NEW YORK -- The 1989 Grammy award for best new artist, which had been given to Milli Vanilli and which was rescinded last month when the pop duo admitted that it had not sung on its album or at concerts, will go to no one.
"The Grammy is not like an athletic competition," Michael Greene, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said yesterday in a telephone interview after the decision was announced.
"The voting is not intended to produce a rank result. Had Milli Vanilli been moved from the initial voting, the results for the other four acts would probably have been quite different."
The runners-up for the Grammy were the rapper Tone-Loc, the singer and songwriter Neneh Cherry and the groups Soul II Soul and the Indigo Girls.
The decision was made by the academy's board of trustees. The academy moved quickly in rescinding Milli Vanilli's award, which was given in February, after it was disclosed last month that the duo, Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, did not sing on its first and only album, "Girl You Know It's True" (Arista), which sold seven million copies in the United States.
The committee also reaffirmed that Milli Vanilli's single "Blame It on the Rain," written by Diane Warren, remains eligible in the 1990 Grammy category for song of the year.
Should the song win, the award would go to Warren. All other entries from Milli Vanilli have been deemed ineligible.
Three Milli Vanilli entries were submitted among the 8,000 entries in the 1990 Grammy nominating process.