DREAM THEATER, MEGADETH, MASTODON Among GRAMMY AWARDS Nominees

DREAM THEATER, MASTODON and MEGADETH are among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The nominees in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category are as follows:

* DREAM THEATER - "On The Backs Of Angels"
* FOO FIGHTERS - White Limo"
* MASTODON - "Curl Of The Burl"
* MEGADETH - "Public Enemy No. 1"
* SUM 41 - "Blood In My Eyes"

CHICKENFOOT "III" art director Todd Gallopo was nominated in the "Best Recording Package" category.

To be eligible for nomination, an artist's work must have been released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.

Nominations for the 54th annual Grammy Awards were announced earlier tonight (Wednesday, November 30) by The Recording Academy and reflected an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. For the fourth year, nominations for the annual Grammy Awards were announced on primetime television as part of "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! Countdown To Music's Biggest Night", a one-hour special broadcast live on CBS from Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.

The 54th annual Grammy Awards will be held on "Grammy Sunday," February 12, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

"Once again, it is most gratifying to see the Grammy Awards process produce a broad cross section of diverse and impressive nominees across multiple genres," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This year's nominations truly reflect an exceptional and talented creative community that embodies some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry in their respective fields. Coupled with the fourth year of our primetime nominations special, the road to Music's Biggest Night, the 54th annual Grammy Awards in February, is off to an exciting and appropriate start."

For a complete list of nominees, go to this location.

In an effort to continuously evolve its Grammy Awards process, The Recording Academy announced in April that it had restructured the Grammy categories across all genres and fields, bringing the total number of categories to be recognized at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, to 78 from 109. As a result, instead of separate "Best Metal" and "Best Hard Rock" performance prizes, there is now a single "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" award.

"Every year, we diligently examine our Awards structure to develop an overall guiding vision and ensure that it remains a balanced and viable process," said Portnow. "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."

For 53 years, The Recording Academy has recognized musical excellence with the Grammy Awards the most prestigious and only peer-recognized award in music and the awards have grown from 28 categories in 1959, to awards in 109 categories for the most recent 53rd Grammys. This growth springs from a tradition of honoring specific genres and/or subgenres within a field, and it has basically been approached one category at a time without a current overall guiding vision and without consistency across the various genre fields. In 2009, The Academy initiated a first-ever comprehensive evaluation of its awards process, which led to a desire for change. A transformation of the entire awards structure would ensure that all fields would be treated with parity. Diligent research, careful analysis, and thoughtful discussion of all fields resulted in an overarching framework and a restructuring of categories to 78, and ensures that every submission continues to have a home.

In addition to the restructuring of categories, two rule changes have been established and four fields have been renamed. It is now expected that each category shall have at least 40 distinct artist entries, up from 25. If a category receives between 25 and 39 entries, only three recordings would receive nominations that year. Should there be fewer than 25 entries in a category, that category would immediately go on hiatus for the current year no award given and entries would be screened into the next most logical category. If a category receives fewer than 25 entries for three consecutive years, the category would be discontinued, and submissions would be entered in the next most appropriate category.

The second rule change is regarding voting. Previously, voting members were allowed to vote in up to nine genre fields plus the general field on the first ballot and eight genre fields plus the general field on the second ballot, including every category within each chosen Field. Now, on each ballot, voters may vote in up to 20 categories in the genre fields plus the four categories of the general field which includes "Record Of The Year", "Album Of The Year", "Song Of The Year", and "Best New Artist".

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