Just 275 artists are competing for best new artist, the lowest total in 24 years.
Pore over the Grammy entry lists long enough and you start to see patterns and a few surprises. Like these, for instance:
-Some may think of classical as a niche market, but there are substantially more entries for producer of the year, classical (336) than producer of the year, non-classical (239).
-There are nearly four times as many entries for best score soundtrack for visual media (235) as for best compilation soundtrack for visual media (62).
-For the second year in a row, there are more entries for best music video (838) than for album of the year (789).
-The album category with the most entries (outside of album of the year) is best jazz instrumental album (302 entries). The album category with the fewest entries is best regional roots music album (41).
-The song category with the most entries (outside of song of the year and best instrumental composition) is best American roots song (364 entries). The song category with the fewest entries is best song written for visual media (116).
-The performance category with the most entries is best American roots performance (431), though pop would be on top if the Grammys were to combine best pop solo performance (374) and best pop duo/group performance (337). The performance category with the fewest entries is best country duo/group performance (54).
-There were 60 entries for best country album, far below the number of entries for best comedy album (149) and best spoken word album (194) — which many of us think of as niche markets.
-There were more entries for best traditional blues album (75) than best contemporary blues album (59). That's the only case where there were more entries for the traditional form than the contemporary.
-There are more entries for best jazz instrumental album (302) than best contemporary instrumental album (194), even though the latter category "embraces a variety of musical genres," to quote the Grammys' category description guide.
-This year's total of 1,160 entries for record of the year constitutes an all-time record. The old record of 1,131 was set two years ago.
-This year's total of 1,104 entries for song of the year is the second-highest total in Grammy history. There were 1,132 entries in 2013.
-Just 275 artists are competing for best new artist, the lowest total in 24 years. The number of entries in this category peaked in 2013 with 670 entries.