The Recording Academy Adds Three New Grammy Categories Including Best African Music Performance

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The Recording Academy has made significant changes for the upcoming 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Three new categories have been added, including Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording.

Moreover, the categories of Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical, have been moved to the General Field, allowing all GRAMMY voters to participate. These decisions were made at the Recording Academy’s recent Board of Trustees meeting in May 2023, reflecting their commitment to inclusivity and recognizing diverse musical genres. Stay tuned for more updates on the highly anticipated awards ceremony.

“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process. These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “By introducing these three new Categories, we are able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists – and relocating the Producer Of the Year and Songwriter Of The Year Categories to the General Field ensures that all our voters can participate in recognizing excellence in these fields. We are excited to honor and celebrate the creators and recordings in these Categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide.”

Descriptions for the new categories are below:

Best African Music Performance

A track and singles Category that recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent. Highlighting regional melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical traditions, the Category includes but is not limited to the Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz genres.

Best Pop Dance Recording

Recognizes tracks and singles that feature up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement. Eligible Pop Dance recordings also feature strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks. Dance remixes are eligible in the Best Remixed Recording Category only and may not be entered in Best Pop Dance Recording.

Best Alternative Jazz Album

This Category recognizes artistic excellence in Alternative Jazz albums by individuals, duos and groups/ensembles, with or without vocals. Alternative Jazz may be defined as a genre-blending, envelope-pushing hybrid that mixes jazz (improvisation, interaction, harmony, rhythm, arrangements, composition, and style) with other genres, including R&B, Hip-Hop, Classical, Contemporary Improvisation, Experimental, Pop, Rap, Electronic/Dance music, and/or Spoken Word. It may also include the contemporary production techniques/instrumentation associated with other genres.





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