October 11, 2016 Vince Valholla

The GRAMMYs Insist Streaming-Related Rule Change Wasn’t Inspired By Chance the Rapper

On June 16, The Recording Academy announced that albums that were available only on streaming services will now be considered for a possible GRAMMY nomination. Personally, I didn’t think this would happen. After press release went out, many people figured that Chance the Rapper had something to do with this decision. There was even a Change.org petition lobbying for the rule change so Chance’s Apple Music exclusive, Coloring Book could be considered for a nomination. It got over 40,000 signatures.

Billboard recently released their GRAMMY preview and Recording Academy executives insisted that Chance The Rapper had nothing to do with the decision. Here’s a clip from the story:

Although the eligibility revision was announced June 16, nearly a month after Coloring Book debuted on Apple Music, academy executives say it was introduced in March and ratified internally in May, two years after members first proposed allowing “free” recordings into the Grammy sweepstakes.


“It’s important to note that we didn’t make this change for any particular artist because we felt, ‘Oh, this artist is not going to be eligible and that’s going to make us look bad,’ ” Recording Academy senior VP awards Bill Freimuth tells Billboard. “It’s really more about trying to stay ahead of changes in a very dynamic industry.”

According to Freimuth and other academy sources, a rule change was first proposed in spring 2014. But it wasn’t until a year later that a subcommittee of digital industry players was formed to draft the version that was ratified.

A week before the announcement happened, I attended a meeting with members of The Recording Academy and Bill Freimuth mentioned that the decision was made and to expect an announcement soon. I personally think that Chance the Rapper has a good chance of getting a nomination this year, but we’ll see. It’s also important to note that Soundcloud Go only releases won’t be eligible because Soundcloud Go was introduced less than a year ago. What are your thoughts on this change? Tell me on Twitter @VinceValholla.


Vince Valholla

Vince Valholla is Chairman/Chief Executive of Valholla Entertainment, Inc. Valholla is a full service Music Label & Management Company based in Miami, FL. Valholla's 2015 release of Kirby Maurier's "Doing The Most" was one of the highest selling independent R&B albums in the South Atlantic Region. His opinion is his own.

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