The Recording Academy has introduced three new categories to the Grammys. The 66th annual Grammy Awards in 2024 will now feature 94 categories, including the newly added Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording.
Additionally, two existing awards have been moved to the general field. These include Producer of the Year, Non-Classical and Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical. Audiences can now vote for these categories without using up a field.
Recording Academy Adds Three New Categories to 66th Grammys
The decision was made during the Recording Academy’s semiannual board of trustees meeting in May. Announcing the move on Tuesday, Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy stated, “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.”
“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,” he added. Here are more details about the newly introduced categories:
Best African Music Performance
A category that recognizes local expressions, rhythms, harmonies, regional melodies, and musical traditions of the African continent. In 2022, African songs mostly made the nominees in the best global music performance category. With the introduction of a dedicated award, the global music category will probably give more nods to other genres, including K-Pop and Latin music.
The Recording Academy said that the category will include 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
The category has been introduced to honor tracks featuring ‘up-tempo, danceable music’ with ‘strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody, and hooks.’ However, Dance Remixes are not eligible for this category but can be nominated in Best Remixed Recording Category.
With the new category, pop stars will get a better chance at receiving nominations with their dance numbers. They earlier had to compete with dedicated dance acts in the best dance/electronic recording category.
Best Alternative Jazz Album
The Recording Academy has added the category to recognize alternative jazz albums by individuals, duos, groups/ensembles, with or without vocals. With this, the number of jazz categories in the awards has increased to six. The rest five include improvised jazz solo, jazz vocal album, large jazz ensemble album, jazz instrumental album, and Latin jazz album.
As per the Recording Academy, alternate jazz is 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.’
What are your thoughts on the new additions to the Grammys? Let us know in the comments.