"Every year, we diligently examine our Awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process.... After careful and extensive review and analysis of all Categories and Fields, it was objectively determined that our GRAMMY Categories be restructured to the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music. Our Board of Trustees continues to demonstrate its dedication to keeping The Recording Academy a pertinent and responsive organization in our dynamic music community."To better serve artists, each category will now require 40 submissions, up from 25. The increased competition will no doubt make the award that much more special to managers, executives and public relations flacks who spend millions every year in their bid to win the golden gramophone.
Artist response was overwhelmingly positive. Lars Ulrich, budding actor and drummer for American hard rock band Metallica, welcomed the change. "We're simply better than any other band out there, and I think the Academy has reflected that. We've won six Grammys for Best Metal Performance, and we can dominate the new category, Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance as well. I mean come on, they nominated Korn last year. How hard could it be." Metallica, who just wrapped up their Big 4 tour with opening acts Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, have begun work on a new album this month. No word on whether there will be an accompanying documentary.