The recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY is presented annually by the Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by the Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions. The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world.
In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, other honors are given by the Recording Academy. These awards recognize contributions and activities of significance to the recording field that fall outside the framework of the GRAMMY Awards categories, and include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award, Hall of Fame Award, the Technical GRAMMY Award, and the GRAMMY Legends Award.
The GRAMMY Process
This simplified description illustrates the various stages of the GRAMMY Awards process. The process begins with members and record companies submitting entries, which are then screened for eligibility and category placement. The Academy's voting members, all involved in the creative and technical processes of recording, then participate in (1) the nominating process that determines the five finalists in each category; and (2) the final voting process which determines the GRAMMY winners.
The Recording Academy members, plus record companies, enter recordings and music videos released during the eligibility year which they consider worthy of recognition in the GRAMMY Awards process.
Reviewing sessions by more than 150 experts in various fields are held to ensure that entered recordings meet specific qualifications and have been placed in appropriate fields such as rock, r&b, jazz, country, gospel, new age, rap, classical & Latin, among others. The purpose of screenings is not to make artistic or technical judgments about the recordings, but rather to make sure that each entry is eligible and placed in its proper category.
First round ballots with lists of eligible recordings in all fields, except those voted on by special nominating committees, are sent to voting members who return their ballots to the independent accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP for tabulation. To help ensure the quality of the voting, members are directed to vote only in their fields of expertise, and to that end may nominate in the four general categories (Record, Album, Song of the Year and Best New Artist) and in no more than 9 out of 22 fields on their ballots.
Special Nominating Committees
In crafts and other specialized categories, final nominations are determined by national nomination review committees comprised of voting members from all of the Recording Academy's chapter & branch cities.
Lists of the finalists are sent to voting members with their second round ballots. The finalists determined by the special nominating committees are also included on these lists. In this final round, Recording Academy members may vote in the four general categories and in no more than 8 of the 27 fields. Ballots again are tabulated in utmost secrecy by the independent accounting firm.
Results of members' voting are not known until the GRAMMY Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are delivered by the accounting firm in sealed envelopes. GRAMMY Awards winners are revealed during the GRAMMY Awards telecast. The GRAMMY Awards are telecast to an international audience of over 1.5 billion in 170 countries.
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