Thinking of recent Record of the Year nominees and winners, it seems like the Grammy awards seem to skew heavily American, though I know that the Beatles and other non-American artists have taken home trophies as well.

Have the awards ever been officially limited to American artists, or perhaps had some other eligibility criteria -- recorded in America, released in America, etc. -- responsible for this bias?

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The Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academy, formerly known as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1957 as an American organization, it would stand to reason that it would be American focused. The Cold War would have eliminated much of Europe, China was still closed, Rock was still in its infancy, worldwide distribution was still relatively new, ... there were many political, cultural, technical, and other deterrents to entries from outside the country, and even those would likely be music in English.

In more recent years, the Recording Academy has shifted toward viewing itself as a worldwide organization.

The 63rd Grammy Awards Rules and Guidelines do not specify any restrictions on the origin of the music or performers other than recordings generally must be "new" and available nationwide. However, the music must be released in the United States: "imports are not eligible."

“New recordings” is defined as material that has been recorded within five years of the release date and not previously released.

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: “General distribution” is defined as the broad release of a recording, available nationwide via brick-and-mortar stores, third-party online retailers and/or streaming services. (Imports are not eligible.)


The main criterion is that the music be officially released in the US.

But there have certainly been many non-American winners:

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