And the Winner Isn’t: Grammys to Drop More than 30 Categories

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Edwin Butler of Arcade Fire holds up the Grammy for Album of the Year for "The Suburbs" at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards (REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson)

The biggest overhaul in the 53-year history of the Grammys has taken place, which should make for a shorter show and a far more competitive event.

But fear not music lovers: the new, slim-line Grammys will now only have 78 awards, down from this year’s 109, in a show that lasted roughly 109 hours (we kid, we kid, but you know what we mean.)

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What are the main headlines? Musicians won’t be judged in single-sex categories any longer but rather against each other, in a battle of the sexes, which may (or may not) do wonders for the ratings. Similarly, rock soloists and groups will compete against each another (the same applies to solo rappers and groups), hard rock and metal will become one — just think of the karma! — and — say it ain’t so! — the instrumental track categories have been eliminated.

“It ups the game in terms of what it takes to receive a Grammy and preserves the great esteem of with its held in the creative community, which is the most important element,” Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

As for singers competing each other, regardless of sex, Portnow made clear that, “A great singer is a great singer is a great singer, and somebody that has a gift in terms of their voice, and is at the top of their game in terms of their delivery and emotion, really isn’t necessarily defined by gender.” NewsFeed wonders if Mr. Portnow’s quotes always approximate the length of the songs that the Grammys hand out awards to.

But enough of such tomfoolery! We’re still recovering from the news that the Hawaiian, Native American, and Zydeco or Cajun categories have gone, replaced by just the one regional roots music award. If this is considered progress, NewsFeed wants no part of it. (via NY Magazine)

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