The addition of these three categories will open up the prospect of Grammy wins and nominations to artistes from diverse backgrounds and across more genres.
By Helena Olori
The Recording Academy has announced the addition of three new categories to the 66th Grammy Awards, bringing the total number of categories to 94. The additional categories are Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording.
It has also amended two existing non-genre categories: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, which will now be available for Grammy voters to decide on in the General Field.
In a statement released by The Recording Academy, the CEO, Harvey Mason Jr, said “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.”
While African music, alternative jazz and dance pop are not new at the Grammys, the Recording Academy plans to celebrate these impactful sounds like never before by awarding them for the first time ever at the 2024 Grammys.
In previous editions of the world’s biggest music night, the Best Global Music Album and Best Global Music Performance categories featured African music and artists. The new category, Best African Music Performance category, will further expand the reach of African music, putting more African artistes in global limelight.
The Best African Music Performance category created to celebrate “unique local expressions from across the continent,” will feature 19 genres from Africa including Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, Highlife, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz genres.
The Best Pop Dance Recording will showcase danceable songs with strong rhythmic beats and significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks. Best Alternative Jazz Album will recognise album that mixes jazz with other genres such as R&B, Hip-Hop, Classical, Pop, Rap, Electronic/Dance music, and/or Spoken Word, with or without vocals.
The Grammy Awards, consisting of multiple categories across many genres, is organised by the Recording Academy. The awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the global music industry, and has evolved over the years to reflect diversity and inclusivity in the industry.