The Grammys are changing with the times.
Bill Freimuth, Senior Vice President of Awards for The Recording Academy, helped the iconic award show announce several changes today, one of them being the eligibility of streaming-only recordings that Chance the Rapper, in particular, has been vying for.
“The GRAMMYs aren’t just peer-awarded, they’re peer-driven,” Freimuth said in a statement to press. “Throughout the year, members of the music community come to us asking to make changes to the Awards process, and we work with them to figure out how those changes might work.
— The GRAMMYs (@TheGRAMMYs) June 16, 2016
“I’m proud of this year’s changes because they’re a testament to the artists, producers, writers – the people who rolled up their sleeves to shape the proposals and, in turn, the future of the GRAMMYs,” he added. “It’s exactly what they should be doing. It’s their award.”
Although Chance has been trying to make this change happen, Chano says this isn’t about him.
The victory this morning isn’t about me, it’s about all the Soundcloud albums that may now be recognized for excellence.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) June 16, 2016
Even so, Chano famously rapped about this rule on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam.” “I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail,” he raps on the track. “He said let’s do a Good Ass Job with Chance 3 / I hear you gotta sell it to snatch the Grammy.”
Chance 3 turned out to be Coloring Book, an album that broke a record by becoming the first streaming-only album in the Billboard 200’s top 10 when it was released. Thanks to the rule change, Coloring Book is now eligible for a Grammy.
Beyond this major move, other changes are also taking effect. For instance, the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been renamed as Best Rap/Sung Performance. Elsewhere, two new categories (Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album) were added, the Best New Artist guidelines were amended, and the number of categories in which voters can vote on was decreased from 20 to 15.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Feb. 12, 2017. The eligibility period is Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.