Recording Academy chair speaks out about Kacey Musgraves’ ineligibility for Grammy 

“You’re seeing genre lines blurring"

The CEO of the Recording Academy has opened up about why Kacey Musgraves was ineligible for next year’s Best Country Album award at the Grammy awards.

Musgraves submitted her recent album ‘Star-Crossed’ for Best Country Album category at the Grammys, but it was recently confirmed that the album would be ineligible for consideration in the Best Country Album category because of how much it leaned towards pop.

The singer seemingly responded to the news on Twitter after the nominations were announced, writing: “You can take the girl out of the country (genre) but you can’t take the country out of the girl,” alongside a picture of herself in a country outfit as a child.

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Now, Chair Harvey Mason Jr. has spoken to Billboard about this year’s categories and responded to a question which asked why they have “[removed] works, including those from Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile, from the genres in which they were submitted and re-slotting them elsewhere.”

When Mason Jr. was asked: “Why shouldn’t an entry stay where the label or the creator of the work thinks it belongs?”, he responded by saying genre categories are not straightforward.

He said: “You’re seeing genre lines blurring. You’re seeing people switching from song to song as to what [their music] sounds like.

Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves. CREDIT: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images.

“With the screening committees, we’re listening and making sure that we’re paying attention to that, because if not, we’re just stereotyping everything: ‘Oh, this person makes these types of songs, they should go in that category.’ The committees are made up of the artist’s peers. They’re evaluating and deciding, ‘Does this fit within the confines of the construct of what this category means?’

“Those definitions are created by our members that are ratified by our board. If we’re opening it up to just anyone to decide where they want to submit, there could potentially be problems that come along with that. But also, you have to remember that we are looking at the process and how we do everything is always up for review.”

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Musgraves released her fifth studio album ‘Star-Crossed’ in September and NME gave it four stars upon its release, writing: “[Musgraves’] dissection of a crumbling relationship is inspired by Romeo & Juliet and split into three parts, never collapsing under its own concept.”

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