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Grammys add three new categories

2023 Jun 17, 7:31,
Grammy Awards displayed at the Grammy Museum Experience at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Photo: AP

Do you follow Grammys? If yes, then this update will definitely garner your attention.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, the Recording Academy has added three new categories to the Grammy Awards, including best African music performance, best pop dance recording and best alternative jazz album.

The changes were voted on and passed at the academy's Board of Trustees meeting last month. The 66th Grammys, which now has 94 categories, will air live in early 2024.

The addition of the best African music performance category reflects how African acts such as Burna Boy, Wizkid and Tems -- along with the rise of the Afrobeats genre -- have become global chart-topping stars and streaming juggernauts. The new category "recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent," including subgenres like Afrobeats, Afro-fusion, Afro pop, Bongo Flava, Ethio jazz, Kizomba, High Life, Fuji, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian drill, Afro-house and South African hip-hop.

African-based songs previously dominated in nominations in the best global music performance category, which launched in 2022. The new award honoring African music could give global songs from other genres, such as Latin music, K-pop and Arabic music, a better chance at earning nominations for best global music performance.

The announcement of the best pop dance recording will give pop stars who release dance-flavored music a chance to earn nominations without competing with acts who are deeply rooted in dance music. Over the years, artists with dance songs competed for best dance/electronic recording, and the winners have ranged from superstars like Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to Skrillex, The Chemical Brothers and Rufus Du Sol.

The new category will also give pop stars who don't cross over to other genres like R&B, rap, rock or country a chance at earning more nominations at the awards show.

Best pop dance recording will honor songs that "feature up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement" and have "strong rhythmic beats, significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks."

The new best alternative jazz album award will recognize "the genre-blending, envelope-pushing hybrid that mixes jazz with other genres, including R&B, hip-hop, classical, contemporary improvisation, experimental, pop, rap, electronic/dance music and/or spoken word."

Other changes to the Grammys include moving two categories -- producer of the year (non-classical) and songwriter of the year (non-classical) -- to the general field, which includes album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. Grammys voters are limited in the categories they can vote, but all voters are allowed to vote in the general field, which means everyone will now be able to vote for producer of the year (non-classical) and songwriter of the year (non-classical).

Songs and albums released between October 1, 2022 - September 15, 2023, will be eligible for nominations at the 2024 show. The nominees will be announced in November.


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