The Grammys Might Make Free Releases Eligible for Awards
Last week, a fan-started petition calling for artists who choose to release their music for free to be eligible for Grammy awards started to make the rounds and Chance The Rapper co-signed the movement with his signature and a tweet. The petition has been signed close to 27,000 times as of press time and the academy is taking notice.
“The Grammy Awards process is fluid and, like music, continues to evolve,” an academy spokesperson told International Business Times. “As a peer-voted award, the awards process is also peer-determined. Each spring, music creators in the community work with Recording Academy staff to prepare and submit proposals, which are then reviewed by the Board and announced shortly thereafter.”
IBT also says that the academy declined to comment on specifics, but said it was reviewing proposals for next year's ceremony.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has stated in the past that for a release to be considered for a Grammy Award, the project must be “commercially released in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the internet, of mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product. Recordings must be available for sale from any date within the eligibility period through at least the date of the current year’s voting deadline (final ballot).”
The petition cites Chance specifically, writing “Artists like Chance The Rapper, who are now getting national recognition and performing on national platforms (just this past week Chance performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) are being punished for making their music available to everyone, rich or poor, by releasing their music for free,” reads the petition. “It’s obvious that these artists are making their music more accessible to people who deserve it even if they can’t afford it, as well as decreasing pirating and illegally downloading music. Not all artists should be forced to release their music for free, but the ones who do should not be punished for doing so.”
The Recording Academy is made up of musicians, sound engineers, music producers and other industry professionals.
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