Your Grammy questions, answered

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With the GRAMMYs fast approaching, music fans all over the world are gearing up to watch the awards on February 10th to see if their favorite artists win. To help you prepare, The Classic has also compiled the answer to every question that you have (and didn’t have) about music’s biggest night.

Who makes up the “Academy” and how do you become a part of it?

The Academy consists of people who hold various positions in the music industry; there are managers, songwriters, sound editors, artists, and many more. There are student positions as well for college students looking to enter the music industry when they graduate. To apply for a position, a person needs two recommendation letters and a completed application. Peer evaluation teams decide who can become a member.

How do you get tickets?

GRAMMYs tickets are extremely hard to get your hands on. Usually, only nominees, presenters, performers, and their guests receive tickets. They can also have publicists and managers present at the award ceremony, but only if they request passes. Academy members can also attend, but purchasing a ticket can still prove to be a hassle. Sometimes secondary sites sell tickets, but according to the Recording Academy via twitter, the event is “invite only” and all tickets are “100% non-transferable.” The best option? Watching the GRAMMYs live on your television.

Why are so many awards announced before the show?

There are just too many to announce during the show.

How are nominees chosen?

First, a team of 350 experts screen the entries to confirm that they fit the qualifications of their category. Members of the Recording Academy then vote in the first round of votes and an independent accounting firm organizes the ballots and determines nominations. There are also special categories that have separate nomination review committees.

Does the GRAMMY Awards honor non-artists who work in the music industry?

Of course! Various award winners are announced prior to the live show. The Recording Academy recognizes composers, arrangers, producers, writers and even music educators.  

What’s the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year?

Record of the Year considers producers, engineers and artists involved in making a track, while Song of the Year considers a track’s composition and lyrics.

Is the live show hosted in the same place every year?

Between 1971 and 2003, the GRAMMYs have taken place at several different locations such as Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center, and the Hollywood Palladium. Ever since 2004, the GRAMMYs have almost consistently taken place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with the exception of the 2018 ceremony, which was held at Madison Square Garden.

Where did the name come from?

The name “GRAMMYs” comes from the gramophone, an invention patented by Emile Berliner, that built upon Thomas Edison’s phonograph. Ever since the first ceremony in 1958, the ceremony was called the GRAMMYs and its trophies have been shaped like gramophones.

What are some lesser known music categories?

If you’ve ever wondered about some other lesser known award categories, you’re in luck.

    • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
    • Best Regional Mexican Music Album
    • Best Spoken Word Album
    • Best Arrangement Instrumental/Vocal
    • Best Boxed or Limited Special Edition Package
    • Best Historical Album
    • Best Immersive Audio Album
    • Best Classical Compendium
    • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

What are the Latin GRAMMYs?

The Latin GRAMMYs are a music awards ceremony for Spanish and Portuguese music from any country. In 1997, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences founded the Latin Recording Academy, an organization consisting of artists, producers, and other professionals in the music industry. This event is televised and tickets are available for purchase.

This year’s GRAMMYs are sure to be thrilling, equipped with many breathtaking performances and tributes. Be sure to catch the live, televised 61st GRAMMY Awards on February 10th at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

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