Grammy Awards drop 31 categories

Apr 7, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. ET

The Grammy Awards have been restructured! The Recording Academy announced that the 54th annual Grammys in 2012 will give out fewer awards than this year's contest, while allowing more candidates to enter each race.

Grammy Awards

Back in 1959, the first ever Grammy Awards handed out 28 awards. Over the decades, new categories have been tacked on, building up to a whopping 109 awards by 2011's 53rd annual Grammys. On April 6, 2011, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences revealed it's shaking things up for the 54th annual Grammys!

In a project that started in 2009, the organization has whittled down the categories, combining and consolidating them.

This change won't affect the general categories, like Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year or Best New Artist. It will, however, end the gender divide in pop, country and R&B categories and make other changes among the "fields" categories. The shifting categories are most easily understood by reviewing the category comparison chart (below), which shows how 2011's 109 categories were meshed into 2012's 78.

While there will be fewer categories in the 54th annual Grammys, the minimum number of artist entries in each category has been bumped up from 25 to at least 40. If a category receives less than 40 artist entries, only three recordings would receive nominations. Fewer than 25 entries would cancel out the category altogether, pushing entries to the next most logical category.

Phew. SheKnows has to say, again, it's all rather confusing, but we love the fact that women and men are no longer separated!

The Grammy category comparison chart

SheKnows has provided the first part of's category comparison chart below. You can review the full chart here:

Grammy Comparison Chart

Grammy Comparison Chart