Since the first annual Grammy Awards in 1959, four artists vie for the coveted Record, Song and Album of the Year awards, as well as the trophy for Best New Artist, every year. Now, 60 years after the induction of the prestigious ceremony, The Recording Academy has agreed to switch things up a bit in the aforementioned categories.

Moving forward, the number of nominations for Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year will be eight instead of the traditional five. The motion was announced via Billboard this afternoon (June 26). In a statement to press, Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow explained their decision.

"Throughout the year, we team up with music people across all genres and disciplines to consider revisions and subsequently make amendments to our rules and entry guidelines to ensure we're keeping up with our ever-changing industry and meeting the needs of music creators," he said. "This creates more opportunities for a wider-range of recognition in these important categories and gives more flexibility to our voters when having to make the often challenging decisions about representing excellence and the best in music for the year."

"We look forward to celebrating all of our nominees when they are announced later this year," he concluded.

With the influx of new hip-hop artists on the scene, the change will surely help rappers' chances at the star-studded event. The nation's most consumed genre dominated the 2018 Grammy ceremony, with acts like Kendrick Lamar earning seven noms and JAY-Z up for eight.

In 2017, the Academy set up a Nominations Review Committee for Rap, along with Contemporary Instrumental and New Age, in an effort to get rid of bias. This motion largely supports independent musicians, as well as those who released music at the end of the year. They also added the option for voting members to do so via phone, tablet or laptop.

See New Music Releases for June 2018

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