Grammy president on Lady Gaga: Rule change could make her eligible for Best New Artist

The window hasn’t completely shut on Lady Gaga’s chances for a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist, Grammy president Neil Portnow revealed to EW on the American Music Awards red carpet tonight. While Variety reported last week that Gaga is ineligible for the prize because her hit “Just Dance” was already nominated for Best Dance Recording last year, we asked Portnow if the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences might consider a rule change to let the year’s biggest breakout act compete for the prestigious prize. “Yes,” Portnow said. “The awards and nominations committee meets to review the rules every year. We change the rules frequently. We recognize that situation is not perfect, and we are looking at ways to figure it out.”

UPDATE, Nov. 23: A representative from the Recording Academy confirms that Lady Gaga will not be eligible for this year’s Best New Artist award, and that any rule changes will apply to subsequent years only. We apologize for the confusion.


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  • Kristyn

    While I think she deserved to win this award, I think it is completely unfair that they would change the rules just to guarantee that she wins. The fact is, she was nominated previously, making her an established artist already. That is her management’s fault for submitting her name. They should not change the rules just for her.

    • Nick T

      Everyone is complaining about this. But no one complained when Billboard changed the rules for MJ. (WAIT!) Not to say that Gaga is on the same page, but still, no one complained. Besides, the guy said they change the rules all the time. Which I know they do. I’m just sayin’!

      • Jan3

        they did not change the rule for MJ, they changed it after the fact. He was no longer #1 when the change came about. There was a lot of criticism of their rules by the public so they changed it. Not for MJ but because MJ showed the flaw in their system.

      • Nick T

        I guess so, Jan3. Even though Lady Gaga rules the world, I suppose maybe they should not change the rules for her. (weeps).

      • FACT

        They do change it for MJ, in fact, Billboard had change their rules many times for MJ.

        It’s a very well know fact that MJ was part of the industry monopoly, remember those MJ 99 cents singles? they went straight to #1, while a regular single was $3.99! Billboard corrupt system fro sure.

      • Rock Golf

        Billboard, as stated, did not change the rules for Michael Jackson. However, they did change them for The Eagles. When their WalMart-only album outsold everything else that week, Billboard changed the rule that albums only available in one chain were excluded from the main chart.

      • FACT

        What do you expect? to Billboard come up and say “we change the rules for MJ many times!”

        Billboard was and still is a corrupted system, the #1 spot is pay-off every week, that’s why Itunes numbers are so diferent, example:

        MJ need it a #1 in the 90’s, he released 99 cents singles vs everyone else 3.99 singles, obviously MJ went to #1.

        How can products that do not cost the same compete? How can I artist with no air play will not get extra points for hitting the Top 10?

        Charts are not just about sales or popularity, are about strategy too, Billboard din’t mind this at all, they should change their statement, their numbers aren’t the biggest sales of the week.

      • Ama

        @ FACT

        How can’t products that cost less compete with the more expensive products of the same type. Have you ever heard of the free market? And I don’t know if you have ever been to a record store, but not all albums are the same price. Not just MJ. So what if people want to sell their records for a lower price. It is all part of business. Billboard is not perfect, but the idea that two products should not compete because they have different prices is ridiculous.

      • Dan

        limtotika on August 30, 2011 I like that I am a grateful person. I love being able to show my appreciation to others and count all of my blessings. I dont like taking things for granted, because life is so special and the people you love should feel they are loved.

    • Q

      This award is irrelevant – the list the list of past winners is like a “where are they now?” special. Don’t bother changing the rules; she’ll be around for a long, long time and win plenty of awards on her own. Let someone less-known have this on.

      • Dogggg

        Yeah, you’re right. I mean after they won, whatever happened to The Beatles, Mariah Carey, Cindi Lauper, Bette Midler, Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood…

    • FACT

      What do you expect? to Billboard come up and say “we change the rules for MJ many times!”

      Billboard was and still is a corrupted system, the #1 spot is pay-off every week, that’s why Itunes numbers are so diferent, example:

      MJ need it a #1 in the 90’s, he released 99 cents singles vs everyone else 3.99 singles, obviously MJ went to #1.

      How can products that do not cost the same compete? How can I artist with no air play will not get extra points for hitting the Top 10?

      Charts are not just about sales or popularity, are about strategy too, Billboard din’t mind this at all, they should change their statement cause their numbers aren’t the biggest sales of the week.

    • Chris

      Go ahead and give this tranny the award so she can go the way of Milli Vanilli.

  • Jen

    That’s BS. Not that she isn’t deserving of some accolades, but you don’t just change the rules like that. Her people should not have submitted her last year–they should live with that decision.

    • Zach

      Agree. Love Lady Gaga, but the real loss last year was Leona Lewis. Girl can SANG and was up for Record of the Year and didn’t win a damn thing, let alone a New Artist nomination!

      • Zach

        And Gaga should have won Best Dance Recording over that stupid, tuneless Harder Faster Stronger crap

      • Cemal

        Simple Plan, ROCKS, “Untitled” is dlienitfey a great song and a great video for kids to see as it shows what drinking and driving can do……

      • Adam

        daaidkkov on January 11, 2009 They don’t have the reputation but Kia has the same quality as Toyota, cuz think. If Kia were crap and they gave Such a long warranty for everything people will start to return faulty cars and Kia Would go bankrupt from repairing KIas. So i think this warranty Which Kia Gives is to show that they are really confident in their car’s Quality. END

  • Sammie

    What a crock!

  • tlctaurus

    gaga should not be nominated for best new artist. she has already been nominated for her breakout song Just Dance. Not fair to change the rules after everyone is aware of them.

    • mishka

      Word.
      What do those people assume that she would win the at grammy already? There’s no need to change the rules just because Beyoncé or Taylor Swift will continue to win all the awards this year. Britney didn’t win the Granmmy for Best New Artist ten years ago and she did pretty well since. Get over it, Gaga!

    • Crazzy

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    • Brenda

      OnlythruStruggle on July 10, 2008 What? Hey,I’m…I’m scott hall..hey hey..I’m scott hall, the segigwrang cuban…hey hey…you better have that sale for me, chicolmao

  • Alex

    Sounds like a cry for ratings

  • tlctaurus

    Just nominate her for artist of the year where she belongs. she would still lose to Taylor Swift.

    • Jan3

      There is no Grammy for Artist of the Year

    • Jessie

      The Grammys award things other than record sales and radio play, which kind of leaves Swift out of the running.

  • kay

    It’s BS to change the rules for Gaga or anyone!

  • baxter

    If this rule change is made it will only be for ratings. Nominate her for best artist. Don’t change the rules for one person and pull the status of the Grammys down to the Peoples Choice Awards.

  • Ladyli1

    I agree with all of the above! I’m becoming a fan of GaGa but rules are rules!

  • BW

    I agree, you can’t change the rules for one person. I’m not a huge fan, but if she won, you couldn’t argue the fact that she deserves it. However, she was nominated already, and that is that.

  • Alan

    “we change the rules frequently”

    And this is why the Grammys are such a mess.

  • Lauren

    I’d probably be critical of changing the rules to let her win if that person hadn’t said they change the rules frequently. I don’t even pay attention to popular music and I’m a Gaga fan. Clearly, she’s been a huge breakout this year. It feels like if anyone else were to win this award there would be a huge asterisk next to that name.

    • Kristyn

      If Gaga were to win with the rule change, she should be the one with the asterisk next to HER name.

      • Dakarduala

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  • RyRyNYC

    i think the award’s rule should be for an album… not single. technically her album was not eligible for awards last year. if the award is based on their first album to come to prominence than she most definitely deserve to have that rule changed/established

    • Elsa

      I completely agree.

    • Jake

      What are you talking about? Prominence is prominence, whether it is from a single or an album. Splitting hairs like this is absolutely ridiculous. If the Grammys want any kind of credibility, they cannot keep ‘changing rules frequently’.

      • Ben

        Yes, but they won’t let someone like Kid Cudi be eligable because he only released a single.

  • Scott

    I agree with RyRyNYC. The nomination came for that before the song before it was a hit or anybody knew who she was. They have made exceptions before. Besides Lauyn Hill won best new artist when she won two grammys as a member of The Fugees prior to that. Also Imogen heap was far from new when she was nominated, and the same for many other artists, even as recent as Jonas Bros. So I think the nomination is still worthy.

  • Sean

    It is ridiculous for the Grammy crew to even consider changing the rule. If Gaga was eligible for a best dance nomination last year, then she was also eligible for a best new artist nomination – which she did not receive, period. Changing the rules randomly just because she suddenly exploded is insane, unfair to many other artists, and would be yet another perfect example of why the Grammy organization – and the actual award – continues to lose credibility.

    • Nick

      Actually she wasn’t eligible for BNA last year because her album hadn’t come out by the end of the eligibility period.

      I’m confused why this is just coming up now. The ballots have already been turned in and she wasn’t on them. Anyone who knows anything about the nomination process knew at the beginning of the year she wouldn’t be eligible because of her nom last year. If they wanted to change the rule, why not do it earlier.

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