MUSIC NEWS - To evolve and improve its Awards process, The Recording Academy announced changes to eligibility rules in the Best New Artist category, the Classical Field, and for Recording Academy-produced performances. The new rules go into effect immediately for the upcoming 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 13, 2011, with the total number of GRAMMY categories remaining at 109.
New eligibility requirements for Best New Artist;
New artists have at least one chance to compete in the Best New Artist category, provided that the artist has not already won a GRAMMY. The current eligibility requirements state that the artist must have released, as a featured performing artist, at least one album but not more than three; and the artist must not have been entered for Best New Artist more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group. Any previous GRAMMY nomination for the artist as performer precludes eligibility in the Best New Artist category (including a nomination as an established performing member of a nominated group.)
These rules remain in effect with the following exception: If an artist/group is nominated (but does not win) for the release of a single or as a featured artist or collaborator on a compilation or other artist's album before the artist/group has released an entire album (and becomes eligible in this category for the first time), the artist/group may enter this category in the eligibility year during which his/her/their first album is released.
In plain speak- More often these day, the first release of a new artist is as a featured artist on someone else's album or, the new artist may release a single long before the release of the entire first album. With the current rules, if the other artist's album or the new artist's single receives a nomination, the new artist may never have the opportunity to compete in the Best New Artist category. With the new change, each artist will have at least one opportunity to enter in this important and highly visible category. Sounds better, right?