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Recording Academy Board topper on Grammy realignment

THE ACADEMY DEFENDS ITSELF: In an email to Recording Academy members disseminated on Wednesday, Board of Trustees Chair George J. Flanigen IV defended the org’s controversial realignment the Grammy categories, resulting in the jettisoning of a number of mostly ethnic categories. The Board of Trustees “spent the last two years researching, analyzing and discussing years worth of data before deciding to realign the Grammy categories,” Flanigen wrote. “Once this extensive, detailed procedure was completed, we made every effort to be up front, transparent and painstakingly clear about how and why this was done… In the past we have maintained separate categories for some subgenres of music. However, other musical subgenres (like Western Swing music, psychedelic rock, cowboy music, grunge or punk rock, neo-soul, even Christmas music and more) were not represented with their own stand-alone categories. By combining some of the more regionally based subgenres (such as Zydeco/Cajun, Hawaiian and Native American music) into one overall category (Best Regional Roots Music Album), they are showcased in a larger way than before, creating a more inclusive, diverse category and providing greater exposure for the creators of these robust musical styles. This in turn creates a richer and more vibrant competition for music that shares regional American roots, even if they emanate from different parts of the country.” (7/7a)

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