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Recording Academy goes electronic - Grammy votes to be cast online

Published:Wednesday | June 14, 2017 | 4:45 PMKimberley Small
Chance the Rapper

Voting members of the Recording Academy should no longer expect a ballot package at their doorstep for the annual selection of the American music industry's top players. The Grammys have decided to embrace the technological wave.

This year, members will be able to cast their votes online, allowing their more than 13,000 voters "greater access and flexibility".

Additionally, there will be adjustments to the way nominations are handled in several major categories, including Album of the Year and Rap music categories.

Moving forward, all 'music creators' i.e., songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, mastering engineers and featured artistes credited with at least 33 per cent playing time on the winning album, will be eligible to receive a Grammy for the Album Of The Year category. Songwriters were not previously recognised.

Cries for adjustments to the Grammy's nomination processes rose last year, in tandem with the popularity of rap's current star-boy, Chance the Rapper. 

At last year's ceremony, Chance the Rapper, became the first artiste to win a Grammy without selling physical copies of his music, after building a reputation for remaining unsigned to any record label and for dropping his songs online for free.

"I make money from touring and selling merchandise, and I honestly believe if you put effort into something and you execute properly, you don’t necessarily have to go through the traditional ways," he was quoted as saying in a past interview with Vanity Fair. 

The accolades (best new artist, best rap album, and best rap performance) were awarded to the young star because the Grammy’s governing board relaxed their rules to allow for the nomination of albums only released on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The 2018 Grammys are set for January 28 at Madison Square Garden.