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Grammys Nix 31 Categories, Offend Metal Fans in Overhaul

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Rock is dead, or so the Grammys would have you believe. As part of a massive restructuring that will bring the total awards handed out from 109 this year down to 78 in 2012, the show's producers revealed today that they're eliminating three of the rock genre's seven honors. But it totally makes sense. President/CEO Neil Portnow said the restructuring was necessary for "the continued competition and prestige of the highest and only peer-recognized award in music." We just think the Grammys wanted to produce less trophies. We don't blame them, have you seen the price of gold lately?

While everyone will make a big deal about the Grammys eliminating some rock, we see it more like cutting the fat: Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals will be merged into Best Rock Performance, which makes sense -- who cares if the person doing the singing is alone or in a band? Combining Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance Grammys into Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance is far more controversial since those are two very different styles of rock. Best Rock Instrumental Performance is also a goner, which really sucks for Jeff Beck since he's won six of them.

Elsewhere, despite allegations that Grammy voters aren't hip-hop fans, only one category in the rap genre got the ax: Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group are now Best Rap Performance because the Grammys moved away from the whole nonsensical Group/Solo segregation in all genres. The American Roots category really took a beating though, shrinking from nine categories to five. Our condolences to Wayne's World actress Tia Carrere, a two-time winner for Best Hawaiian Music Album, because that category is a goner, too. Carrere will have to duke it out for the Best Regional Roots Music Album instead.

The four major categories -- Best Record, Best Song, Album of the Year and Best New Artist -- are unscathed, but nearly every other area saw some upheaval. It's not the sweeping changes many demanded after Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber for Best New Artist and Arcade Fire's The Suburbs won Best Album, but the Grammys definitely did some much-needed spring cleaning.

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