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With 2020 Grammy Awards moving to January, eligibility deadline is pushed up a month

With 2020 Grammy Awards moving to January, eligibility deadline is pushed up a month
Lady Gaga with her haul in February at the 2019 Grammy Awards. The Grammy ceremony will be moved up to January in 2020, prompting a truncated eligibility period for recordings submitted for nomination. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The eligibility period for recordings to qualify for Grammy Award consideration in 2020 has been cut by one month, a move the Recording Academy announced this week to allow the annual award ceremony to be moved up two weeks to avoid coinciding with a rescheduled Academy Awards telecast.

The 2020 Grammy Awards are now set for Jan. 26, in response to the motion picture academy’s recent decision to bump its awards night up to Feb. 9, citing a goal of staving off viewer fatigue from the onslaught of awards shows that heats up in earnest each fall.

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That means that in the Grammy Awards race, the cutoff for eligible recordings will now be Aug. 31, rather than the traditional Sept. 30 closing date, and will result in an eligibility period of just 11 months, starting Oct. 1, 2018. Academy officials said the truncated eligibility period will help Recording Academy staff better accommodate the preparations needed to mount the awards show two weeks earlier than usual.

Nominations typically are announced in early December, at which point ceremony preparations move into high gear, a process typically hampered by winter breaks taken by many artists, record companies, management and talent agencies and other music industry personnel.

The only other time the eligibility period has been moved from Sept. 30 to Aug. 31 was a decade ago, so that the Grammy telecast could be scheduled in January and not compete directly with television coverage of the Winter Olympics held that year in Vancouver, Canada.

The Grammy telecast also was bumped forward to January in 2014 and 2018 to avoid conflicting with Olympics coverage, but the eligibility period was not shortened in those instances.

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