The Grammy Award is a musical accolade bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, an association of US artists and technicians involved in the music industry. The name of the Grammys refers to the trophy presented to the winner, a statuette representing a gramophone, handcrafted by Billings Artworks.
The 1st Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor artists' musical achievements for the year 1958.
Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), both artists and record companies, can submit albums and songs for consideration for a nomination. When a work is submitted, review sessions involving over 150 recording industry experts are held to determine that the work has been entered into the correct category and meets all the required eligibility requirements.
Discs published in a period of time ranging from October 1 two years earlier to September 30 of the previous year can be nominated for the award, resulting in the most backward deadline of the Oscar awards. This meant that, for example, the Ray Charles biopic won the Oscar in 2005, but the soundtrack only got the Grammy in 2006.
After the candidates have been determined, the final ballot papers are sent to NARAS voting members, who can then vote in the general fields and in up to 9 of the 30 fields. Members are encouraged, but not required, to vote only in their fields of expertise. The ballots are secretly tabulated by the independent company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. After the tabulation of the votes, the winners are announced at the Grammy Awards.
Winners receive a Grammy Award; those who do not win receive a medal and a certificate for their candidacy.