It’s usually shrouded in secrecy, but a new interview has shed important light on how the Grammy nominees are decided – and it could cause a bit of controversy.
Hits Daily Double has sat down with Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow to ask him some probing questions about the event, which takes place on February 15 at the Staples Centre in LA next year.
In a newly-published interview preview, Hits asks Portnow how his team determines the finalists of the prestigious annual show.
2016’s crop were recently announced, with an impressive haul for the likes of The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar and Florence & The Machine (pictured).
Portnow explains that the review committees which determine the nominees in the top four categories of the Grammys “ensure that we would have a level of excellence that was commensurate with the organization’s reputation”.
He even admits that sometimes the Grammys “had some embarrassing moments in the past”.
Turning to these specialist groups to finalise the nominees helped to avoid such hiccups, he explains.
But then there’s an admission from Portnow that may interest those who were nominated – and especially those who missed out – this year.
Asked to elaborate on how these review committees get to work, Portnow says: “It’s based on the top 20 of the voters’ opinions. To get to the top 20, that puts you in a very small percentage of the entries. We have literally hundreds of entries in those categories.”
An intrigued Paul Grein from Hits then double-checks: So something has to rank in the top 20 in those four categories? If something great comes in 22nd, you [the review committee] can’t consider it?
Is that the best way to nominate for Grammys?
Let the debate commence…