Next year’s Grammy Awards will see some significant changes to four major categories, as Billboard reports today. Recording Academy voters will now be able to select between eight nominees for album, record, and song of the year, as well as best new artist, up from five nominees previously. The other 80 award categories will continue to feature five nominees apiece.
“This creates more opportunities for a wider-range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters when having to make the often challenging decisions about representing excellence and the best in music for the year,” Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating all of our nominees when they are announced later this year.”
Portnow became a target for criticism earlier this year, after only one woman won a Grammy during the 2018 televised ceremony (Alessia Cara, for best new artist). The change to nominee counts in major categories follow the Recording Academy’s appointment of a gender bias task force in March.
Last month, Portnow announced he would step down from his position at the end of his contract, which expires after next year’s ceremony in July 2019. The 2019 Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles; the exact date has not yet been announced.