In an effort to be more broad and inclusive, Recording Academy He announced three new categories for the 66th Grammy Awards, which will be held in February 2024. These include Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Dance-Pop Recording, bringing the total number of awards to 94.

“These changes reflect our commitment to actively listening to and responding to feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of related musical genres, and remain in line with the ever-evolving music landscape,” Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement.

The Best African Musical Performance category recognizes and creates an iconic space for African artists as well as aims to record ‘native expressions’ from the continent. This category will also include subgenres like “Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, and South African hip-hop, and ethio-jazz.”

With genres like jazz, blues, and gospel music having their roots in African music, African artists have received Grammys in the past, and the popularity they have gained in the American music industry is enormous.

A genre that helped pave the way for hip-hop, jazz is where artists continue to experiment in and out of the genre. With a total of six categories now representing a wide range of the genre, jazz musicians have been given more recognition. The Recording Academy defines Best Alternative Jazz as “a mixed-genre, envelope-pushing blend that blends jazz (improvisation, interaction, harmony, rhythm, arrangements, composition, and style) with other genres, including R&B, Hip-Hop, and classical, contemporary, or experimental improvisation. pop, rap, electronic/dance music, or spoken word.”

Upbeat easy-to-dance and groove music that follows the pop arrangement is what the Best Pop Dance Recording category includes. Acknowledging the changing music industry with the influence and impact of dance and electronic music within the pop genre, this category seeks to bridge the gap between pop and dance music.

Mason Jr. added:

Another interesting change is that two categories – Producer of the Year (non-classical) and Songwriter of the Year (non-classical) have now been moved to the public domain allowing voters to vote for non-genre specific categories. Historically, the general categories only included the “big four” awards—Best New Artist, Album, Record, and Song of the Year.


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