminated. They now feature in one, general Best R&B Album category.

In rap, the categories for best rap soloist and best rap duo or group have been merged into the new Best Rap Performance category.

The most eliminations occurred in the roots category. Up to and including 2011, there were separate categories for various regional American music forms, such as Hawaiian music, Native American music and Zydeco/Cajun music. Due to the consistently low number of entries for these categories, The Recording Academy decided to combine all these music variations into the new Best Regional Roots Music Album, including polka, which lost its own separate category in 2009.[16][17]

In the same genre field, the traditional and contemporary blues categories and the traditional and contemporary folk categories each were consolidated into one per genre, due to the number of entries and given the challenges in distinguishing between contemporary folk and Americana, and contemporary and traditional blues. In the world music genre field, the traditional and contemporary categories also merged.

In the classical genre field, its main category Best Classical Album was discontinued because most recipients in this category had also won in one of the other classical categories for the same album. Classical recordings are now eligible for the main Album of the Year category.

There were also a few minor name changes to better reflect the nature of the separate categories. It was determined by the Recording Academy that the word "gospel" in the gospel genre field tends to conjure up the images and sounds of traditional soul gospel and leaves out the current contemporary Christian music (CCM). Therefore, the genre field and some categories were renamed as Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music.[18]

Since 2012 there have been a small number of adjustments made to the list of categories and genre fields. The number of categories has gone up from 78 in 2012 to 84 in 2017.[19]

Entry process and selection of nominees

Media companies registered with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and individual members of NARAS (artists and other professionals working in the industry who meet certain criteria) may enter recordings for consideration. Entries are made online and a physical copy of the work is sent to NARAS. Once a work is entered, reviewing sessions are held, involving more than 150 experts from the recording industry, to determine whether the work is entered in the correct category.

The resulting lists of eligible entries are circulated to Voting Members, each of whom may vote to nominate in the general fields (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) and in no more than nine out of 30 other fields on their ballots. The five recordings that earn the most votes in each category become the nominees, while in some categories (craft and specialized categories) there are review committees in place that determine the final 5 nominees.[20] There may be more than five nominees if there is a tie in the nomination process.

Whereas members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are generally invited to screenings or are sent DVDs of films nominated for Oscars, NARAS members do not receive nominated recordings. Instead, they receive access to a private online listening function.

Final voting

After nominees have been determined, final voting ballots are sent to NARAS voting members, who may then vote in the general fields and in no more than nine of the 30 fields. Members are encouraged, but not required, to vote only in their fields of expertise. Ballots are tabulated secretly by the major independent accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.[21] Following the tabulation of votes the winners are announced at the Grammy Awards. The recording with the most votes in a category wins and it is possible to have a tie (in which case the two or more nominees who tie are all considered winners). Winners are presented with the Grammy Award and those who do not win are given a medal for their nomination.

In both voting rounds, Academy members are required to vote based upon quality alone, and not to be influenced by sales, chart performance, personal friendships, regional preferences or company loyalty. The acceptance of gifts is prohibited. Members are urged to vote in a manner that preserves the integrity of the Academy and their member community. Although registered media companies may submit entries they may not vote in either round of voting.

The eligibility period for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards was October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.

Grammy Legend

A special Grammy Award of merit is awarded intermittently to recognize "ongoing contributions and influence in the recording field".[22] It has been called the Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Living Legend Award at different ceremonies. As of 2018, only fourteen solo musicians and one band have received this award.

Salute to Industry Icons Award

This is another special award, given only five times as of 2018. Recipients: