The biggest overhaul in the 53-year history of the Grammys will see men and women will compete head-to-head, some of the more exotic awards dropped and the number of categories reduced by more than 30.
While no musical genres will be excluded from Grammy contention, organisers said the changes will make the awards a lot more competitive.
"It ups the game in terms of what it takes to receive a Grammy and preserves the great esteem of with its held in the creative community, which is the most important element," Recording Academy president and chief executive Neil Portnow said.
While the academy has adjusted its rules and adapted to industry changes over the years, these changes follow its first major examination of the awards structure, a process that took more than a year.
The biggest change will come in the number of categories, cut from 109 to 78.
Awards will no longer be given in such categories as rap performance by a duo or group; some of the instrumental categories in pop, rock and country; traditional gospel; children's spoken-word album; Zydeco or Cajun music album and best classical crossover album.
Separate male and female vocal categories in fields like pop, R&B and country are among those being dropped. Men and women will now compete in each overall field, as they already do in the rock category.
"A great singer is a great singer is a great singer, and somebody that has a gift in terms of their voice, and is at the top of their game in terms of their delivery and emotion, really isn't necessarily defined by gender," Portnow said.