- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The Grammys are about to get a lot more competitive: The Recording Academy is reducing the number of categories by more than 30.

It is the Academy’s first overall evaluation in its 53-year history. It reduces the number of categories from 109 to 78 for next year’s ceremony, making the competition much tighter.

The Academy says male and female vocal categories in fields like pop, R&B and country are among those being removed. Men and women will now compete in one overall field.

Material that would have been submitted in the obsolete categories will have a home in other genre categories.

There are also other changes to voting procedures.

The overhaul was announced Wednesday. It comes after the Recording Academy examined its awards structure in 2009.

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