The Recording Academy announced today it added three new categories for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards: Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording. Last year’s new additions included songwriter of the year and song for social change.
The Recording Academy has announced the addition of three new categories to the roster for the 66th GRAMMY Awards in 2024: Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording, elevating the recognition for African music, alternative jazz, and dance pop. Additionally, the Academy is transitioning the categories for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, and Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical to the General Field, enabling all GRAMMY voters to cast their votes in these non-genre-specific categories.
The decision to introduce these new categories and modify existing ones was reached during the semiannual Board of Trustees meeting held in May 2023, reflecting the Academy’s commitment to adapt to the evolving musical landscape and accurately represent diverse music genres.
“The Recording Academy is proud to announce these latest Category changes to our Awards process,” said Harvey Mason jr., the CEO of the Recording Academy. The new categories will allow for wider recognition of a variety of artists, while the relocation of the Producer and Songwriter of the Year categories to the General Field will ensure more inclusive voting, he added.
According to the announcement, the three new categories include:
Best African Music Performance
A track and singles category that recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent. Highlighting regional melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic musical traditions, the category includes but is not limited to the 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
Recognizes tracks and singles that feature up-tempo, danceable music that follows a pop arrangement. Eligible pop dance recordings also feature strong rhythmic beats, significant electronic-based instruments with an emphasis on the vocal performance, melody and hooks. Dance remixes are eligible in the best-remixed recording category only and may not be entered in best pop dance recording.
Best Alternative Jazz Album
This category recognizes artistic excellence in alternative jazz albums by individuals, duos, groups/ensembles, with or without vocals. Alternative jazz may be defined as 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. It may also include the contemporary production techniques/ instrumentation associated with other genres.
Proposals for category updates, procedures, and eligibility guidelines are accepted throughout the year from members of the music community. The Awards & Nominations Committee, a diverse group of Academy Voting Members, meets annually to review these proposals.
For more information on the awards process, visit http://www.grammy101.com.