The GRAMMY Awards Ceremony is music’s most important event of the year. It’s the Super Bowl of our industry and we can’t help but obsess over the nomination lists of our favorite genres. As devoted fans, we watch through roughly three and a half hours of performances, tributes, and heartfelt speeches – and we’re not even the ones voting. So, if we’re not voting for our beloved musical talent, who is?
The Recording Academy deems itself as “the premier membership organization for performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and music professionals”. The Academy recognizes three membership types, with the most important tier being the “Voting Member”. These members are music professionals who are responsible for getting your favorite music superstars on the GRAMMY nomination list. Of course, the qualifications for these voting members are extensive, but their eligibility (usually) guarantees that the best of the best will end up on the GRAMMYs stage.
GRAMMY.com lists the Voting Member qualifications as:
- Two recommendations from music industry peers
- At least 12 credits in the category for which they’d like to qualify, with at least one credit occurring within the previous five years
- Credits on recordings that are currently distributed through recognized online music retailers or music streaming services, defined as paid, full catalogue, audio-only, on-demand streaming, and/or limited download subscription services
- Career substantiation through independently verifiable documentation, including chart/sales information, press releases/kits/interviews, reviews of performances by recognized print or online magazines
How It Works:
The Voting Members send their GRAMMY recommendations throughout the year before the awards process begins. The five-step method includes screening, nominating, special nominating committees, final voting, and the highly-anticipated results.
- Screening is completed by over 350 music experts within the Academy. Entries are screened to ensure they reach the qualifications and are then placed into their respective category.
- The nomination step includes the first round of voting, as ballots are sent out to the voting members of the Academy. Members can vote in up to fifteen categories, plus the four main categories; Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. To make sure the votes are credible and fair, members are instructed to only vote for categories in which they demonstrate expertise.
- Once nominations are evaluated, special nomination committees review them. The committees are made up of voting members from all the Academy’s Chapter cities.
- After the special nominating committees make their determinations, the final round of voting is done by all voting members in good standing.
- The results are tabulated by an accounting firm, and the winners are not revealed until the firm delivers the envelopes enclosed with the results.
While we may not be voters, we’ll be watching the show and refreshing the hashtag “#GRAMMYs” with every moment on Instagram and Twitter.
The live broadcast of the GRAMMY Awards will air on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 8:00 PM EST on CBS.