Los Angeles: The Recording Academy, among several changes in its awards process, has increased the number of nominations for its top categories -- Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist -- from five to eight.
According to variety.com, the announcement was sent to Academy members on Tuesday.
"This change will better reflect the large number of entries in these categories and allow voters greater flexibility when selecting this year's best recordings," the announcement read.
The decision is likely to have been a reflection of the uproar over the low number of female nominees and winners for the 2018 awards, even though those nominations were possibly musically and racially diverse with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino, Khalid, SZA, Jay-Z's producer No I.D. leading the pack.
However, the winners' list did not reflect the wider variety of nominees as Mars swept Best Album, Song and Record - and in some categories it seems likely that votes were split between rappers Jay-Z and Lamar.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman Martin Bandier told Variety: "I think the expansion of the nominations is a great thing. There is such a wide diversity of music today and narrowing it down to only five in a major category is not inclusive enough.
"This is much better for the industry and I'm happy to see this change. It gives more talented people a shot and gives voters a bigger spectrum to choose from. I predict there will be some very interesting events as a result."
In other changes, music supervisors will be considered nominees in the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album category. They will no longer be eligible for consideration as album producers, unless they produced at least 51 percent of the album in question.
Among other category definition updates and clarifications, the Recording Academy stated that the nominations for the World Music Field will now be determined through its own Nominations Review Committee.