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Grammys Create the Gaga Rule

Lady Gaga Kristy Sparow/WireImage

She might have only broken through in the last couple of years, but Lady Gaga has been around just long enough to be dissed by the Grammys.

The fogies behind the music awards have finally realized what a travesty it was that her Ladyship didn't score a Best New Artist nomination last year, so they've announced a major tweak to the rules to avoid such snubs in the future.

Here's the scoop.

The 24-year-old Gaga's first single, the synth-pop club anthem "Just Dance," was released in 2008, became a sleeper hit and scored a nod in the Best Dance category. As a result, despite her exploding fame and multiplatinum status, Gaga was barred from earning a nomination in the Best New Artist category in 2009.

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, now admits that the exclusion was unfair and has tweaked the eligibility requirements.

"There will be some changes so that particular situation won't repeat itself," he said in a statement.

According to the new guidelines, performers will be allowed to compete in the Best New Artist category "provided that the artist has not already won a Grammy."

As currently written, musicians must have released, as a featured performing artist, at least one album (but not more than three), and they cannot have submitted themselves for Best New Artist more than three times, including as a performer of an established group. If anyone earns a Grammy nomination as a performer, he/she would be prevented from entering the Best New Artist category.

The big exception is what we might as well call the Gaga Rule: If an artist or group is nominated—but does not win—for the release of a single or as a featured artist/collaborator on a compilation or other artist's album before said artist/group releases an entire album, that artist/group may enter Best New Artist in the year their record hits store shelves.

In the Gaga's case, that would have meant she'd have had a shot at Best New Artist in 2009 so long as she didn't win the Grammy for "Just Dance" the year before.

Got it? Good. We'll be having a pop quiz later.

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