Program Application Submission

The process begins with eligible candidates submit their entry application to the GRAMMY-BOUND Submission Program where it will be reviewed by a voting panel of music industry professionals, other GRAMMY members, and GRAMMY-nominated artists.  Should the entry move to the next level, we will notify the candidate (expect 2 weeks from submission date) BEFORE the deadline of our intention to submit the entry for GRAMMY consideration.


GRAMMY Submission

Recording Academy members (LMPA) and record companies enter recordings and music videos released during the eligibility year which they consider worthy of recognition in the GRAMMY Awards process.


Reviewing sessions by more than 150 experts in various fields are held to ensure that entered recordings meet specific qualifications and have been placed in appropriate fields such as Rock, R&B, Jazz, Country, Gospel, New Age, Rap, Classical and Latin, among others. The purpose of screenings is not to make artistic or technical judgments about the recordings, but rather to make sure that each entry is eligible and placed in its proper category.


First-round ballots are sent to voting members in good dues standing. To help ensure the quality of the voting, members are directed to vote only in their areas of expertise; they may vote in up to 20 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the General Field (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best New Artist.) Ballots are tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Deloitte.

Special Nominating Committees

In craft and other specialized categories, final nominations are determined by national nomination review committees comprised of voting members from all of The Academy's Chapter cities.

Final Voting

Final-round ballots are sent to voting members in good dues standing. The finalists determined by the special nominating committees are also included in this ballot. In this final round, Recording Academy members may vote in up to 20 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the General Field (Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best New Artist.) Ballots again are tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Deloitte.


Results of members' voting are not known until the GRAMMY Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are delivered by Deloitte in sealed envelopes. GRAMMY Award winners are revealed during the GRAMMY Awards telecast.



American Roots Field – Category Split

The Best Blues Album category has been split into two categories:  Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Best Traditional Blues Album
Traditional: includes blues recordings with traditional blues song structures, harmonic structures and rhythms, including traditional blues instruments such as acoustic and electric guitar, piano, organ, harmonica, horns, acoustic and electric bass and drums. Includes sub-genres such as Delta Blues, Piedmont Blues, Jump/Swing Blues, Chicago Blues, and Classic/Southern Soul.

Best Contemporary Blues Album
Contemporary: includes blues recordings that vary from traditional blues song and harmonic structures. May employ non-traditional blues rhythms such as funk, hip-hop, reggae and rock. May include both traditional blues instruments and non-traditional blues instruments such as synthesizers. May include programmed tracks, loops and other contemporary production techniques.  Includes sub-genres such as funk blues and blues-rock.


Best New Artist – New Criteria/Eligibility Guidelines

New Criteria
An artist will be considered for Best New Artist if their eligibility-year release/s achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.

New Eligibility Guidelines* 

  • Minimum releases to meet eligibility:  five singles/tracks or one album

  • Maximum releases to meet eligibility:  thirty singles/tracks or three albums. 

    • The integrity of an album will be respected.  Singles/tracks that are part of an album release will not be counted separately.  However, each release of ten singles/tracks not associated with an album will be considered an album equivalent and count toward the maximum as such.

    • Any recording that would have been eligible for GRAMMY consideration will count toward the minimum/maximum, including independent releases and mixtapes that meet Academy distribution criteria and EPs of five or more different songs, which meet Academy album criteria.

*Other, existing rules remain in effect; see Online Entry website for details.

Distribution via Streaming Only

The Academy will now accept recordings released via streaming services.

“Streaming services” is defined as paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download services that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline.  All recordings entered must have an assigned ISRC.

Recordings must be non-infringing, original works of authorship. To the extent a recording embodies in whole or in part the copyrighted work of a third party, appropriate authorization to use and incorporate such copyrighted work must have been obtained.  If allegations are made that a recording is unauthorized and does not meet these criteria, The Academy will consider the allegations and determine, in its sole discretion, the eligibility of such recording.


Rap Field – Rename and Redefine One Category

The category formerly known as Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been changed.  It is now called Best Rap/Sung Performance and is defined as such:

For a solo or collaborative performance containing both elements of R&B melodies and Rap. In the case of a collaboration of artists who don’t usually perform together, the collaborative artist(s) should be credited and recognized as a featured artist(s). In addition, there must be significant performance by the collaborative artist(s) beyond what might be considered merely accompaniment.

This category is intended to recognize performances with strong foundations in either Hip-Hop/ Rap or R&B. Both the song and melody should be considered to fit these criteria to be accepted in this category.