Even the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson got into the act, demanding a meeting with Grammy execs and implying that minority musicians were taking the brunt of the hits.
Last April, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which controls the Grammys decided to streamline the awards, without consulting the rank and file membership.
Tweaking the telecast version - pumping up the number of live performances while cutting down the on-screen envelope opening and thank you speeches (to a mere dozen) had already done great things for the ratings. Last February's Grammy Awards show pulled 26.6 million viewers, the most won in a decade, with about half in the "most desirable" 18 to 49 age range.
Now it was probably argued that just throwing up the briefest screen or voice-over citations of all those other awards was too much, cluttering the works and diluting the impact of each victory.
The paring has also reduced the number of artists receiving multiple nominations, though - 86 this year, down from last year's 155. That cuts their odds and post-Grammy sales.
So what's been scrubbed?
Separate Grammys for Hawaiian music, Zydeco, its first cousin Cajun and native American Indian (sorry, Bill Miller) are now all lumped under one category called Regional Roots Music.
A much bigger deal, male and female performers who used to get their own, sexually-separated shots at Grammys in country, pop, rap, R&B and rock categories must now duke it out together. Equal but maybe not fair, given radio programmers' habit of favoring one sex over the other.
Pop, rock and urban music performed by Latin artists is now lumped. So is hard rock and heavy metal, a prior distinction that often escaped the nominating committee. Varied jazz honors and blues categories have similarly been jumbled.
And there's no longer any hair-splitting between "Traditional" and "Contemporary" R&B artistry.
If "Wake Up!",The Roots' retro-protest soul album with John Legend, had come out this year instead of last, "we could easily have been shut out, instead of winning three Grammys," believes Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.