The first slate of performers for the Dec. 6 Grammy Awards nominations concert includes Drake, Robin Thicke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Keith Urban, who will take part in the event at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.
Nominations will be announced in a one-hour special on CBS: “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live — Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night.” The show will be hosted again by rapper-actor LL Cool J. The awards will be presented Jan. 26 at Staples Center in downtown L.A.
The push toward the 2013 Grammy Awards took another important step Wednesday, with first-round ballots being sent to the Recording Academy’s roughly 12,000 voting members.
Voters who have gone through the process a few times may notice a small but significant change on this year’s ballot: a series of four boxes, replacing the usual three, where they will fill in entry numbers associated with their choices for record, album and song of the year nominees.
That’s because for the first time, the number of entries in each of those marquee categories has topped 999, requiring the fourth numerical box on the ballot.
It's a reflection of a record number of overall entries this year, notes the academy’s senior vice president of awards, Bill Freimuth. More than 22,000 submissions came in, Freimuth said, of which more than 17,000 survived as eligible entries on the lists that are being mailed to voters.
He cited two key factors in the increased submissions: iTunes, and the academy’s own efforts to simplify the submission process. To be eligible, a recording must have been released between Oct. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013. They also have to have nationally recognized distribution -- meaning recordings available only through an artist’s or record label’s website or exclusively through one merchant don’t qualify for Grammy consideration.
ITunes is one of the nationally recognized distribution platforms accepted under the Recording Academy’s rules, and because iTunes has made it relatively easy in recent years for just about anyone to post music on the site, it has quickly expanded the field of recordings that can be eligible for Grammy recognition.
In the general categories, the top five vote getters will be the nominees. In several other sub-categories, entries go through a secondary vetting process through nomination review committees, something the academy instituted in 1989 as a way to help assure both academy members and the public at large that the most deserving recordings show up as nominees.
In the fourth category of the top general awards -- new artist -- more than 1,200 names were submitted, but Recording Academy officials determined that only about half were eligible under Grammy rules.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times