The Recording Academy has made an exciting announcement regarding the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, revealing the addition of three new categories.
These categories aim to recognize a diverse range of musical genres and respond to feedback from the music community. Last year, the Grammy Awards introduced Songwriter of the Year and Song for Social Change categories.
In addition to the new categories, existing categories such as Producer of the Year, non-classical, and Songwriter of the Year, non-classical will be moved to the general field.
This means that all Grammy voters will have the opportunity to participate in voting, as these categories were previously reserved for specialized members working in specific areas.
The decision to add and amend categories was made during the Recording Academy's recent semiannual Board of Trustees meeting.
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, expressed pride in these category changes and emphasized the Academy's commitment to actively listen and respond to the music community's feedback.
These changes aim to represent a wide range of relevant musical genres and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape.
The Recording Academy is thrilled to honour and celebrate creators and recordings in these categories while exposing a broader range of music to fans worldwide.
The three new categories for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards include:
Best African Music Performance
This category acknowledges track and singles recordings that incorporate unique local expressions from across the African continent. It highlights regional melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic musical traditions.
The category encompasses genres such as 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.
Best Pop Dance Recording
This category recognizes tracks and singles that feature up-tempo, danceable music following a pop arrangement. Eligible recordings in this category showcase strong rhythmic beats, and significant electronic-based instruments, and emphasize vocal performance, melody, and hooks.
It's important to note that dance remixes are only eligible in the Best Remixed Recording category and cannot be entered in the Best Pop Dance Recording category.
Best Alternative Jazz Album
This category acknowledges artistic excellence in alternative jazz albums by individuals, duos, and groups/ensembles, with or without vocals.
Alternative jazz can be defined as a genre-blending, envelope-pushing hybrid that merges jazz with other genres, including R&B, hip-hop, classical, contemporary improvisation, experimental, pop, rap, electronic/dance music, and spoken word.
It may also incorporate contemporary production techniques and instrumentation associated with other genres.